Many of us must have faced the issue of hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles. Hemorrhoids are the swelling of veins in the lowest part of the rectum and the anus. Sometimes, the blood vessel walls stretch too much and thinning occurs in the veins as they bulge out. This causes irritation when you poop. Swollen hemorrhoids are commonly known as piles.
One of the most common causes of rectal bleeding, hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous. In fact, they even clear up in a couple of weeks. However, if you are suffering from hemorrhoids, it is necessary to see a doctor before it gets too serious. Doctors can treat serious hemorrhoids that won’t go away and even treat the painful ones.
Types Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are broadly divided into two categories: internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids happen far inside the rectum, and this is why we cannot easily see or feel them. They generally do not hurt as we have very few pain-sensing nerves in there. Bleeding during pooping is the only sign of internal hemorrhoids.
Sometimes, internal hemorrhoids tend to prolapse or bulge out and get bigger outside the anal sphincter. In such cases, the bulges look like moist, pink bumps. These bumps often hurt a lot when you poop and are called prolapsed hemorrhoids. Prolapsed hemorrhoids often go back inside on their own and even if they don’t, they can gently be pushed back to their place.
External hemorrhoids happen just under the skin around the anus, and there are many pain-sensing nerves in the outer area. They hurt and bleed while one poops.
Sometimes, a blood clot gets formed when a person is suffering from external hemorrhoids and this clot turns blue or purple. This clotting is known as thrombosis that can hurt and itch a lot and also, causes bleeding. When such a clot gets dissolved, a bit of skin is generally left over which would cause further irritation.
Causes Of Hemorrhoids
People who have a history of hemorrhoids in their families or have extra weight in their body are more likely to get hemorrhoids. In overweight people, such as obese people or pregnant women, pressure builds up in the lower rectum, affecting blood flow and causing the veins to swell. Hemorrhoids could often be the result of pushing too much during bowel movements or straining the body too much as well.
These are the common causes of hemorrhoids:
- Genetic hemorrhoid cases
- Strenuous workout and weightlifting
- Pushing too much during bowel movements
- Sitting or standing for a long time at a stretch
Sneezing, coughing, and vomiting can also make hemorrhoids worse.
Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids
The signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids include the following:
- Bleeding during bowel movements, often painless
- Irritation in the anal region
- Itching in the anus
- Swelling around the anus
- Pain or discomfort in the anus
- A lump near the anus, often sensitive or painful (thrombosis)
The symptoms of hemorrhoids usually depend on the location where it happens.
Prevention Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can easily be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Keep in mind a few things and you will surely stay away from hemorrhoids.
1. Include Enough Fiber In Your Diet
Eat lots of fiber-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds, beans, and legumes.1 2 You can also take psyllium husk before bedtime if you are not sure about the consumption of enough fiber.3
2. Drink Lots Of Water
3. Exercise Regularly
4. Don’t Wait Until It’s Late
|↑1, ↑4, ↑8||Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/hemorrhoids_and_what_to_do_about_them. Harvard Health Publishing.|
|↑2, ↑5, ↑7, ↑9||Hemorrhoids. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/hemorrhoids. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|
|↑3||Ghahramani, Leila, Seyed Vahid Hosseini, Salar Rahimikazerooni, Ali Mohammad Bananzadeh, Bahia Namavar Jahromi, Alamtaj Samsam, Abbas Rezaeian Zadeh, Ali Reza Safarpour, Ali Bagherpour Jahromi, and Seyed Hesamaddin Banihashemi. “The effect of oral psyllium herbal laxative powder in prevention of hemorrhoids and anal fissure during pregnancy, a randomized double blind clinical trial.” Annals of Colorectal Research 1, no. 1 (2013): 23-7.|
|↑6||Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/hemorrhoids_and_what_to_do_about_them. Harvard Health Publishing.|