Don't suffer in silence anymore! And don't be embarrassed about it! Hemorrhoids are very common. It is estimated that more than 11 million Americans have hemorrhoids and 3.3 million of them seek medical treatment for hemorrhoids each year! Don't make the mistakes of assuming that hemorrhoids will go away without any treatment. In fact, hemorrhoids never go away if left untreated. It merely subsides temporarily. If conditions worsen, hemorrhoids sufferers can develop serious anal fissures that can only be treated with painful and expensive surgery.
Hemorrhoids are abnormally swollen veins in the rectum and anus. They are similar to varicose veins you might see on a person's legs. When bulging hemorrhoid veins are irritated, they cause surrounding membranes to swell, burn or itch. This can become very painful, and bleeding may even occur.
Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure in the rectum, forcing blood to stretch and bulge the walls of the veins, sometimes rupturing them.
There are two types of hemorrhoids (external and internal) and the symptoms for both are different.
External Hemorrhoid Symptoms
External hemorrhoids cause most of the hemorrhoid symptoms we commonly hear about such as pain, burning, and itching. An external hemorrhoid is usually a form of hemorrhoids outside of the anus. Swollen veins will form a lump around the anal opening and if a blot clot develops, the lump will become a thrombosed hemorrhoid. This is extremely painful and one of the most obvious signs of hemorrhoid.
Internal Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Internal hemorrhoids are a lot less painful and thus its symptoms are harder to detect. This form of hemorrhoids is less painful because of the lack of nerve endings inside your anal canal. The basic symptom of internal hemorrhoids is itchiness. Another good sign of internal hemorrhoids is a slight bleeding (you'll be able to see some blood on toilet paper or in your toilet bowl) after a visit to the toilet.
Hemorrhoids are dilated blood vessels or veins in the anal or rectal area. They can occur on the outside where they are felt as small bumps when wiping. Internal hemorrhoids however are not seen or felt as they are in our anal canal. They are also harder to detect as they are usually painless. Internal hemorrhoids usually develop due to chronic constipation and are also prone to develop during a woman's pregnancy period.
Symptoms of Internal Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids are more difficult to detect than external hemorrhoids because there is very little pain or sometimes even none at all. The common symptoms are an itch or an unexplainable irritation in your anus canal. The more obvious symptoms would be some blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl after bowel movement.
Internal Hemorrhoid Treatments
Several non surgery methods can be used to treat internal hemorrhoids. They include:
Rubber band ligation: A rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid inside the rectum. The band will cut off blood circulation to the area causing the hemorrhoid to wither away within a few days.
Sitz baths: Soak the rectal area in hot water for about 15-20 minutes 3-4 times a day. This is a simple and effective internal hemorrhoids treatment that will not only help ease the itch but also shrink the hemorrhoid.
Sclerotherapy: Also known as injection therapy. This treatment is commonly used on small internal hemorrhoids. A hardening agent is injected into the hemorrhoid, resulting in a loss of blood flow that causes the hemorrhoid to shrivel away.
When an internal hemorrhoid persists or the lump grows too large, doctors turn to hemorrhoid surgery. This treatment is especially recommended when the internal hemorrhoid becomes prolapsed or becomes very large after basic treatment. The types of internal hemorrhoid surgery are as follows:
Infrared Coagulation: A special device utilizing infrared light is used to burn of hemorrhoidal tissue. This causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and finally recede. Although this sounds scary it is very safe and simple.
Hemorrhoidectomy: This treatment is only used for severe cases where the hemorrhoid does not go away and the bleeding continues to persist after non-surgery treatment. During this hemorrhoid treatment the hemorrhoid is surgically removed while you are under anesthesia. Depending on cases, you may be required to be hospitalized and usually a recovery period will be set by the doctor.
Hemorrhoids are a form of vericose vein. They occur when the veins in and around the rectum and anus become swollen. External hemorrhoids are located near the anus and feels like a large lump. It is sensitive to the touch and will bleed if it is ruptured.
Causes of External Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are commonly caused by too much pressure in the rectum. This will force blood to stretch and bulge in the walls of the veins, sometimes rupturing them. The most frequent causes of external hemorrhoids are as follows:
Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids
The symptoms of external hemorrhoids are much more obvious than those of internal hemorrhoids:
Bleeding: Usually seen after bowel movement and a common symptom of hemorrhoids. There will be blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.
Pain: External hemorrhoids are extremely painful. This is the common reason why external hemorrhoids are detected.
Itching: The anus area may feel a little irritated and itchy. Do NOT scratch it even though the urge to do so is very strong.
Lumps: Sensitive lumps around the anus are also an obvious symptom that you have external hemorrhoid.
Treatments for External Hemorrhoids
Sitz Baths: A Sitz bath is the simplest of treatments. All you need to do is soak in warm water for approximately 10 minutes or so to relieve the swelling and pain of hemorrhoids. This treatment is especially good for prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Moist Wipes: Wiping with toilet paper that is dry may irritate external hemorrhoids. Instead, use moist wipes or just wash down after bowel movement. Medicated pads containing witch hazel (a natural medication) can also be bought from pharmacies. It can help reduce the swelling of your hemorrhoid and more importantly, relive some of the pain that comes with having external hemorrhoids.
Ice Packs: Ice packs is a temporary treatment that can also be used to relieve some of pain and swelling caused by external hemorrhoids.
Applying Cream: Creams that treat external hemorrhoids should be available at any pharmacy. Almost any cream containing witch hazel will work and help reduce the swelling, itching and pain of the hemorrhoid lump.
Hemorrhoids have two main causes: diet and toilet strain. Studies have also shown that these two causes are linked because eating bad food can lead to constipation which then leads to straining on the toilet.
A diet that lacks fiber contributes to hemorrhoids. This is why the western diet which is rich in processed foods has been linked to causing hemorrhoids. The simple treatment or solution to this is to take in more fiber foods such as fiber rich cereal, bananas and bread (just a few examples).
The style of our modern toilets seems to be more comfortable, but actually encourages straining. And people who read while sitting in the toilet also stand a higher chance of getting hemorrhoids due to the extra pressure to the anal veins which are caused by sitting in the toilet for too long.
While diet and toilet straining seem to be the main cause of hemorrhoids, there are other factors involved. Other common hemorrhoid causes include aging, diarrhea, constipation, overuse of laxatives and even pregnancy.
Regardless of the causes of hemorrhoids, you should seek treatment immediately because hemorrhoid rarely heal by itself (hemorrhoids may subside and disappear it is bound to recur). Hence, you should use a hemorrhoid cure that can help you get rid of hemorrhoids permanently once and for all!
Whether you have hemorrhoids or you're trying to prevent it, there is a right hemorrhoids diet that you can and should follow.
Fiber is an important part of a hemorrhoids diet. If you are currently suffering from hemorrhoids take bulk fiber supplements daily. This can help with your current hemorrhoids condition as well as prevent hemorrhoid recurrence. Just note though that bulk fiber may take a few days to work.
Apart from supplements, including more natural foods in your diet such as bran, whole-grain breads, cereal, fruits and leafy vegetables are a healthy way to include the much needed fiber into your system.
You should also drink more water to soften your stool and to avoid straining. Aside from reducing straining, passing softer stool also helps ease irritation and pain on existing hemorrhoids. 8 glasses of water a day is the ideal and recommended number.
To prevent hemorrhoids, it is also best to avoid processed food (fast food is a good example) in your diet. This is because refined or processed foods have small amounts of fiber content. Foods like these do not contain enough roughage for the intestine to pass stool easily which causes strain in the rectum during bowel movement.
A hemorrhoids diet means that you should avoid foods that could cause indigestion, gas and diarrhea.
Learn more about how to avoid hemorrhoids and natural treatments by clicking here