Hemorrhoids, also commonly referred to as piles, are a very common problem, affecting thousands of men and women in the United States. They can be described as a condition in which veins in the lower rectum and anus that have become swollen and inflamed. During a bowel movement there is some amount of pressure exerted on the region and in some individuals a greater amount of pressure could be exerted for various possible reasons. Such individuals are more likely to suffer from the problem of hemorrhoids. This is because our veins have the tendency to stretch and swell up if we exert a lot of force on them. The veins in the rectal area begin to bulge if exposed to such excessive pressure on a regular basis or for a prolonged period. Constipation and certain other digestive disorders are therefore a common cause for hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are mainly of two types, - internal hemorrhoids or external hemorrhoids. As the name suggests, internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum and therefore, they cannot be felt. External hemorrhoids lie just below the skin, around the anus and can easily be felt. In some cases, an internal hemorrhoid can get pushed through the anal opening, thereby leading to a prolapsed or a protruding hemorrhoid. The symptoms for each type of piles may vary to a slight extent.
Up to 50% of individuals who are over the age of 50 have been known to suffer from the common symptoms of piles. On their own, hemorrhoids are not really dangerous as such, but they could lead to a lot of discomfort, itchiness and pain, especially while passing stools. There are many individuals who may even panic when they first notice blood while passing stools. However, this is one of the most common signs of piles.
While hemorrhoids may be exceedingly common and should not a cause for worry, the problem should never be neglected. Hemorrhoids usually often occur as a warning sign of an unhealthy diet and lifestyle or may occur as a symptom, pointing towards a deeper underlying condition that in some cases warrants immediate medical attention. If left unchecked and untreated for a long period of time, hemorrhoids may also lead to complications, such chronic blood loss, strangulated piles, tissue death or even gangrene. Therefore, in case you suspect that you may be suffering from hemorrhoids, or if you notice any of the symptoms, it is absolutely essential that you consult your doctor right away.
Symptoms for Hemorrhoids
There are several different symptoms for hemorrhoids, and these actually depend on the location. Since internal hemorrhoids lie within the rectum, you are not likely to feel or see them and fortunately, they do not cause a lot of discomfort either. However, every time you strain while having a bowel movement, the surface of the hemorrhoid could experience abrasion and may bleed. External hemorrhoids on the other hand are outside the anal opening. They can be felt and seen and at the same time, they could lead to a lot of pain. Some of the other symptoms for hemorrhoids include:
• A lump near the anal opening, which is painful and sensitive
• Bleeding during bowel movements
• Leakage of feces
• Irritation and itchiness near the anal region
In case you suffer from piles, it is possible that you will not experience most of the symptoms, which is why it may go unnoticed and could even develop into bleeding piles. In cases of hemorrhoids where bleeding does occur, you do not lose copious amounts of blood and you would actually need to be watchful as it is more likely that there would just be a few drops of blood passed. Some of the symptoms for hemorrhoids are more serious than the others and include:
• Lightheadedness, dizziness or bouts of passing out
• Appearance of blood clots during a bowel movement or seeing blood mixed with stools
• Passing stools that are black, tarry or maroon in color
In case you experience any of these severe symptoms, you need to visit a doctor right away. Unfortunately, many people have been known to ignore anal bleeding, because they believe that it is caused by piles, and can be easily remedied at home. Whether or not the condition can be treated with home care, a visit to the doctor is essential, as there are other health problems that could also lead to bleeding from the rectal area, some of which could be quite serious like anal and colorectal cancer. Any instance of pain and frequent bleeding in the rectal area should be checked and treated by a doctor without any delay.
Hemorrhoids Symptoms, Causes, Remedy and Diet
Causes for Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids is an affliction of varicose veins that develops in the anal area. Such a condition is basically caused because the veins are subjected to an excessive amount of pressure. Individuals who suffer from certain digestive problems like constipation that cause straining to evacuate the bowels are most susceptible to developing hemorrhoids. While the sole cause for hemorrhoids is excess pressure during bowel movements, there are many factors that could cause you to face this problem. Some of the most common causes for hemorrhoids include:
• Sitting in the toilet for a long period of time, without being able to pass stools
• Being overweight or obese
• Engaging in anal intercourse regularly
• Suffering from digestive problems, like chronic constipation as well as diarrhea
Many women have been known to develop piles only during the course of pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy can be regarded as one of the most common causes for hemorrhoids in women. In such a scenario however, it is simply a temporary problem that will resolve post pregnancy.
There are many people who develop hemorrhoids only because they are genetically inclined towards the problem. Therefore, you are a lot more likely to suffer from this problem, in case one or both of your parents have this problem. Following a healthy diet with high fiber content and keeping physically fit can however prevent the problem from developing.
The condition is most prevalent in the elderly and tends to develop more commonly once past the age of 50. This could be due to the fact that as you get older, the tissues that support the veins in the rectum and the anus begin to stretch and get weaker. Therefore, they become more prone to infections, inflammation, injuries and other similar problems, as a part of the aging process.
Hemorrhoids home remedies and natural cures, Questions and answers
Remedies for Hemorrhoids
Fortunately, it is not difficult to treat hemorrhoids and alleviate the pain caused by them with simple natural treatments. In most cases, health experts advise people to first try out simple home remedies and incorporate a few dietary as well as lifestyle changes. In most cases, these remedies for hemorrhoids bring about a significant amount of relief. The most important aspect of treatment as stressed by health care providers would be to make sustainable long term changes to one’s diet and lifestyle to prevent recurrences and also to treat the condition. In very severe cases medical treatment may be essential for immediate relief, but no medication will offer a long term cure. Given below are some of the most commonly recommended remedies for hemorrhoids:
• Oral Painkillers: Aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen are easily available over the counter and help alleviate the pain and discomfort caused by piles. However, this remedy only has a temporary effect and therefore, may need to be taken at regular intervals. Therefore, these medicines can only be taken for a short period of time.
• Using Moist Toilet Paper: Cleaning the anal area with dry toilet paper may increase the irritation and itchiness. Therefore, it is better to use toilet paper that is moist, so that the area can be cleaned properly. However, it is important to stay away from paper that is perfumed or contains alcohol as this could cause severe irritation.
• Warm Bath: For relief from the pain and discomfort, it would be a good idea to climb into a tub for a nice warm soak for a few minutes every day. This not only relieves the pain, but also brings the swelling down to some extent. In case you do not have a bath tub, you can easily buy a sitz bath that fits over the toilet and is just as effective.
• Cold Therapy: When it comes to reducing swelling and inflammation, ice is one of the most effect remedies. Apply either an ice pack or a cold compress to the anal area each day.
Apart from using these remedies, it is also very important to maintain high levels of personal hygiene or the problem could worsen to a great extent. In case these home remedies do not bring about the desired results, you could apply some topical hemorrhoid creams or suppositories that contain hydrocortisone. Pads with witch hazel or other numbing solutions can also be very effective.
In case these remedies do not reduce the inflammation in the veins, it may become necessary to follow traditional treatment, using medication or procedures like rubber band litigation, injection (sclerotherapy) and coagulation. Surgical procedures, such as hemorrhoid stapling and removal may also be considered in some cases.
Hemorrhoids : Home Remedies suggested by users
Diet for Hemorrhoids
Your diet is the single most influential factor in the treatment of hemorrhoids as your dietary intake has a direct bearing on your bowel movements. Digestive problems like constipation or diarrhea can aggravate hemorrhoids considerably. Therefore, in order to prevent hemorrhoids and expedite their treatment, it is important to follow a suitable diet. Given below are some of the foods that should be included in a diet for hemorrhoids:
• Bran and other breakfast cereal
• Whole grained bread
• Brown rice
Fiber is the single most important nutritional factor in a diet for hemorrhoids, as it helps in adding bulk to stools and at the same time softens them. In order to avoid straining to pass stools, which would worsen hemorrhoids, you need to increase your consumption of fiber, by eating higher quantities of fresh fruits, vegetables, grains, cereals and beans. Many doctors advise people to add fiber supplements to their diet. However, in order to avoid flatulence, it is best to increase high-fiber foods into your diet gradually.
A diet for hemorrhoids is incomplete without high amounts of liquids as well, especially water. It is important to consume at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day, to facilitate bowel movements and keep the stools soft.
While some food items help in improving the problem of hemorrhoids, others may aggravate them. Such food items should therefore be strictly avoided. Given below are some of the common food items that lead to digestive problems and can worsen piles:
• Spicy food
• Alcoholic beverages
• Caffeinated beverages like coffee and aerated drinks
• White bread
• Bakery items made from refined flour like pastries, cakes and pies.
Suggestion for Hemorrhoids
Health experts usually have a lot of suggestions that can help prevent hemorrhoids and can help facilitate a speedier recovery. One of the first recommendations is getting an adequate amount of exercise each day. Exercising for around 30 minutes a day improves not just overall health, but also enhances bowel movements and reduces the problem of constipation. This in turn reduces the pressure on the veins in the anus, thereby preventing hemorrhoids.
Following a healthy discipline lifestyle and routine is essential for healthy and regular bowel movements. Your meal timings and serving portions are particularly important, and it would be wise to consume four to five smaller meals through the course of the day rather than the customary large lunch and dinner. This allows for better and more efficient digestion. Likewise, make sure that your last meal of the day is consumed at least two hours before bedtime.
While it is important to follow a proper schedule for passing stools, you should go when you feel the urge. Waiting for too long or forcing yourself to go at a particular time could aggravate the problem. Avoid straining while having a bowel movement.
In case you find it necessary to use topical creams or medication to control hemorrhoids, it is important that you use them for no longer than a week. There are certain side effects associated with such medications like the development of rashes, inflammation and thinning of the skin, which is why they should not be used for extended periods.
In case of hemorrhoids that are persistent and lead to severe bleeding, it is best to consult a doctor, without any delay.