A hemorrhoid is a swollen vein within the rectum that becomes irritated, causing the surrounding areas to become inflamed. This causes burning, itching and sometimes bleeding from something known as anal fissures as well as intense pain.
Anal fissures are cracks in the skin of the anal canal. Fissures may cause pain after defecating. Some people also know this problem as piles.
Internal and External Hemorrhoids
You may be wondering how someone could go long periods of time without knowing they had hemorrhoids, but the symptom intensities may vary. Internal hemorrhoids can be very hard to recognize, as they are inside the body so you may not notice the bleeding or feel any pain.
When not taken care of quickly, hemorrhoids can become blocked, closing off the blood flow, causing a clot. As you can imagine, this is an extremely painful condition. Typically, these will become noticeable because you will feel a bump coming from the inside of the rectum.
External hemorrhoids are the easier type to catch and take care of. These are very painful. Luckily, these ones are much easier to catch early on since they are on the outside of the body. You are likely to notice the bleeding when wiping and get the problem fixed before it becomes more painful.
You may be wondering, what exactly causes these painful, swollen veins to occur in the first place. Why doesn’t everyone get them?
People who sit or stand for long periods of time are more likely than others to experience hemorrhoids because there is constant pressure being put on that area of the body. Sneezing or coughing can lead to hemorrhoids, as well as ‘pushing’ while trying to go to the bathroom.
Diarrhea is another common cause. Basically, anything that is putting unnecessary or too much pressure on the lower extremities of the body such as; heavy lifting, giving birth, or anal intercourse can cause hemorrhoids to occur.
To prevent hemorrhoids from occurring, there are a few simple things you can do. Having a high-fiber diet is great, because it keeps your bowel movements regular; thus putting less pressure on that area. Some high-fiber foods you may want to incorporate into your diet are: broccoli, spinach, lettuce, apples, grain breads and brown rice.
While you cannot avoid things such as pregnancy, you can be extremely careful when heavy lifting so you do not over-strain. If you have to lift something, get someone to help you so you can split the weight between the two of you; instead of taking it all on yourself.
Cleanliness is another big one. It is very important to wash your rectum often; to keep the bacteria levels in check. Be careful when washing the rectum as it is very sensitive and can easily become more inflamed.
How to Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids? – Treatment
In the process of healing your hemorrhoids, it is very important to stay away from things that are going to irritate the problem in future; such as spicy foods, junk food made of refined flour, coffee, alcohol etc. Taking rest for few days is also helpful.
It is recommended to sit in tub of warm water with some salt in it for 5 to 10 minutes, 2-3 times a day. There are ointments available to reduce your pain and inflammation while waiting for the medications (prescribed by your doctor) to kick in. Stool Softeners called laxatives are also helpful in minimizing the pain and further damage to fissures.
Usually, the initial treatments suggested above are enough to cure ordinary hemorrhoids in 2-4 weeks time. However, if they don’t go away, then your doctor may suggest one or more of the following treatments; dilation, injection to shrink the hemorrhoid, dearterialisation, hemorrhoidolysis, rubber band ligation or in some cases hemorrhoids surgery.