Hemorrhoids are swollen veins inside the anus and the lower rectum. They are also known as piles. Hemorrhoids are very common, about every other person have had them once in their life at some point.
Hemorrhoids are caused by strained bowel movements. Obesity, low fiber diet, constipation, diarrhea and increased pressure on the veins in the anus during pregnancy may be the reasons for hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can be harmful sometimes without any symptoms or signs but some people may feel uneasy and it can cause itching, swelling around the area, irritation, and bleeding as well.
Types of Hemorrhoids
There are basically two types of hemorrhoids, internal and external. The symptoms can vary according to the type.
Internal hemorrhoids are the veins inside the lower rectum which cannot be seen. If you when irritation or strain while passing stool it is most likely due to internal hemorrhoid. They usually do not cause pain but increase strain and pressure may cause it to bleed.
Hemorrhoids located around or under the anus skin are called external hemorrhoids. These can cause itchiness and irritation around the anal region. Irritation can also cause them to bleed.
If you find a hard lump or a clot near your anus which is painful and sensitive to touch then it may be a thrombosed hemorrhoid. Blood accumulates in external hemorrhoid which forms a thrombus (blood clot). Thrombosed hemorrhoids can be intensely painful and they need to be punctured and drained by a doctor.
Treatment for Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids mostly do not pose a serious threat to your health and can be treated effectively with some home remedies and changes in lifestyle. There are many available options to self-treat your hemorrhoids and feel at ease.
- Using ice packs for pain relief and to soothe swelling and inflammation around the affected area may be helpful.
- Always take special care of your hygiene and bath daily with warm water.
- Avoid using rough or dry toilet paper on areas around your anus as it can cause pain and bleeding. Instead, use baby wipes or wet cotton pads. Also stay away from fragrant toilet paper as it can worsen the irritation.
- Do not sit on hard chairs or surfaces, always use cushions for support.
- You can take painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin if your pain elevates and is unbearable. Using these over the counter pain meds can help you make comfortable.
- Applying creams and ointments containing hydrocortisone or witch hazel on the affected area may help reduce swelling and pain, but avoid using them over a week. Contact your health care provider if the problem still exists after using over the counter medicines.
Preventive Measures to Avoid Hemorrhoids
Regular and soft bowel movements are important to help prevent hemorrhoids. You can take preventive measures to ensure that you don’t suffer from hemorrhoids and keep them from coming back. A few changes to your diet can help eliminate the problem.
Fiber is a crucial element in keeping your stool soft and regular and will not strain your anus. Take foods that are high in fiber such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Drink plenty of water.
Make changes to your lifestyle for better health and to get rid of hemorrhoids in the long run. Adding exercise to your daily routine can help with constipation and obesity, which may increase pressure on veins.
Also avoid sitting for a long period of time, being active may solve the problem. Also, don’t hold your stool, pass it as soon as you need to use the toilet. Holding it might make it dry and hard.