Introduction to hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that are found in the rectum or anus. The swelling is a result of strain during bowel movement. Pregnancy, chronic constipation and diarrhea also cause an increased pressure in the rectum resulting in hemorrhoids. There are two types of hemorrhoids, external and internal.
External hemorrhoids like its name sake means that the hemorrhoid is located outside the anus. It feels like a small lump that is sensitive to the touch. An external hemorrhoid is usually itchy and irritating. It is also a lot more painful than internal hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids usually do not hurt and they definitely do not hurt as much as an external hemorrhoid even when it does. They are found inside your rectum itself and may occasionally bleed. Because of this you may sometimes see blood on your toilet paper or in your toilet bowl after bowel movement.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
The most common symptom of hemorrhoids is blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl after bowel movement. External hemorrhoids are also detected easily because the main symptoms are irritation around the anus as well as painful swelling. There may also be sensitive lumps around the anus area. An odd itch inside your rectum is also a symptom of internal hemorrhoids.
Having the right diet is the best prevention method for hemorrhoids. Drinking a lot of water helps soften the stool thus easing strain during bowel movement. Eating a lot of processed food is also unhealthy. Instead, in order to prevent hemorrhoids, add some fiber to your diet. Foods such as bran, fruits and vegetables (just to name a few) will help your chances to avoid hemorrhoids.
Certain toilet habits can also help hemorrhoid prevention. Reading in the toilet is an unhealthy habit because sitting on your toilet for a long time could cause straining. Because of this, try to get the ‘job’ done within 5 minutes without reading.
Moving around and exercising can also help prevent hemorrhoids. If you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods of time, make an effort to get up and walk around for 5 minutes every hour. This will help greatly.
Hemorrhoid treatments are divided into natural home treatments, and surgery. Both are effective and the best treatment for you depends on the nature of your hemorrhoid.
Natural home hemorrhoid treatments are used to reduce the swelling of the hemorrhoid but more importantly to ease some of the pain caused by the hemorrhoid. Natural hemorrhoid treatments are as follows:
- Sitz bathes involve sitting in a tub of warm water for 10 minutes a few times a day is a great hemorrhoid treatment to treat both the swelling and the pain.
- Ice packs can also be used to numb the area as well as reduce hemorrhoid swelling.
- Applying a cream that contains witch hazel (a natural astringent) can help ease the irritation around the area.
Hemorrhoid surgery are only used for extreme cases where with the hemorrhoid persists, it is too painful or when there are multiple hemorrhoids.
- Rubber band ligation is a common form of hemorrhoid treatment because it is relatively uncomplicated. Basically a rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid inside the rectum. This will cut off the flow of blood to the hemorrhoid causing it to wither away in a few days.
- Infrared Coagulations is a form of hemorrhoids surgery that is used on smaller hemorrhoids. This type of hemorrhoid treatment can be used on external or internal hemorrhoids. This procedure involves using infrared light to burn off the hemorrhoids.
- Sclerotheray, also known as injection therapy is another type of surgery used on hemorrhoids. In this form of treatment is used for curing small internal hemorrhoids. A hardening agent is injected into the hemorrhoids causing a loss of circulation which will then result in the hemorrhoid shriveling.