Piles and Hemorrhoids
Piles and Hemorrhoids
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids (HEM-uh-roids), also called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids may result from straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy, among other causes. Hemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).
Hemorrhoids are common ailments. By age 50, about half of adults have had to deal with the itching, discomfort and bleeding that can signal the presence of hemorrhoids.
Fortunately, many effective options are available to treat hemorrhoids. Most people can get relief from symptoms using home treatments and lifestyle changes.
Hemorrhoids, often called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus and rectum.
A possibly embarrassing topic of discussion for some, hemorrhoids are common. More than half of our population will develop hemorrhoids, usually after age 30.
If left untreated, hemorrhoidal tissue can bleed, itch, become inflamed and swell. These symptoms can be extremely uncomfortable and interfere with our normal activities.
Fortunately, effective medications and procedures are readily available to treat piles. In numerous cases, this condition may require only self-care and lifestyle changes.
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids may include:
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements — you might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl
- Itching or irritation in your anal region
- Pain or discomfort
- Swelling around your anus
- A lump near your anus, which may be sensitive or painful
- Leakage of feces
External and internal hemorrhoids Image Gallery ---
What’s the difference between external and internal hemorrhoids?
There are 2 types of hemorrhoids: external and internal, which refer to their locations. External hemorrhoids develop at the anal opening and tend to be painful. Internal hemorrhoids occur just inside the anus, at the beginning of the rectum. Because of the lack of pain-sensitive nerve fibers within the internal anal membranes, internal hemorrhoids usually don’t cause discomfort. However, if they protrude from the anal opening (prolapsed), they can cause pain and irritation. Persistently prolapsed hemorrhoids can develop blood clots (thrombosis), leading to ulcerations and gangrene.
What cause hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can develop from any increase in pressure on the veins of our lower rectum.
Common causes of pressure include:
- chronic constipation
- chronic diarrhea
- straining during bowel movements
- prolonged sitting or standing
- pregnancy and childbirth
The most important aspect of hemorrhoid management is prevention. Some tips to prevent hemorrhoids include:
- Eat high fiber foods.
- Eating more fruits, vegetables and grains can soften the stools and increase its bulk, which will help lessen straining that can cause hemorrhoids
- Drink more fluids.
- Take fiber supplements. Over-the-counter (OTC) products like Fybogel and Fibrosine can help keep stools soft and regular. However, do drink at least 8-10 glasses of water while on fiber supplements or it can cause constipation.
- Stay Active! Exercising can help reduce the pressure on our veins which occur with long periods of standing or sitting. Exercises can help reduce body weight too.
- Go as soon as you feel the urge. Holding back bowel movements results in stools that become drier and harder to pass
- Do not sit on the toilet for too prolonged a period of time.
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