What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are inflamed and swollen veins around the anus and in the lower rectum section. The rectum is the last portion of the colon that connects to the anus. The anus is the opening at the end of the colon where waste matter moves out of the body.
Hemorrhoids are also known as piles. These are generally the result of straining to make a bowel movement.
Hemorrhoids are quite common. More than 70 % of people in the United States have hemorrhoids at least once in their lifetime, according to the data from NIH.
By the age of about 55 years, about 50% of all Americans have had to suffer with hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are normal
Do you know that hemorrhoids are a normal part of your body? Both internal and external hemorrhoids exist inside the anal canal and around the anal opening of healthy persons. The internal hemorrhoids help in the blood supply to the anus and contain many small arteries. External hemorrhoids contain veins.
Hemorrhoids are painful when they become inflamed or swollen. They may also cause itching or bleeding, especially during or after a bowel movement. Sometimes, you can see blood in stool. But blood in stool is not always indicative of hemorrhoids. This may be something else.
About 40 % of pregnant women remain constipated during their pregnancy, according to a research published in the medical journal BMJ. This may lead to hemorrhoids, but these are neither very harmful for the women nor for their babies. Such hemorrhoids go away after the birth of the baby.
What you can do to prevent external and internal hemorrhoids?
There are many ways you can help prevent hemorrhoids. The first thing you should do is avoid constipation. It is key to preventing the hemorrhoids during pregnancy and in other normal situations.
We present here some tips for helping you prevent constipation. You can prevent and get rid of the symptoms of hemorrhoids in ways such as discussed here:
- Eat fibers in good amounts: Maximize your intake of fruits, vegetables, full grains, and high-fiber foods.
- Eat high-fiber diet: It can make stools softer which passes easily through the colon.
- Use fiber supplements if your doctor feels a need for it: If you’re having trouble getting enough fiber in your regular diet, take fiber supplements after consultation with a doctor.
- Drink enough of water and other fluids
- Exercise daily: At least 30 min walk on at least five days a week helps
- Don’t strain or hold your breath during bowel movements
- Go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge, do not delay bowel movements
- Avoid long periods of sitting: Sitting for too long, especially on the toilet, can build stress in the veins of the anus and lead to hemorrhoids.
- Take a sitz bath in warm water a few times daily for 10 to 15 minutes each
- Use ice packs to relieve inflammation
- Don’t push too hard while you pass the stool
- You should make a habit of cleaning the anus each time you have bowel movement by gently patting rather than wiping. Wiping is not a good option.
- Some over-the-counter creams, ointments, and drugs can help relieve pain and itching due to hemorrhoids.
- Do not take laxatives: Laxatives can lead to diarrhea and worsen your hemorrhoid symptoms.
- Surgery to remove hemorrhoids is a treatment option. It is called hemorrhoidectomy. You can opt for surgery if other options do not help much.
Mohd Salman, is a medical science professional and is associated with DiseaseFix as a researcher. DiseaseFix develops health information modules for patients and provides a unique platform to allow access of reliable information of a variety of types for diseases.