Hemorrhoids: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Hemorrhoids, which are also known as “piles”, are bulges that extend out of the rectum and protrude from the anus. These bulges contain veins and occur when tissue weakens and loses its protective structure within the wall of the rectum. The restriction of the anus can hasten the healing time as it traps blood within the enlarged tissue. However, hemorrhoids may form within the rectum as well.

Hemorrhoids can cause blood clots to form or minor bleeding. The longer hemorrhoids remain, the more likely they are to form blood clots. They can be itchy, burn and make it difficult for the sufferer to sit down. There are many causes of hemorrhoids, and the majority of people experience them at some point in their life. Hemorrhoids can occur at any age; however, hemorrhoids are more common in the elderly and women who are pregnant.

There are a few grades of hemorrhoids. Grade I hemorrhoids produce minor bleeding, are relatively painless and may occur after a bowel movement. Grade II hemorrhoids protrude from the anus during a bowel movement; however, the protrusion returns back to the rectum. Grade III hemorrhoids must be replaced manually. Grade IV hemorrhoids prolapse. These hemorrhoids protrude from the anus, and despite returning them manually, they protrude again. These types of hemorrhoids are likely to produce blood clots, which may need to be surgically removed.

Being constipated and pushing too hard during a bowel movement can cause hemorrhoids. This means that people should change their diet to contain more fiber during the times they have hemorrhoids to allow for easier elimination. However, hemorrhoids can occur any time there is constant or repeated pressure on the rectal area. Other causes of hemorrhoids include: diarrhea, prolonged sitting, poor posture, lifting heavy objects, being overweight and anal intercourse.

There are various treatments for hemorrhoids. Taking a stool softener can make elimination easier. There are anti-inflammatory ointments available, and people may take ibuprofen to lessen inflammation as well. Some topical solutions help assist with the burning and itching sensation by desensitizing the hemorrhoid. The hemorrhoid may be surgically removed or drained. Sclerotherapy involves injecting the hemorrhoid with chemicals in an effort to make it shrink.

The key to treating hemorrhoids is to do the opposite of what caused them in the first place: exercise, drink adequate water, eat plenty of fiber and try not to stress the rectum.