Hemorrhoids are swelling of the veins in and around the anus and lower rectum. They are caused when the veinous walls are stretched due to straining or excess pressure on the surrounding supportive tissue during bowel movements.
Hemorrhoids are seen commonly in both men and women, and most of the population gets them by 50 years of age.
Hemorrhoids are usually painless but may become painful as the condition worsens. The doctor may prescribe over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol and ibuprofen to manage pain.
Tylenol helps relieve pain, whereas ibuprofen may help reduce both pain and swelling in the surrounding area because it is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
- With reduced swelling, pain and discomfort will do gown down to a greater extent.
- However, you must use ibuprofen with caution because it may increase the risk of bleeding from hemorrhoids, which may lead to several other complications.
3 types of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are classified into three types based on their location, which include:
- Internal hemorrhoids:
- They are located deep within the rectum and are not usually seen from the outside.
- These hemorrhoids are usually painless and may cause involuntary painless rectal bleeding, which is the first symptom of internal hemorrhoids.
- Prolapsed hemorrhoids:
- They protrude out through the anus as you strain during bowel movements.
- A prolapsed hemorrhoid may gradually return to the rectum on its own, or sometimes, you may need to push it back inside gently.
- External hemorrhoids:
- They develop under the skin around the anus, which is covered by sensitive skin. Because this area of the body has more sensitive nerves, it is usually more painful and itchy.
- External hemorrhoids may bleed occasionally. They may be obstructed due to blood clot formation, a condition called thrombosed hemorrhoids.
- Internal hemorrhoids may also get thrombosed. Thrombosed external hemorrhoid is a painful condition; the bigger the clot, the more painful it will be.
- A painful anal lump may emerge quickly and worsen over 48 hours. Soreness usually subsides after a few days.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Causes of hemorrhoids may include:
- Sitting for lengthy periods on the toilet seat
- Straining during bowel movements
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Obesity or being overweight
- Anal intercourse
- Lifting heavyweights
- Consumption of low dietary fiber
- Impaired bowel function because of excessive use of laxatives or enemas
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Symptoms of hemorrhoids may include:
- Itching, irritation, inflammation, and swelling of the area surrounding the anus
- Pain and discomfort; the severity of pain may increase with worsening of the condition
- Bleeding of bright red blood from the anus
- Prolapse of internal hemorrhoid due to straining, which may lead to pain and irritation
- Presence of a hard, sensitive lump around the anus
How to diagnose hemorrhoids
Although hemorrhoids may not cause you complications, it is advised to consult a doctor as soon you observe the aforementioned symptoms. The initial stages of rectal cancer may have symptoms of painless rectal bleed, so it is necessary to confirm the exact cause.
The doctor may inspect the anal region for swelling and may perform a rectal examination by inserting their finger in the rectum to feel for lumps.
Examination using a scope
The doctor may insert a small tube with a camera through the anus to inspect the insides thoroughly and see the hemorrhoids if present.
There are several varieties of scopes, which include:
- Anoscope: Used to see the inside the wall of the anus and rectum
- Proctoscope: Helps view the entire rectum and anus
- Sigmoidoscope: Performed to check part of the large intestine
- Colonoscope: Gives the view of the full length of the large intestine
What are the treatment options for hemorrhoids?
Noncomplicated hemorrhoids may show relief with simple home remedies and over-the-counter (OTC) drugs. However, some may require surgical intervention.
- Compression with ice packs may relieve swelling and pain.
- A sitz bath with warm water relieves itching and burning sensation.
- The use of numbing ointments and steroids on the skin may relieve symptoms. However, steroids are not to be overused because they may cause thinning of the skin.
- The use of hydrocortisone suppositories and hazel pads on the skin may reduce the symptoms.
- Use of OTC painkillers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen may reduce pain, discomfort, and swelling.
- Substitute wet towels in the place of dry toilet paper because the dry paper may increase irritation.
You may undergo hemorrhoidectomy—a surgical procedure in which a part or complete hemorrhoid is removed. This surgery is usually done under general anesthesia. It generally doesn’t require any longer hospital stay.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Is Tylenol or Ibuprofen Better for Hemorrhoids Related Articles
Do I Have Hemorrhoids or Rectal Prolapse?Learn more about the major differences between hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse and the kinds of treatment available.
Does Pushing a Hemorrhoid Back in Help?Hemorrhoids are very common and appear when the veins under the lining of the rectum and anus become swollen and bulge. Yes, you can push a hemorrhoid back in.
How to Ease Pain When Going to the Bathroom With HemorrhoidsHemorrhoids are a sort of cushion in the anus that protects your anal skin from stool that passes through. Ease pain when going to the bathroom with hemorrhoids by using over-the-counter medications, avoiding straining, and taking sitz baths.
Hemorrhoids (Internal and External)Hemorrhoids (piles) are swollen veins in the rectum and anus. Causes include pregnancy, obesity, diarrhea, low-fiber diet, and prolonged sitting on the toilet. Treatment varies depending upon the severity of the hemorrhoids. Some treatment options include over-the-counter creams and suppositories, stool softeners, warm sitz baths, and hemorrhoidectomies.
Hemorrhoids QuizDoes everyone have hemorrhoids? Test your knowledge of this and many other facts about Hemorrhoids.
How Long Do Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids Last?Many thrombosed external hemorrhoids may go away within a few weeks. Pain may improve within 7-10 days without surgery and may disappear within 2-3 weeks.
How Should You Sleep With Hemorrhoids?Hemorrhoids happen when pressure causes veins in your rectum and anus to stretch, swell, and bulge. Sleep with hemorrhoids by pushing them back in, taking a sitz bath before bed, using topical creams and using other strategies.
What Are the Side Effects of Ibuprofen?Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Genpril, Midol) is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs. Side effects of NSAIDs include diarrhea, constipation, dizziness, bloating, gas, ringing in the ears, nausea, anxiety, vomiting, fluid retention, swelling and skin peeling and rashes.
What Happens If You Leave a Hemorrhoid Untreated?If you have mild hemorrhoids, leaving them alone can be fine. The swelling and discomfort will usually go away within a few days. Occasionally, though, there may be complications related to hemorrhoids.
What Should You Not Do if You Have Hemorrhoids?Swollen veins located in or around the anal canal are known as hemorrhoids. If you have hemorrhoids avoid foods that are fatty or low in fiber; don't pick at hemorrhoids; avoid lifting heavy objects; avoid stress and anxiety; and avoid overusing laxatives.
Should I See a Gastroenterologist or Proctologist for Hemorrhoids?Hemorrhoids, commonly called piles, are swollen, inflamed veins around the anus or the lower part of the rectum (the terminal part of the large bowel). They may be felt as tiny lumps in and around the anus. Hemorrhoids may often get better on their own within a few days, but some may need medications and even surgery to go away.