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.
- 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:
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:
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.
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