Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, occur when the veins in the anus and lower rectum swell. These swollen veins are similar to varicose veins and are quite common. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.request an appointment
The symptoms experienced while having a hemorrhoid are largely dependent upon the type, or location, of the hemorrhoid.
Internal hemorrhoids, or those located inside the rectum, typically don’t cause any discomfort and are not visible. However, straining during bowel movements can cause bleeding. In some cases the hemorrhoid can push through the anal opening, also known as a prolapsed or protruding hemorrhoid. In this case, the hemorrhoid may cause irritation and become painful.
External hemorrhoids, or those located under the skin around the anus, are usually accompanied by discomfort or pain, bleeding, irritation or swelling around the anus, and itching around the anal area. If a clot forms in an external hemorrhoid, also known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid, a hard lump may form near your anus and you may experience intense pain, inflammation, and swelling in the area.
Hemorrhoids develop when intense pressure is applied to the lower rectum. This increased pressure can be the result of a variety of causes such as:
- Strained bowel movements
- Heavy lifting
- Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- After anal intercourse
Older individuals and pregnant women are at increased risk for developing hemorrhoids as the tissues which support the anus and rectum stretch during pregnancy and as you age. Though rare, there are a few complications that can accompany hemorrhoids such as anemia, blood clots, and strangulated hemorrhoids.
If you experience bleeding during a bowel movement, it is important to seek a consultation with your doctor. While you may be experiencing a hemorrhoid, rectal bleeding can also be indicative of more serious issues such as colorectal or anal cancer.
Treatment and Prevention
Our recommended treatment for your condition will depend on the type and severity of your hemorrhoid. In some cases home remedies and/or medication will suffice, while others may require surgery or a minimally invasive procedure.
The best prevention for hemorrhoids is to soften the stool so you can better avoid straining while using the restroom. A few steps you can take to help soften stool include:
- Consuming a diet high in fiber
- Taking fiber supplements
- Drinking plenty of water
- Getting plenty of exercise
- Going to the restroom as soon as you have the urge
- Taking breaks from sitting for long periods of time
If you believe you are experiencing a hemorrhoid or for more information about our services, contact us today.