In every human body, there are venous cushions in the rectum and anus known as hemorrhoids. They have a rich supply of blood vessels which make them sensitive areas for developing engorgement. When the blood vessels swell with blood, they result in a condition that goes by the same name, hemorrhoids or otherwise called piles. They are found in the lower region of the rectum and in the skin around the anus. Sometimes, they bulge out of the anus and these are known as prolapsed hemorrhoids.
What are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
As aforementioned, hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anus and rectum. There are two main types of hemorrhoids; internal and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are the ones found in the rectum and the external ones are found in the anus.
While it’s easy to detect external hemorrhoids, detecting internal hemorrhoids is not. This is because external hemorrhoids are within reach and have obvious symptoms. The symptoms that commonly characterize external hemorrhoids include:
- Itchiness or irritation around the anus
- Feeling hard lumps in the anal area as you wipe
- Discomfort and pain as you pass stool or sit
Internal hemorrhoids are found inside the rectum where you can’t reach so you might have them and never find out. One of the symptoms that may let you know you have internal hemorrhoids is rectal bleeding. You will notice blood on the tissue after wiping or in the toilet after passing the stool. This may happen when hard stool grazes the surface of a hemorrhoid.
The other way internal hemorrhoids make themselves known is by protruding out of the anus. When you push too hard while passing stool, it could push an internal hemorrhoid out of the anus. This is known as internal prolapsed hemorrhoid. Other times, external hemorrhoids could also be pushed out of the anus for the same reason an internal one is. This is referred to as an external prolapsed hemorrhoid.
Why Do Hemorrhoids Occur?
Hemorrhoids develop as a result of immense pressure being placed on the blood vessels of the rectum and anus until they distend with blood. This may occur because of reasons such as chronic constipation and diarrhea, obesity, pregnancy, childbirth, heavy-lifting, sitting for too long, and weakening of anorectal tissues as you age.
What are the Symptoms of Prolapsed Hemorrhoids?
One of the most prominent symptoms of external prolapsed hemorrhoids is having one or more lumps around your anus. You can feel these as you wipe after moving your bowels. They will sometimes feel tender to the touch or may be painless.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids may cause a lot of itchiness and pain in the anal area. You typically feel this pain and irritation while sitting down and it reduces when you lie down or stand. They can get especially painful if a blood clot forms in them (thrombosed hemorrhoids).
Bleeding may sometimes occur from prolapsed hemorrhoids because they are subjected to a lot of pressure from either sitting or moving bowels. The blood is usually bright red in color and you may notice it in tissue after wiping, on your underwear after passing stool, or in the toilet.
Large prolapsed hemorrhoids cause a lot of discomfort when sitting or passing stool. They also make you feel like you haven’t completely emptied your bowels even if you have.
Why Do Prolapsed Hemorrhoids Occur?
Doctors don’t know the exact cause of prolapsed hemorrhoids but one common speculation is that it happens when the cushions that hold hemorrhoid tissues together weaken. This can happen because of the same reasons that cause hemorrhoids to develop:
Straining During Bowel Movements
Chronic constipation makes you strain while passing stool. This puts a lot of pressure on the hemorrhoids in your anus and rectum so they may be pushed out of the anus.
Chronic diarrhea also puts significant pressure on the blood vessels in the rectum and anus because stool passes more frequently. Therefore, the existing hemorrhoids may be pushed out because of this.
Pregnancy and Childbirth
One of the most common problems during pregnancy is hemorrhoids. One survey found that 85% of pregnant women reported having hemorrhoids in their second and third trimesters. Hemorrhoids develop because the fetus rests on one of the major veins that supply blood to the lower parts of the body, hindering the proper flow of blood. This is also why the legs of pregnant women often swell.
Hemorrhoids, on the other hand, are common after childbirth because of the great pressure that is put on not only the birth canal but also the rectum and anus while pushing the baby out.
When these hemorrhoids are not treated, they may end up prolapsing because of the additional pressure that will continue to be put on them.
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When you’re overweight or obese, excessive body weight puts a lot of strain on the blood vessels on the lower part of the body, including the rectum and anus. If you maintain this weight even after hemorrhoids develop, the pressure weakens the tissues of the anus and rectum so hemorrhoids may prolapse.
The intrusion of the Anal Area
When the anal area is intruded such as in anal sex or in medical treatment, undue pressure is placed on the hemorrhoids and they may prolapse.
Advancement in age causes the deterioration of most if not all organs and tissues in the body. The tissues in the anus and rectum are also affected and so hemorrhoids may not only develop but may also become prolapsed.
Cigarette smoking destroys blood vessels in the body and the ones in the anus and rectum are not spared. This makes you more vulnerable to getting hemorrhoids and for those hemorrhoids to prolapsed eventually.
Other reasons hemorrhoids may be prolapsed include eating foods low in fiber and high-fat content, using anti-diarrhea medicine too often, inactivity, and dehydration.
Do Prolapsed Hemorrhoids Go Away?
In some cases, prolapsed hemorrhoids can retract back inside the rectum or anus on their own. Other times, they will need to be pushed back inside using a finger. In yet other cases, the prolapsed hemorrhoids don’t stay inside even after being pushed in.
In situations where retraction even with help is impossible, a surgical procedure known as stapling will help. In the procedure, a surgical stapling device is used to staple the prolapsed hemorrhoid back inside the anus or rectum. It also serves as a way to get rid of it because it cuts off its blood supply so it shrinks or dies.
Prolapsed Hemorrhoid Treatment
Leaving hemorrhoids untreated is what eventually leads to prolapsed hemorrhoids. Therefore, it’s important to treat them so that you don’t have to go through the trouble of dealing with prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can be treated using natural remedies or medical procedures. Here are a few natural remedies you can try at home:
Pharmacies have anti-hemorrhoid products that are ointments, repositories, creams, liquids, wipes, or gels. They are made with anti-inflammatory ingredients like witch hazel to relieve the symptoms.
This is a home remedy made up of a shallow basin that is filled with warm water and fitted over the toilet. After bowel movements, sit in it for 10-15 minutes. The warm water improves blood circulation in the anus so the swelling goes down and it also soothes the pain and irritation.
You can add Epsom salts or essential oils in the bath to improve the analgesic and antimicrobial effects.
Extract aloe vera from a freshly-cut leaf and apply it directly to the hemorrhoids. It has anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antibacterial effects so it will soothe the hemorrhoids and speed up their healing.
Or purchase it from the online store:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic ingredient. It will soothe the pain, irritation, and discomfort of hemorrhoids. However, it may burn the skin if you apply it directly. Dilute it in water before applying it to the hemorrhoids.
Amoils Hemorrhoids Formula
The H-Hemorrhoids Formula is a natural and effective solution to the symptoms of hemorrhoids. It works on all types of hemorrhoids by reducing swelling, giving you relief from pain, and stopping minor bleeding. It’s made with 100% natural homeopathic ingredients including essential oils.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water softens stool when it mixes with soluble fiber to form a gel-like layer on it. This makes it easier to pass it down the gut and out of the anus. Therefore, make sure you drink at least 6 glasses of water daily.
Eat More Fiber
Insoluble and soluble fibers add bulk to stool and soften it so that it has a smoother journey down the digestive tract. The American Heart Association recommends that adults eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber daily. You can also add to your fiber intake by including fiber supplements such as psyllium husk.
Exercising will improve your digestion and speed up the passage of stool down your gut so that it doesn’t have time to harden. It will also help you lose weight so that it takes pressure off the veins in the rectum and anus.
Avoid exercises like cycling and heavy-lifting that will make your hemorrhoids worse.
Go to the Bathroom Immediately
When you get the urge to pass stool, don’t ignore it. The stool will harden and later when you pass it, it becomes difficult.
Elevate Your Feet
Put a stool under your feet when you sit on the toilet. This changes the position of the rectum so stool has an easier passage down.
You can make a lubricant for your stool so that it can come out of the digestive tract easily. Mix a tablespoon of mineral oil with yogurt or applesauce and eat it once a day during mealtime. There might be some oil leakage as a result so put a liner in your undergarments.
The medical procedures that can be performed on hemorrhoids include:
Rubber Band Ligation
This is an in-office treatment where the doctor ties off your hemorrhoid(s) with a rubber band to starve the blood supply. This eventually kills it and it falls off.
This is also an in-office treatment where a chemical is injected into the hemorrhoid. The chemical shrinks the hemorrhoid.
Here, intense infrared light or heat is directed towards the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply and kill it.
Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze a hemorrhoid so that it cuts off its blood supply to kill it and make it fall off.
This is a surgical procedure that involves incising off a hemorrhoid using a scalpel or surgical blade. You’ll need to put on either local or general anesthesia because it’s a painful process but very effective.
Hemorrhoids are no joke. They can make your life a living nightmare because of the pain, discomfort, and irritation. Prolapsed hemorrhoids are an added insult to injury because they make the problem even more unbearable. As soon as you find out from your doctor that you have hemorrhoids, act quickly and treat them before you have to deal with prolapsed hemorrhoids. Even better, improve your diet and toilet habits so that you don’t suffer from hemorrhoids at all or have them recur.