Hemorrhoids can be quite uncomfortable and painful. Also known as piles, It is not a unique disease. In fact, it is estimated that more than 75% of people will get hemorrhoids in their adulthood.
Everyone has a vascular network of tissues and vessels that helps aid in fecal continence by preventing leakage known as hemorrhoids. As a disease, hemorrhoids are swollen veins and tissues located in the wall of your anus caused by too much pressure in the vein. However, when irritated, they become inflamed and swell especially when subjected to extreme pressure. Sometimes, they become very painful particularly when they prolapse or start bleeding.
Typically, hemorrhoids clear up after a couple of days, depending on their severity and your specified treatment plan. A basic natural remedy, some ointment coupled with lifestyle changes could help relieve the various symptoms associated with hemorrhoids. However, as you grow into adulthood, coupled with the numerous risk factors, you are likely to experience recurring or chronic hemorrhoids that may cause you constant pain and discomfort.
There are typically two types of hemorrhoids, but due to their severity, they are split into four classifications.
External Hemorrhoids are a network of veins just underneath the lining of the very edge of the anus. Sometimes, due to strenuous activities, they rupture and a blood clot forms within this network of veins. The most common symptom noticed is the appearance of a painful lump around the anus.
Internal hemorrhoids are commonly found about half an inch within the rectum. They are rarely visible due to their location deep in the anus. They are usually painless but tend to bleed. When extremely swollen, they tend to stick out of your anus causing a situation known as prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Despite the varying types of hemorrhoids, the symptoms are pretty much similar. The primary symptoms of hemorrhoids are lumps in the anus that may become painful or swollen. Sometimes, you might experience painless bleeding during bowel movements. You might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl. Another common symptom is itching and swelling in your anal region.
In trying to get rid of chronic hemorrhoids, it is essential to understand the risk factors involved in causing chronic hemorrhoids. If you constantly engage in excessively strenuous physical activity, you are likely to get chronic hemorrhoids. Prolonged constipation or diarrhea causes hemorrhoids to recur. Constipation results in strained bowel movements that put extreme pressure on the anal region as you pass stool, causing the vascular network to get inflamed and swell.
Always consult your physician before making any medical decisions. Sometimes, doctors prescribe over-the-counter topical ointments to soothe the anal region while in extreme cases, they opt for surgery.
Though hemorrhoids tend to recur, they rarely cause complications. In the worst-case scenario, some hemorrhoid complications may arise. For example, with external hemorrhoids, perianal thrombosis is a common hemorrhoid complication that results in the formation of a blood clot in the inflamed veins. Sometimes skin tags are formed when the excess skin from dissolved blood clots is left behind. With internal hemorrhoids, you can end up getting strangulated hemorrhoid which occurs when the anal muscles restrict blood flow to a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
Prevention is better than cure, especially if you risk the chance of it recurring. To prevent hemorrhoids, here are some steps you can take, to spare yourself from this painful disease.
Hemorrhoids are sometimes triggered by improper bowel movements and associated toilet manners. Going when you have to go matters a whole lot. Go to the toilet when you feel the urge to, do not wait until you are pressed. It is recommended to avoid waiting when you get the urge as well as not sitting on the toilet for too long. When you repeatedly strain your anus or sit on the toilet for a long period of time it stresses, irritates, and might even worsen hemorrhoids which would cause them to recur.
The most practical way to achieve smoother stool and easier bowel movements is by incorporating more fiber and water into your diet. This combo reduces the symptoms and complications associated with hemorrhoids. For example, high-fiber foods reduce constipation which triggers hemorrhoids. Fiber-rich foods promote better digestion and place less strain on the vessels during bowel movements. A fiber-rich diet like nuts, green vegetables (for example broccoli, beets) not only lessens the risk of having hemorrhoids but gives already present ones a chance to heal. Inappropriate dietary choices are also likely to prolong hemorrhoids by irritating the gut and anal passage.
Engaging in physical activities such as lifting heavy equipment puts pressure on the anal muscles. Avoid these activities to reduce the chances of recurring hemorrhoids.
With the exception of pregnancy, hemorrhoids are largely thought to be a lifestyle disease, case in point, obesity. There are several lifestyle choices that trigger the swelling and inflammation of these blood vessels. For example, sitting for long periods of time, being overweight and having a generally sedentary lifestyle are likely to cause hemorrhoids. Lifestyle changes like being active, staying mobile, exercising more often, and avoiding engaging in strenuous activities can prevent hemorrhoids.
Even though hemorrhoids cause great discomfort and are sometimes painful, they are manageable and can heal. It does not have to become a chronic situation. It is important to note the trigger factors, make the necessary changes, and find sweet relief.