Anatomy : The Key Lies In The Muscles
In order to prevent the untimely, accidental discharge of feces, liquid or gas out the anus, our bodies have special muscles called the levator muscles. The levator muscles work in concert with our anal sphincters to give us our full control of our bowels under normal circumstances. The levators elevate the abdominal contents out of the pelvic cavity think elevator and also contract around the rectum to hold in the contents and aid in peristalsis. Peristalsis is the pulsing of these muscles to help to push the content of the colon and rectum forward.
The each of the group of levator muscles has an origin and an insertion . These attachments are the key to the strong muscle contractions necessary for peristalsis. Each end of each levator muscle is attached to a stationary bone.
The levators begin in the front of the pelvic cavity and end in the back of the pelvis. One of the points of termination for some of these muscles is the coccyx, or tailbone.
Because of this connection and the strength of the levator muscles, the tailbone flexes slightly with each muscle contraction. This connection and movement explains why an issue that seems to only affect the anus can cause tailbone pain.
What Are Hemorrhoids Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Hemorrhoids are enlarged and swollen veins around the outside of the anus or in the lower rectum. The rectum is the last part of the bowel and leads to the anus, the opening at the end of the bowel where fecal matter leaves the body.
Everyone has hemorrhoidal tissue in this area thats made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, and some muscle. These cushions dont always become enlarged or distended, but as we age, this phenomenon becomes more common causing what we call hemorrhoids, also known as piles.
Hemorrhoids can be caused in a number of ways, most commonly by straining to make a bowel movement. Lifting heavy objects, along with other activities that may cause straining, can also lead to hemorrhoids. Experiencing increased pressure during pregnancy and being overweight are other contributing factors.
Hemorrhoids may be painful and particularly bothersome if they are recurrent, but they’re not dangerous or life-threatening, and symptoms usually go away within a few days. There are plenty of effective ways to treat them, as well as options for the less common types of hemorrhoids that may be more problematic.
What Are Hemorrhoids Exactly
Hemorrhoids, a.k.a. piles, are swollen, inflamed veins around the anus or lower rectum, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. And you’re not weird if you ’em. Not at all.
Hemorrhoids are normal anatomy, like having hands, says Jeffery Nelson, M.D., a colorectal surgeon and surgical director of The Center for Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Everyone has hemorrhoidal tissue.
There are two types: Internal hemorrhoids form in the lining of the anus and lower rectum, while external hemorrhoids form under the skin around the anus, per the NIDDK.
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How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are common as you get older. These steps can help prevent hard stools and constipation that can lead to hemorrhoids:
- Dont sit too long or push too hard on the toilet.
- Go the toilet when the urge hits dont delay bowel movements.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Eat more high-fiber foods or take supplements. Generally, women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should get 35 grams of fiber.
- Stay physically active. Being on the move keeps bowels moving.
- Take laxatives or use enemas only as recommended by your healthcare provider. Too many laxatives or enemas can make it hard for your body to regulate how you poop.
Can Internal Hemorrhoids Cause Abdominal Pain
Internal hemorrhoids often display no symptoms at all. The only symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bleeding after a bowel movement.
If you are experiencing abdominal pain, there is likely an underlying health condition causing this symptom.
Talk to a doctor for proper diagnosis of abdominal pain.
Check out this hemorrhoid bleeding guide for all the details on hemorrhoid bleeding.
Hemorrhoids burst and bleed and can be quite messy and painful.
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Signs Of Thrombosed Hemorrhoids
A thrombosed hemorrhoid is a hemorrhoid that has developed a blood clot inside. This can happen to both external and internal hemorrhoids. Signs and symptoms of a thrombosed hemorrhoid include:]
- Sudden onset of pain
- Constant pain following sudden onset of pain
Thrombosed hemorrhoids have the following characteristics:
- Blue or purple in color
- A lump or bulge
A thrombosed hemorrhoid will often hurt, but are not generally dangerous.
Bad Smell Around The Anus
Hemorrhoids can cause feces and mucus to leak out of the anus, which may lead to a foul smell. There may also be other causes for this though, among them:
Anal fistula or anal abscess
An anal fistula can result in a bad smelling discharge from the anus. Another symptom of anal fistula is a mild, intermittent pain around the anus. A constant, throbbing pain that is even more pronounced when sitting down, having a bowel movement or when coughing can be the result of an anal abscess that often precedes an anal fistula.
Proctitis and anusitis
Proctitis and anusitis are conditions where the rectum and anus become inflamed. These conditions can cause bad-smelling discharge. Someone with these conditions will also likely experience a frequent urge to have a bowel movement, pain and a feeling a fullness in the rectum.
Fecal incontinence and anal cancer
A bad smell could be caused by fecal incontinence, which can be a sign of anal cancer. Seek prompt medical attention in all cases where anal cancer is suspected.
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Can Natural Home Remedies Treat And Prevent Hemorrhoids
Regardless of the size or swelling of a hemorrhoid, no treatment is required if symptoms do not exist. Prevention is perhaps the most effective treatment. Diet and adequate hydration are very important to maintain normal bowel movements. Hemorrhoid symptoms can occur with the passage of hard stool and constipation, as well as diarrhea and frequent bowel movements. People with constipation may require a high-fiber diet, adequate hydration, and stool softeners. Those with too frequent bowel movements may require antidiarrheal medications and diet adjustments. These preventive measures decrease the amount of straining that is required to have a bowel movement, thus decreasing the pressure within the blood vessels to prevent swelling. The internal hemorrhoid always stays protruded or prolapsed and is at risk for thrombosis or strangulation should the anal muscles go into spasm.
Grade 1 hemorrhoids are treated symptomatically. There can be some spasm of the anal muscles. Warm sitz baths, sitting in a warm tub for 20 minutes, two or three times a day may be helpful. Avoiding spicy food may also prevent anal itching. Over-the-counter medications may be helpful.
What Is The Makeup Of The Lower Back
To comprehend numerous causes of lower back pain, it is essential to value the regular style of the cells of this location of the body. Important structures of the lower back that can be related to signs in this area include the bony lumbar back , discs in between the vertebrae, ligaments around the spinal column and discs, spine and nerves, muscles of the lower back, inner organs of the pelvis as well as abdominal area, and the skin covering the back area. Do Hemorrhoids Cause Lower Back Pain
The bony lumbar back is created to make sure that vertebrae stacked with each other can give a movable support structure while also securing the spinal cord from injury. The spinal cord is made up of worried cells that prolongs down the spine from the mind.
Each vertebra has a spinous process, a bony prestige behind the spinal cord, which guards the cables worried cells from influence trauma. Backbone also have a strong bony body before the spinal cord to supply a platform suitable for weight bearing of all tissues over the butts. The back vertebrae stack right away atop the sacrum bone that is positioned in between the buttocks.On each side, the sacrum satisfies the iliac bone of the pelvis to create the sacroiliac joints of the butts.
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How To Treat Hemorrhoids And When You Should See Your Doctor
Hemorrhoids are an irritating, often painful condition that occurs when the veins around the anus or lower part of the rectum become swollen and inflamed as a result of too much pressure. External hemorrhoids develop underneath the skin around the anus, while internal hemorrhoids develop in the lining of the tissues.
Hemorrhoids affect about 1 in 20 Americans, and about half of adults over age 50 have them. Age is one factor as we get older, the supporting tissues in the rectum and anus become weaker and more vulnerable to pressure.
Pregnancy also can weaken these tissues, which is why pregnant women often experience hemorrhoids. Other potential causes include chronic constipation or diarrhea, straining during bowel movements and sitting on the toilet for extended periods. Also, frequently lifting heavy objects may increase the likelihood of hemorrhoids.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoid symptoms vary depending on whether the inflamed veins are external or internal.
External hemorrhoids may cause itching and pain, especially while seated. Also, you may feel one or more tender lumps around the anal area. Scratching, rubbing or excessively cleaning the area can make symptoms worse.
With internal hemorrhoids, you may notice bright red blood when you have a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids are not usually painful unless they fall through the anal opening, called prolapsing.
How are hemorrhoids treated at home?
When to see the doctor
Signs Of Hemorrhoids Faqs
Q: Do I have hemorrhoids or cancer?A: Hemorrhoids, anal cancer and colorectal cancer can cause bleeding, with bright red blood. Other signs of colorectal cancer include:
- Dark red blood in feces
- Changes in bowel habits, such as having diarrhea or being constipated
- A feeling of needing a bowel movement that does not go away after having one
- Unexplained weight loss
- Tiredness or feeling weaker than normal
- Pain from gas, bloating, cramps or a feeling of being full
Other signs of anal cancer include:
- Pain around the anus
- Itching around the anus, i.e., pruritus ani
- A lump near the anus
- Mucus discharge
- Changes in bowel habits, such as having diarrhea
If a person suspects they may have cancer, they should see a medical professional immediately.
Q: Are hemorrhoids supposed to bleed?A: It is normal for hemorrhoids to bleed with bright red blood. Bleeding from hemorrhoids will most often not be painful and is usually not dangerous. It is rare for someone to bleed excessively. However, bleeding from the rectum and anus can be a sign of colorectal or anal cancer and should be examined by a doctor, especially in cases where a person is not aware of a pre-existing problem, such as hemorrhoids.
Q: How can you avoid making your hemorrhoids flare up or getting worse?A.: Some of the following steps can make the symptoms of hemorrhoids less likely to persist:
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When To Call The Doctor
If you notice recurrent bleeding between bowel movements or have a moderate amount of bleeding, you should consult with your doctor.
If you have a family history of colon cancer or are over age 40 you should see your doctor for evaluation of the recurrent rectal bleeding.
If you have prolapsed hemorrhoids that will not go back into the anus, or you have significant anal or rectal pain, you should consult your doctor.
There are numerous other medical causes of rectal bleeding that are much more serious than hemorrhoids. These will require a doctor to further evaluate he cause so that serious conditions such as colon cancer and colitis are not overlooked
Can Hemorrhoid Pain Radiate
In rare cases, hemorrhoids can create pressure on nerves and cause pain elsewhere.
Except in rare cases, radiating pain is not generally linked to hemorrhoids.
Anal fissures, which are tears in the lining of the anal canal, are more likely to cause radiating pain.
While many cases of external or thrombosed hemorrhoids are accompanied by pain, there are many ways to control the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
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What Medications And Other Products Treat Hemorrhoids
Medications are used to control symptoms by softening the stool, decreasing the inflammation of the hemorrhoids, and treating the pain. Stool softeners work by increasing the water and fat content within the stool allowing it to be passed more easily. Docusate sodium is the most often recommended drug in this class .
Inflammation can be controlled with over-the-counter creams or suppositories. Some brand ingredients include low dose topical anesthetics to help with symptoms. Others contain astringents that help shrink the swollen tissues. Both may contain low dose steroids to decrease inflammation. People with diabetes should check with their pharmacist or health care professional before using OTC hemorrhoid treatments. If the medication contains a vasoconstrictor it may elevate blood sugar levels if absorbed in large amounts. Prescription-strength lidocaine or hydrocortisone may be offered by the health care professional.
Grade 2 and 3 hemorrhoids are initially treated the same way, using techniques to destroy hemorrhoids. These include injecting the hemorrhoid vein to make it sclerose or harden, using rubber bands to choke off the blood supply and make the hemorrhoidal tissue shrivel, or other procedures that cause the mucosa to shrivel and die.
Inflammatory Or Infectious Causes
Rectal pain may be the result of inflammation or infections, such as the following.
- Autoimmune disease: People with autoimmune diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract, such as Crohn Disease or ulcerative colitis, can experience painful inflammatory episodes that cause rectal pain. Rectal ulcer syndrome is another cause of rectal inflammation that may be due to the immune system targeting the rectal tissue.
- Infection: A number of different viral, bacterial, and parasitic infections can lead to rectal pain. You are most susceptible if you engage in anal sex, travel to places where parasitic infections are endemic, or if you have any cuts in the anal or rectal area.
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How Long Do Hemorrhoids Take To Heal
Sometimes small hemorrhoids can disappear within a few days on their own, but for many people, hemorrhoids remain for a long time, especially if the patient is more than 50 years old.But if treatment is received from the beginning of the discovery of the disease, the patient may recover from it within months.Do not be surprised if you recover from the disease and come back to you after a short period, because this is a common thing.
Is Hemorrhoid Banding Painful
The procedure of rubber band ligation, also known as banding, is painful.
Your doctor will work with you to keep pain to a minimum.
For severe pain during the procedure, your doctor can inject a medication to numb the area .
Pain is likely to last 24 to 48 hours after the procedure.
Take a look at our guide on laser hemorrhoid surgery for a different option.
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Related Conditions And Causes Of Hemorrhoids
Gastrointestinal problems such as constipation and diarrhea can lead to or worsen hemorrhoids. The prolonged sitting or straining that may occur when you’re dealing with these issues puts pressure on the hemorrhoidal tissue.
Hemorrhoids also often develop during pregnancy. This is similarly due to greater pressure in the area but can also be due to an increase in blood volume and as a result of hormonal changes that increase the likelihood of swelling. Constipation during pregnancy is a common cause of hemorrhoids.
Easy Ways To Prevent Hemorrhoids
There are a number of easy, healthy ways to incorporate more fiber into your diet. Fiber-filled foods include fruits such as berries, avocados, and pears . Broccoli, artichokes, and Brussels sprouts are among the vegetables that can up your fiber intake. Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, are also an important source. Legumes, including lentils, various beans, and green peas, are a great way to get fiber. Nuts and seeds make for a great fiber-filled snack, too.
If you’re having trouble getting enough fiber in your regular diet, consider a fiber supplement.
If you experience chronic constipation and suspect that may be contributing to your hemorrhoids, avoid eating too many foods that contain little or no fiber, such as cheese and fast and processed foods.
Drink plenty of water and other fluids. Recommendations for daily water intake vary and depend on the individual, but the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has set adequate intake levels at 2.7 liters for men and approximately 3.7 liters for women. This can come from beverages and food, but caffeinated beverages and alcohol can be dehydrating and should not be counted in reaching this intake goal.
Exercise regularly. Exercise, especially 20 to 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a day, can help keep bowel movements regular. And regular exercise may help you lose weight, which may be contributing to the formation of hemorrhoids.
Other tips for preventing hemorrhoids include:
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What Can I Use For Hemorrhoid Pain
Topical treatments such as hemorrhoid cream or suppositories can be used to reduce the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
Our OTC hemorrhoid medicine guide can help you pick out the right OTC treatment for you.
We put together a list of the best hemorrhoid products of 2018.
Some over-the-counter options include pads that contain numbing agents to temporarily reduce the feeling of pain.
Applying ice packs or cold compresses can also help with pain and possibly even reduce and eliminate strangulated prolapsed hemorrhoids .
For more severe pain, you can use over-the-counter acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen products.
If these options do not relieve your pain, contact your doctor.
Check out our hemorrhoid cream reviews guide for more information on creams that can help.