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.
Hemorrhoids: Signs Symptoms And Complications
For most people, the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoidsitchiness, swelling, discomfortwill be mild and respond to home remedies. In a minority of cases, however, hemorrhoid signs and symptoms will be severe enough that they require treatment from a physician. Rarely, hemorrhoids that cause significant blood loss or a blood clot can be life-threatening. It’s important to note that one of the chief calling cards of hemorrhoids, blood in or on the stool or on toilet paper, should never be considered normal. While the cause could indeed be hemorrhoids, a more serious condition could be afoot.
Hemorrhoids can come with external and/or internal symptoms, depending on how they form.
Hemorrhoids on the outside of the anus are known as external hemorrhoids. A hard lump might be felt in that area and can often be uncomfortable because it is irritated by bowel movements and by wiping with toilet paper. External hemorrhoids are painful because of the many nerve endings located on the skin around the anus.
If the hemorrhoid becomes inflamed and engorged with blood it may look bluish-purple and be painful, not only during a bowel movement but even when walking or sitting.
The symptoms of external hemorrhoids can include:
- Anal pain
- Tenderness when wiping
The symptoms of internal hemorrhoids can include:
Treatment Of External Hemorrhoids
The best treatment for hemorrhoids is reducing the likelihood of them in the first place. For example, eating a healthy, fiber-rich diet and drinking plenty of liquids. Try to avoid sitting for long periods by taking regular stretch breaks, or incorporate exercise into your routine if it isnt already a normal activity for you. Physical activity reduces pressure on the veins in the rectum and prevents constipation.
Unfortunately, once an external hemorrhoid has formed, it most likely will not go away on its own. However, there is still a wide variety of external hemorrhoid treatment options to alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms or take care of the problem altogether.
You can temporarily relieve hemorrhoid symptoms on your own by using over-the-counter topical creams as well as natural remedies, such as apple cider vinegar and witch hazel. Keep in mind that at-home treatments and positive lifestyle changes may reduce hemorrhoid flare-ups, but the symptoms likely wont completely go away without professional treatment under the supervision of an experienced physician. Seeing a physician is essential for combating the underlying causes of hemorrhoid flare-ups or treating advanced piles, such as grade IV hemorrhoids.
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How Do Foods Influence Hemorrhoids Diet
Diet is believed to have a big impact in causingand preventinghemorrhoids. People who consistently eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to get hemorrhoids, while those people who prefer a diet high in processed foods face a higher hemorrhoid risk.
A low-fiber diet can leave you constipated, which can contribute to hemorrhoids in two way. For one, it promotes straining on the toilet. It also aggravates the hemorrhoids by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins.
When Should I See A Doctor
See a healthcare professional if you start to notice pain and discomfort around your anus, especially when you sit or have a bowel movement.
Seek emergency medical attention if your symptoms worsen suddenly, especially if theyre interfering with your daily activities. Here are symptoms to watch out for:
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Can Natural Home Remedies Treat And Prevent Hemorrhoids
Regardless of the size or swelling of 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. 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 spasms 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 Difference Between An Internal External Or Thrombosed Hemmorhoid
- An internal hemorrhoid is a swollen blood vessel that arises from within the rectum above the pectinate line. It causes no symptoms unless there is bleeding with a bowel movement, or if it prolapses and can be felt externally after if protrudes through the anus.
- An external hemorrhoid arises from blood vessels that surround the anus beyond the pectinate line. They do not cause many problems unless they rapidly expand and clot. Usually this clot resolves spontaneously leaving residual skin.
- A thrombosed external hemorrhoid occurs when the blood clot that forms in an external hemorrhoid does not resolve causing increased swelling and pain within the hemorrhoidal tissue.
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Types Of External Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are classified as either internal or external. While most hemorrhoids fall under one of these two categories, prolapsed or thrombosed hemorrhoids can have qualities of both.
A prolapsed hemorrhoid is an internal hemorrhoid that can protrude out of the anus, appearing to be an external hemorrhoid.
A thrombosed hemorrhoid is an external hemorrhoid that has prolapsed and formed a blood clot. This is the most painful type of hemorrhoid.
Hemorrhoids also fall into four different stages based on size, severity of symptoms, and required treatments.
To discover the most common cause of hemorrhoids be sure to take a look at this post.
Signs Of Internal Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids are the most common type of hemorrhoid. These swellings develop inside the anal canal.
Small hemorrhoids stay inside the anal canal and cannot be seen or felt by the person affected by them. Larger hemorrhoids may fall outside the anus in a process called prolapse, often during a bowel movement or while the buttocks are being wiped. Hemorrhoids which prolapse may go back inside the anal canal on their own or may be pushed back in by the affected person.
Internal hemorrhoids generally cause no pain. Noticeable signs and symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include:
- Bright red blood in feces, on toilet paper after wiping, or in the toilet bowl
- Bodily tissue falling outside the anus, i.e., prolapse
- Mucal or fecal discharge
- A feeling of not having fully evacuated the bowels
Additional signs of a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid include:
- Itching around the anus, i.e.,pruritus ani
- A lump felt outside the anus
An internal hemorrhoid cannot be seen unless it prolapses. A prolapsed internal hemorrhoid has the following characteristics:
- Approximately the size of a grape
- A rubbery texture
- Skin colored or of reddish appearance
- Can usually be pushed inside the anus
- There may be more than one
If an internal hemorrhoid cannot be pushed back into the anus, it may become trapped by the sphincter muscle. This is called a strangulated hemorrhoid and can cause severe pain.
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How Do You Shrink External Hemorrhoids
There are many methods you can employ to shrink external hemorrhoids. To start, you can use topical based treatments, like Preparation H, hemorrhoid wipes with calming, anti-inflammatory ingredients, or natural extracts like coconut oil or aloe vera.
Applying these creams, ointments, or extracts directly to your external hemorrhoids can encourage them to shrink faster.
Sclerotherapy is another option for sufferers with constant flare-ups of external hemorrhoids.
Chronic external hemorrhoids are injected with a chemical compound that is designed to shrink them and help subside future flare-ups.
Your doctor can recommend additional non-operative or surgical treatment options to find which method is best for your hemorrhoid condition.
Can Hemorrhoids Be Prevented Or Avoided
Just about everyone has hemorrhoids at some time. But some things may make you more likely to get them. People whose parents had hemorrhoids may be more likely to get them. Pregnant women often get hemorrhoids because of the strain from carrying the baby and from giving birth. Being very overweight or standing or lifting too much can make hemorrhoids worse.
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How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last If Untreated
Hemorrhoids are normal tissue and only raise concern when they swell, become inflamed, or bleed. Hemorrhoids will recur after nonsurgical treatment about 50% of the time, while the recurrence rate after surgery is only 5%. The goal is to control hemorrhoid inflammation by diet and hydration so that surgery is not required. In this respect, hemorrhoids are a life-long condition, to be controlled and not cured.
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels located in the smooth muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus. They are a normal part of the anatomy and are located at the junction where small arteries merge into veins. They are cushioned by smooth muscles and connective tissue and are classified by where they are located in relationship to the pectinate line, the dividing point between the upper 2/3 and lower 1/3 of the anus. This is an important anatomic distinction because of the type of cells that line hemorrhoids, and the nerves that provide sensation.
- Internal hemorrhoids are located above the pectinate line and are covered with cells that are the same as those that line the rest of the intestines.
- External hemorrhoids arise below the line and are covered with cells that resemble skin.
- Hemorrhoids become an issue only when they begin to swell, causing itching, pain, and/or bleeding.
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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How Do I Know If I Have External Hemorrhoids
Depending on the severity of your external hemorrhoids, symptoms are more obvious than that of internal hemorrhoids.
If you have hemorrhoid itching and burning, or pain around the anus, lumps near the anus, or blood in your stool, these are indications that you may have external hemorrhoids.
Another sign of external hemorrhoids is a feeling of pressure on the bowel. If you suspect you have external hemorrhoids, a hemorrhoid doctor can perform a rectal exam to verify your diagnosis.
If you have internal hemorrhoids, check out our internal hemorrhoids guide for more information.
Types Of Hemorrhoids: Internal And External
Hemorrhoids are either internal or external.
Internal Hemorrhoids These hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum and are not usually visible to the naked eye. Internal hemorrhoids generally don’t hurt, but they often bleed painlessly.
In some cases, internal hemorrhoids may protrude through the anus and can be seen, which is known as becoming prolapsed. When this happens, they will usually shrink back inside the rectum on their own or can be pushed back in.
External Hemorrhoids These hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the outside of the anus. These are the most uncomfortable hemorrhoids and can be itchy or painful, and may feel lumpy. When a blood clot forms within an external hemorrhoid, this is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid, which can result in severe, ongoing pain. Sometimes clots dissolve on their own, but if they dont, your doctor can remove the clot, a procedure thats most effective if done within 72 hours of the clot forming.
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What Type Of Doctor Treats External Hemorrhoids
Your primary care physician can treat smaller, less severe external hemorrhoids. In some cases, they can prescribe a stronger hemorrhoid cream or suppository. If you have a more serious case of hemorrhoids, or your external hemorrhoids are persistent, your doctor may refer you to a specialist called a gastroenterologist. If you require a surgical procedure for your hemorrhoids, you will want to find a colon and rectal surgeon.
External hemorrhoids are the most bothersome type of hemorrhoids. Although they can be painful and uncomfortable, they are treatable and can often be resolved without a surgical procedure.
External Hemorrhoids Guide 101-Continued
Causes And Risk Factors Of Hemorrhoids
You may be more likely to get hemorrhoids if other family members, like your parents, had them.
Pressure building up in your lower rectum can affect blood flow and make the veins there swell. That may happen from:
- Pushing during bowel movements
- Anal sex
People who stand or sit for long stretches of time are at greater risk, too.
You may get them when you have constipation or diarrhea that doesn’t clear up. Coughing, sneezing, and vomiting could make them worse.
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Effective External Hemorrhoid Treatment Options
If at-home treatments arent enough to soothe your recurring symptoms and you are tired of dealing with external hemorrhoids, it might be time to consider a professional treatment option. While usually longer-lasting than other types of treatments, many of these options have their own complications to consider.
Here are three of the most common, but invasive, hemorrhoid treatment options:
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What Should You Know About Hemorrhoids
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels located in the smooth muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus. They are a normal part of the anatomy and are located at the junction where small arteries merge into veins. They are cushioned by smooth muscles and connective tissue and are classified by where they are located in relationship to the pectinate line, the dividing point between the upper 2/3 and lower 1/3 of the anus. This is an important anatomic distinction because of the type of cells that line hemorrhoid, and the nerves that provide sensation.
What are the internal and external hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoids are located above the pectinate line and are covered with cells that are the same as those that line the rest of the intestines. External hemorrhoids arise below the line and are covered with cells that resemble skin.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids become an issue only when they begin to swell, causing itching, pain, and/or bleeding.
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How Do You Diagnose A Thrombosed Hemorrhoid
can be diagnosed through clinical evaluation.
History of sudden intense pain in the anal region.
Detection upon physical examination of a painful lump or swelling of the perianal tissues.
Inspection of the anus will exclude the presence of a prolapsing internal .
A digital rectal exam may be performed to check for blood in the stool, as well as exclude the presence of a mass or .
If the digital exam is inconclusive, the can be examined with the help of an anoscope, which is an illuminated speculum that can be used to visualize the lower .
Finally, if theres clinical evidence of rectal bleeding, a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy may be performed to rule out other causes of bleeding, such as , , or cancer.
Who Is At Risk For External Hemorrhoids
If your parents have had hemorrhoids, you may be more likely to have them as well. Hemorrhoids may also be caused by pregnancy.
As we age, hemorrhoids can occur due to increased pressure caused by sitting a lot. And anything that causes you to strain during bowel movements can lead to external hemorrhoids.
If youre not sure what the cause of your hemorrhoids may be, your doctor might be able to determine why.
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