Whom Do Hemorrhoids Affect
Although most people think hemorrhoids are abnormal, almost everyone has them. Hemorrhoids help control bowel movements. Hemorrhoids cause problems and can be considered abnormal or a disease only when the hemorrhoidal clumps of vessels enlarge.
Hemorrhoids occur in almost everyone, and an estimated 75% of people will experience enlarged hemorrhoids at some point. However only about 4% will go to a doctor because of hemorrhoid problems. Hemorrhoids that cause problems are found equally in men and women, and their prevalence peaks between 45 and 65 years of age.
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What causes hemorrhoids?Any increase in abdominal pressure may produce hemorrhoids however, some people can get hemorrhoids for no apparent reason. Typically, the problem is associated with chronic constipation or diarrhea, accompanied by straining during bowel movements and prolonged sitting on the toiletall of which interfere with blood flow to and from the rectum and the anus. Under these circumstances, blood starts to pool and enlarge the vessels of the hemorrhoidal plexus. We discuss symptoms and treatments for constipation in depth later in this report.
There are some factors associated with the development of hemorrhoids you cannot control, while others you can.
SymptomsSome people with hemorrhoids never have any symptoms. When symptoms do occur, you may experience one or several of them, and their severity may vary. The most common symptoms include the following:
Severe pain is not a typical symptom, except in the case of a thrombosed external hemorrhoid.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last
How long hemorrhoids last will vary from person to person.
In general, small hemorrhoids can go away on their own in a few days. Larger hemorrhoids, particularly ones that cause a lot of pain, swelling, and itchiness, cant go away on their own and may require treatment from a doctor to heal. Pregnant patients may find that hemorrhoids only go away after they give birth.
Its possible for hemorrhoids to return after theyve been treated. A gastroenterologist can help recommend solutions if you find youre struggling with hemorrhoids that dont go away or keep coming back.
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How Many Types Of Piles Are There
Piles can be divided into either internal or external piles. Some people develop internal and external piles at the same time.
- Internal piles are deeper and initially form above a point 2-3 cm inside the back passage in the upper part of the anal canal or lower rectum .
- External piles start off nearer the surface, below a point 2-3 cm inside the back passage.
Despite the name, external piles arent always seen outside of the opening of the back passage . Equally confusing, internal piles can enlarge and drop down , so that they hang outside of the anus.
Piles are also graded by their size and severity.
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How Do You Treat External Hemorrhoids Diagnosis
External hemorrhoids appear as bumps and/or dark areas surrounding the anus. If the lump is tender, it suggests that the hemorrhoid is thrombosed. Any lump needs to be carefully followed, however, and should not be assumed to be a hemorrhoid since there are rare cancers of the anal area that may masquerade as hemorrhoids.
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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:
Signs Your Hemorrhoids Warrant A Doctors Visit
Your doctor may also check for blood in the stool, examine the muscle tone of your anus, and perform a rectal exam to diagnose internal hemorrhoids. This is done in the doctors office with a gloved, lubricated finger and an anoscope . Your doctor may also recommend additional tests to rule out other causes of bleeding, especially if you are over age 40.
When To Consider External Hemorrhoid Removal
The removal of external hemorrhoids depends mostly on their size and severity. In many cases, over-the-counter and at-home treatments are sufficient enough to reduce the swelling and provide relief from external hemorrhoids. These methods include:
- Sitz baths
- Over-the-counter creams, ointments, and wipes
- Bowel habit improvement
- Prescription creams, ointments, and suppositories
In some cases, more aggressive medical treatment is required. Patients who do not respond to over-the-counter, or even prescription, treatments may need to seek the assistance of their medical provider.
There are several minimally invasive procedures that can be performed in a doctorsâ office without anesthesia. These include the rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, and infrared coagulation.
For severe cases, your medical provider may need to perform an external hemorrhoidectomy. This is performed in a hospital under anesthesia. Your doctor will make an incision in the hemorrhoid, draining it. Your hemorrhoid will then be stitched, and you will be sent home the same day for recovery.
What To Think About
The success of hemorrhoidectomy depends a lot on your ability to make changes in your daily bowel habits to make passing stools easier. Hemorrhoidectomy may provide better long-term results than procedures that cut off blood flow to hemorrhoids . But surgery has a greater risk of complications and usually is more painful.
Most internal hemorrhoids improve with either home treatment or fixative procedures. When compared with surgery, fixative procedures involve less risk, are less painful, and require less time away from work and other activities.
Surgery is not recommended for small internal hemorrhoids .
Lasers are often advertised as being a less painful, faster-healing method of removing hemorrhoids. But none of these claims have been proved. The procedure takes longer, and it may cause deep tissue injury.
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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 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?
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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.
What Is Cluster Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are pillow-like clusters of veins in the smooth muscle walls of the anus and/or lower rectum. They are also commonly known as piles. While everyone has hemorrhoids, about 1 in 4 experience swelling and distension of these veins, causing symptoms that require management. Hemorrhoids are classified as
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How Do You Know If You Have Internal Or External Hemorrhoids
If you have an internal hemorrhoid, you may have no noticeable symptoms. In some cases, there may be some bleeding. If you have bleeding, it will likely show up as bright red blood on a tissue when you wipe following a bowel movement. External hemorrhoids, even if they havent prolapsed, may feel uncomfortable and itchy.
What Do External Hemorrhoids Look Like
External hemorrhoids are much easier to self-diagnose because they can be seen and felt, while internal hemorrhoids tend to be less obvious.
External hemorrhoids can be described as any of the following:
- Soft lumps that appear in bunches around the anus.
- A hard, red lump protruding from the outside of the anal area.
- Mucus-covered bumps.
- Bumps that secrete blood when wiped with toilet paper.
Many symptoms of external hemorrhoids, such as pain, can also be caused by other conditions. Therefore, it is important to see a health care practitioner for a formal diagnosis.
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Symptoms Of Internal Hemorrhoids
Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids vary depending on their severity. Even as hemorrhoids worsen, you arent likely to experience pain due to the lack of nerve endings in the lower rectal area. Pain associated with hemorrhoids is typically caused by an associated condition, such as anal fissures or external hemorrhoids.
If you cant feel internal hemorrhoids, then how do you know theyre there?
In most cases, its because you begin to notice bleeding. You may see blood in your stool or notice it on the toilet paper when you wipe. Because this blood has a short path to travel outside the body, it should be bright red. You may not notice it right away if the bleeding is light.
While bleeding is the most common indicator of internal hemorrhoids, you may experience other symptoms if a hemorrhoid prolapses. This typically happens during a bowel movement, and in many cases, the tissue will go back in on its own. In other cases, you may have to push the tissue back in. In the case of Grade IV hemorrhoids, the tissue will remain prolapsed.
Its important to note that bleeding is also a common symptom of colorectal cancer, as well as internal hemorrhoids. Thats why we recommend you see a physician right away if you are experiencing any rectal bleeding, especially if it is accompanied by other suspect symptoms.
Only a qualified physician can accurately diagnose internal hemorrhoids.
What Gets Rid Of External Hemorrhoids
Sometimes, getting rid of external hemorrhoids is as simple as increasing your water intake and adding fiber to your diet.
If you experience constipation, a stool softener can help rid the occurrence of external hemorrhoids.
Other things you can do to get rid of them is limit the amount of time you sit on the toilet and refrained from holding in bowel movements.
Practice good hygiene and be sure to keep the area around your anus clean.
If you are prone to get external hemorrhoids, try using moist hemorrhoid wipes to clean your anus after you pass a bowel movement.
Using a sitz bath or sitting in a warm tub can help alleviate irritation from external hemorrhoids.
You may also use over-the-counter medications to ease discomfort and reduce swelling.
If you are prone to external hemorrhoids and they become increasingly painful or uncomfortable, or you notice continuous bleeding, you may want to talk to a doctor about more advanced treatment options.
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Why Do Hemorrhoids Occur
Sometimes hemorrhoids develop for no reason, but often they are associated with chronic constipation or diarrhea, straining during bowel movements, and prolonged sitting on the toilet. You can reduce your risk by following these three easy steps:
- Get enough fiber in your diet
- Stay well hydrated
- Exercise regularly .
How To Get Rid Of External Hemorrhoids Fast
This article was medically reviewed by Sarah Gehrke, RN, MS. Sarah Gehrke is a Registered Nurse and Licensed Massage Therapist in Texas. Sarah has over 10 years of experience teaching and practicing phlebotomy and intravenous therapy using physical, psychological, and emotional support. She received her Massage Therapist License from the Amarillo Massage Therapy Institute in 2008 and a M.S. in Nursing from the University of Phoenix in 2013.There are 19 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 200,993 times.
Hemorrhoids can happen to anyone at any age. These uncomfortable enlarged veins can be found inside or externally around the anus. Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure on your pelvic and rectal veins, usually linked to constipation, diarrhea, or straining to pass a stool. In some cases, hemorrhoids can be caused by obesity, lifting heavy objects, or from the strain of pregnancy which applies pressure to the veins of the lower abdomen. Fortunately, external hemorrhoids can usually be taken care of without seeing a doctor. There are several things you can do to help relieve the pain, discomfort, and itching of hemorrhoids.
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Will Preparation H Get Rid Of External Hemorrhoids
Preparation H is not a product that will get rid of hemorrhoids, but it will reduce the occurrence of symptoms and provide relief while hemorrhoids resolve.
The benefits of preparation H on external hemorrhoids can include:
- Numbing pain, itch, and discomfort
- Create a protective barrier to prevent irritation
- Promote the healing of skin around the anus
- Provide temporary relief from the symptoms of external hemorrhoids
There are several types of Preparation H products:
- Avoiding sitting for long periods of time
- Eating a healthy, balanced diet
When Hemorrhoid Surgery May Be Necessary
Very few people fewer than 10 percent of all adults who see a doctor because of symptomatic hemorrhoids will require a surgical operation.
Surgery to remove hemorrhoids is called a hemorrhoidectomy.
Your doctor may recommend a hemorrhoidectomy if:
- You have large external hemorrhoids
- You have both internal and external hemorrhoids
- An internal hemorrhoid has prolapsed
In a hemorrhoidectomy, the doctor makes a small incision to remove the hemorrhoid and surrounding tissue before closing the wound with stitches.
A hemorrhoidectomy is performed in an operating room and can be done under general anesthesia, in which you are unconscious and unable to feel pain.
It can also be done with a spinal anesthetic block while you are awake , or with a combination of relaxing and sedating drugs given intravenously and a local anesthetic injected around the anus.
Hemorrhoidectomy is associated with postoperative pain, but the procedure is successful for 95 percent of cases.
More recently, another option aimed at avoiding the postoperative pain of a hemorrhoidectomy has become available, called a stapled hemorrhoidopexy. A circular stapling device pulls the hemorrhoidal tissue upward and to its normal position, stapling it in place. The staples eventually fall out over time.
There are many options for the treatment of hemorrhoids. Its best to discuss the benefits and risks of each of these with your doctor in order to come up with the treatment plan that is best for your particular case.
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Prevention Tips & How To Find Relief
There are many different treatment options for patients looking for at-home solutions. Smaller hemorrhoids can be successfully treated at home through a combination of dietary changes and OTC medicines.
- Get more fiber in your diet. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help ease digestion. If you have trouble changing your diet, talk to your doctor and ask if a fiber supplement may work for you. Drinking more water can also help.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers and hemorrhoid creams. Oral pain relievers containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce discomfort. Topical creams can also relieve pain and itching.
- Soak in a sitz bath. A sitz bath involves sitting in a warm, shallow bath for 10 to 15 minutes to promote blood flow and keep the perianal area clean. Some manufacturers make sitz bath apparatuses that can be attached directly to a toilet seat, but you can also use a regular bathtub.
- Sit on a donut cushion. Donut-shaped cushions can help reduce the pressure on your tailbone when sitting. Cushions like these can help alleviate anal pain and discomfort, especially for patients who spend most of their day sitting at work.
- Limit your time on the toilet. Sitting on the toilet for too long can increase pressure in the veins in your anus and rectum, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Dont stay on the toilet for longer than you need toit may help to keep your phone out of the bathroom and remove any magazines or books that you keep nearby.