Hemorrhoids are a debilitating, painful and embarrassing condition for many sufferers. Today I blow away some of the misconceptions and smoke surrounding hemorrhoids and provides you with the facts.
What is a hemorrhoid?
A hemorrhoid is a swelling of the veins in the anus and rectum and can be classified into internal and external hemorrhoids. Internal occur inside the rectum and external under the skin outside the rectum and many people have internal hemorrhoids without knowing it as they tend to be painless because the area in which they can be found lacks pain receptors.
Causes of hemorrhoids
Generally one of the principal causes of hemorrhoids is straining whilst going to the toilet which can be as a result of diarrhoea or constipation. Other causes include sitting for prolonged periods of time, obesity and poor posture. Pregnancy can also be a contributing factor in causing the condition in women because of pressure and straining while giving birth which will lead to intense pressure on the rectal veins.
The best advise in terms of prevention is to keep one’s stools soft by taking plenty of water and eating a good diet of fiber rich food and taking regular exercise such as swimming, cycling or walking and running.
There are many methods by which to cure the condition which span a large area of activity and have various degrees of success.
Surgical attempts to cure hemorrhoids include laser surgery, sclerotherapy, cryosurgery, rubber band ligation and hemorrhoidolysis. More natural methods include a better fiber rich diet, butcher’s broom extract, horse-chestnut extract, various oils and creams, analgesic pills, cold compresses and many others.
Hemorrhoidal creams and suppositories combined with regular bathing and improved toilet habits will also help and if the condition is really bad you may be recommended for a hemorrhoidectomy which is a surgical procedure which involves removal of the offending tissue. The taking of baths in warm water a few times a day will relieve the condition but the best long term solution is the increased consumption of water and an improved diet with plenty of fiber and fruit.
This will help prevent constipation which in turn is a primary factor in developing the condition.
Hemorrhoids are common in both men and women and it is vital to have your doctor check you out if you pass blood on your stools or bleed from the rectum to confirm the situation. The symptoms of hemorrhoids are generally a hard, painful lump or swelling around the rectum but you really need to see your doctor who will carry out an examination with a device such as an anoscope or proctoscope.
The good news is that hemorrhoids, generally, are not life threatening and the condition can resolve itself within a short time provided you do not have a particularly bad hemorrhoidal condition.