What Are Hemorrhoids?
Normally, there are some veins located at the junction of the rectum and the anus, that along with the sphincter, these veins and their surrounding tissue are responsible for complete closure of the anus and prevents any leakage. Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, is a very common condition and happens after these veins gets swollen, similar to varicose veins, as a result of the bowel movements or due to the increase of abdominal pressure during pregnancy. Everyone has these veins, and problems only arise when they become larger than they should.
Hemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).
- Grade I: Slightly enlarged hemorrhoidal tissue.
- Grade II: Enlarged hemorrhoidal veins which protrude with pressing but retract again themselves.
- Grade III: Much larger hemorrhoidal veins which require manual repositioning in the anal canal.
- Grade IV: Extremely large hemorrhoidal veins and tissue with permanent protrusion.
Hemorrhoids Common Causes
The stretching in the lower rectum due to an increase in the abdominal pressure is the main cause for hemorrhoids. Other risk factors include:
- Straining during bowel movements or very hard stool
- Weakening of the tissue in old age
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- An unhealthy lifestyle (lack of exercise, bad eating habits, alcohol, etc.).
- Low fiber diet
Hemorrhoids can often be quite painless and may even go virtually unnoticed by the person affected. In some other cases the following symptoms might be presented:
- Bleeding during bowel movements. Usually in the form of bright red blood on the toilet paper.
- Swelling protruding from the anus. In some cases, the hemorrhoids might feel like small lumps in the anus and project from the back passage only after straining on the toilet; in severe cases, the swellings will be constantly visible.
- Pain and discomfort in your anal area.
- Skin irritation and intense itching.
Hemorrhoids symptoms usually depend on the location of the affected veins in the anal canal.
- Internal hemorrhoids, which lie inside the anus and usually are invisible and cause no pain or discomfort. These types of hemorrhoids can get irritated after passing stool and produce the damage of the veins’ surface.
- External hemorrhoids. There are located just under the skin around your anus and gets easily irritated and cause pain or bleeding.
- Thrombosed hemorrhoids. Here, a clot (thrombus) is formed after the blood is pooled in an external hemorrhoid. This type of condition can result in severe pain, swelling and the sensation of a hard lump in the anus. Usually, it requires a minimal surgical procedure to be solved.
What Should I Do If I suffer from Hemorrhoids?
Since this is a very common condition and can cause some very uncomfortable symptoms and discomfort, seeking medical advice is the best option for you. Our doctors will be able to diagnose you and explain the available treatment options.
Hemorrhoids treatment depends on the severity of symptoms and the size. Grade I hemorrhoids usually can get better by using non-invasive treatments such as creams and dietary changes. Grade II to IV hemorrhoids normally requires a surgical procedure to be solved. However advancements in Hemorrhoid treatments over the past decade now means faster and more effective relief from hemorrhoids is available. Our doctors will be able to discuss the options with you.