How to treat hemorrhoids

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Overview

Hemorrhoids are dilated veins located in the lower rectum and anus. They become inflamed due to increased pressure inside them, as a result of bowel effort but also because of pressure from the enlarged uterus during pregnancy.

Internal hemorrhoids are located inside lining of the rectum and can’t be felt. They are usually painless and make their presence felt through bleeding during bowel movements. Internal hemorrhoids can move and can get through the anus.

External hemorrhoids are under the skin surrounding the anus. They can be felt when they swell and can cause itching, bleeding or pain during bowel movements. A thrombosed external hemorrhoid occurs when blood clots form in veins, which can cause significant pain.


Contents

1. Overview
2. Causes of hemorrhoids
3. Symptoms of hemorrhoids
4. Internal hemorrhoids prolapse
5. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids
6. When to seek medical advice
7. Treatment for hemorrhoids
8. Lifestyle and home remedies
9. Prevention of hemorrhoids
10. Hemorrhoids during pregnancy


Causes of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are associated with constipation and straining during elimination effort of the stool. Hemorrhoids might also occur due to uterus pressure during pregnancy. These conditions lead to increased pressure on the hemorrhoidal veins and causes swelling.

Other diseases such as chronic liver diseases can cause increased venous pressure and may cause formation of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are a common problem encountered and it is estimated that 50% of the persons aged over 50 years have or had at some time during life, anal-rectal problems (hemorrhoids).


Symptoms of hemorrhoids

The most common symptoms and signs of hemorrhoids is painless bleeding. On toilet paper, following stool might notice bright red blood. Bleeding is usually low quantity.

This type of bleeding is not normal and should involve a visit to the doctor. Although hemorrhoids are the most common cause of bleeding after removal of stool, there are other reasons, including inflammatory bowel disease, infections and tumors.


Internal hemorrhoids prolapse

Internal hemorrhoids prolapse can occurs when they are swollen and inflamed, moving from place, from the rectum through the anus. In the case of an internal hemorrhoid prolapse, it:
- Can be felt as a lump outside the anus
- Can be gently pushed back into the anus, but this will not solve the problem of prolapse, nor is it a treatment of hemorrhoids
- Can enlarge and swell even more if it is not pushed back
- Could be blocked, a condition that requires medical attention. Hemorrhoids can cause itching around the anus and constant desire to have a bowel movement.


Thrombosed external hemorrhoids

Thrombosed external hemorrhoids are a very painful condition. This occurs when a blood clot develops inside the hemorrhoid, causing its inflammation. When a blood clot occurs in internal hemorrhoids, they will swell even more and the pain will increase.

The pain will get worse during bowel movements and can grow in a sitting position. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids often need medical care and treatment.


When to seek medical advice

Bleeding from the rectum or anus is not normal. Although hemorrhoids are the most common reason for bleeding during stool should discuss with the doctor, because there are other causes of rectal bleeding that could be serious.

Inflammatory bowel disease and colon cancer may be present with rectal bleeding. It will require emergency medical care if a person uses anticoagulants such as warfarin.

People who have other associated symptoms such as dizziness and weakness may also require, emergency medical intervention. Hemorrhoids do not cause abdominal pain and if they are present, you should contact your doctor immediately.

Hemorrhoids that suffered a prolapse and can’t be pushed back into the anus involve medical care. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids can cause significant pain and should be evaluated by your doctor.


Treatment for hemorrhoids

Generally, treatment for hemorrhoids involves several steps that involve personal effort of the infected person, such as lifestyle changes. However, sometimes may be necessary drugs or surgical procedures.

1. Medications – If hemorrhoids cause only a minor discomfort, your doctor may recommend you to use some creams, ointments, suppositories or pads that are not prescribed. These products contain ingredients such as hydrocortisone, which may relieve pain and itching, at least temporarily.

Do not use a cream without a prescription or other products more than a week, unless the doctor indicates that. Products can cause side effects such as rashes, inflammation and skin thinning.

2. Minimally invasive procedures – If a blood clot formed in an external hemorrhoid, your doctor may consider necessary to remove the clot through a simple incision, the procedure which will provide quick relief. If persistent bleeding or painful hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend various minimally invasive procedures.

- With rubber band ligation – Involves the introduction of a one or two small rubber bands around the base of the hemorrhoid to stop blood flow in it. Hemorrhoid will dry up and fall in a week.

Procedure called rubber band ligation is effective for many people. Linking hemorrhoids with elastic bands can be uncomfortable and can cause bleeding, which could trigger two to four days after the procedure. However these symptoms are rarely severe.

- Hemorrhoidal sclerotherapy – In this procedure the doctor injects a chemical solution into the tissue in order to shrink the hemorrhoids. Injection causes minor or no pain, but may be less effective than rubber band ligation.

- Coagulation (infrared, laser or bipolar) – Coagulation techniques involves laser, infrared light or heat. It causes minor side effects, bleeding, hardening and contracting internal hemorrhoids. However the technique is associated with a higher rate of recurrence of hemorrhoids than about rubber band.

3. Surgical procedures – If other procedures have failed or there are high-dimensions hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend surgery. The operation can be performed outpatient or require overnight hospitalization.

- Removal of hemorrhoids – During a hemorrhoidectomy, the surgeon removes excessive tissue that causes bleeding. Various techniques can be used. Surgery can be done with local anesthesia combined with sedation, spinal or general anesthesia. Hemorrhoidectomy is the most efficient and complete way to remove hemorrhoids but involves the highest rate of complications.

This may include temporary difficulty emptying the bladder and urinary tract infections due to this problem. Most people experience pain after the procedure. Discomfort can be improved with medication. Sitz baths with hot water can be useful.

- Stapled hemorrhoidectomy or stapled hemorrhoidopexy blocks blood flow to the hemorrhoidal tissue. Stapling involves less pain than hemorrhoidectomy and allows faster return to daily activities.

Compared with hemorrhoidectomy, stapling was associated with an increased risk of recurrence and rectal prolapse. Talk with your doctor to find the best option for you.


Lifestyle and home remedies

You can relieve mild pain and inflammation of hemorrhoids with home treatment. This is just the only action you need.

- Local treatments – Apply a cream without a prescription to treat hemorrhoids or suppositories containing hydrocortisone or anesthetic.

- Do regular warm sitz baths. During these baths keep the anal area in warm water several times a day for 10-15 minutes.

- Keep the anal area clean. Easily clean the anal area doing baths or showers with warm water. No soap is needed, it may even aggravate the problem. Dry the area gently with a hair dryer.

- After removing the stool you should use wet towels or toilet paper without perfume or alcohol.

- Apply cold compresses or ice to relieve inflammation of the anus.

- Take pain medication

With these treatments, hemorrhoids symptoms should disappear in a few days. Consult a doctor if they persist or if you have bleeding or severe pain.


Prevention of hemorrhoids

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to avoid constipation, so that the stool to be removed easily. To prevent hemorrhoids and reduce their symptoms, follow these tips:

- Eat foods high in fiber

- Drink plenty of fluids. Drink between six to eight glasses of water and other liquids per day (no alcohol) to avoid strengthening the stools.

- Consider taking supplements of fiber – most of people fail to absorb sufficient amount of fiber in diet (25-30 grams / day). However if you use fiber supplements should drink at least eight glasses of water or other fluids every day. Otherwise, supplements can cause constipation and may worsen the situation.

- Do not push yourself when you eliminate the stool. Tension and keep breathing when the faeces are removed, creates even greater pressure on the veins of the lower rectum.

- Go to the toilet as soon as it feels. If you wait or delay time of evacuation stool, it could become dry and be harder to be removed.

- Exercising.

- Avoid long periods of standing or sitting. If you stay long, especially the bathroom, this can increase pressure on veins in the anus.


Hemorrhoids during pregnancy

Why do hemorrhoids occur most often during pregnancy?

- Pregnancy predisposes to the formation of hemorrhoids and varicose veins in the legs and sometimes the vulva, from a variety of reasons. Uterus that grows in size presses the pelvic veins and the inferior vena cava, which receives the blood from the legs.

This can slow return of blood in the bottom half of the body and causes pressure on veins in the lower uterus causing their dilation and inflammation.

Constipation is another common problem during pregnancy, which aggravate or cause hemorrhoids. Tension during pregnancy causes hemorrhoids, and when the stool is hard occurs the tendency to force for its elimination.

How to Prevent hemorrhoids during pregnancy?

- Even if a woman is more susceptible to developing hemorrhoids during pregnancy, their appearance is inevitable. Here are some ways to prevent or even treat them:

- To avoid constipation should have a diet rich in fiber, drink plenty of water (eight to ten glasses a day) and exercising regularly, even if it is just a walk in brisk pace.

- Do Kegel exercises daily. This stimulates the circulation in the rectal site and strengthens the muscles around the anus, decreasing the possibility of hemorrhoids. It strengthens and tones the muscles around the vagina and urethra, helping the body recovers after childbirth.

- Avoid sitting for long a long period of time. If the work involves prolonged sitting in the chair, get up and walk around for a few minutes each hour. If you are home, try sitting on the left when you read, sleep or watch TV because the pressure on rectal veins to be as low and allow blood to return to the lower half of body.

- Apply ice covered with fabric, into the affected area several times a day. This can help reduce swelling and discomfort.

- Take warm sitz bath for 10-15 minutes several times a day.

- Try alternating hot-cold treatment.

- Clean the affected area gently after bowel movements with soft wipes, unscented.

- Use special pads for people suffering of hemorrhoids.

- Addressee to a doctor to recommend suppositories or topical anesthetic lotion.

Most of these products shouldn’t be used more than one week. If you will still use them more than a week, the inflammation may persist.

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