Hemorrhoids or varicose veins of the anus and rectum are enlarged bulging blood vessels located inside or outside the anus. We are talking about hemorrhoids (also known as haemorrhoids, emerods, or piles) when the veins around the anus or lower rectum are swollen and inflamed. Hemorrhoids are normal anatomic features of the human anal canal, forming pads that bulge into the lumen. The American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons reports that 50 percent of all Americans will have hemorrhoids in their lifetime.
Mispelled variations of hemorrhoids: haemerroid, haemmaroid, haemmeroids, haemorrhoids, haemorroid, hemarroid, hemmoroids, hemorhoid, hemorrhoid, hemorrhoids, Hemorrihoid, hemorroids.
Hemorrhoids are either inside the anus or rectum (internal) or under the skin around the anus (external).
External hemorrhoids are sometimes painful, and can be accompanied by swelling and irritation. External hemorrhoids are swollen areas of skin and blood vessels around the anus (below the dentate line).They are covered by a thin layer of skin. Bleeding can occur if they are ruptured
Internal hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum below the anus lining. Internal hemorrhoidsare usually not painful but may bleed when irritated. Interesting is that most people are not aware that they have internal hemorrhoids.Internal hemorrhoids originate above the pectinate or dentate line in the anal canal and are covered by a mucous membrane.
Hemorrhoids are very common. It is estimated that about half of the population have hemorrhoids by the age of 50. According to Wikipedia, annually, only about 500,000 people in the U.S. are medically treated for hemorrhoids, with 10 to 20% of them requiring surgeries. Hemorrhoids are also common among pregnant women.
Symptom of internal hemorrhoids:
- Bright red blood covering the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl.
- Internal hemorrhoids may protrude through the anus outside the body and become irritated and painful. This condition is known as a protruding hemorrhoid.
- You may develop itching in your anus from prolapsed hemorrhoids. This condition is called pruritus ani.
Symptom of external hemorrhoids
The most common complaint from internal hemorrhoids is painless bleeding. You will see bright red blood on the outside of your stool, on the toilet paper, or dripping into the toilet. Thrombosed external hemorrhoid is painful swelling or a hard lump around the anus that results when a blood clot forms. The pain is usually worse with bowel movements or sometimes with sitting. In most cases, hemorrhoidal symptoms will go away within a few days.
Causes of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are associated with constipation and straining at bowel movements as well as pregnancy. The causes of hemorrhoids include genetic predisposition, obesity and a sedentary lifestyle, chronic diarrhea, poor bathroom habits, pregnancy, straining during bowel movements, and too much pressure on the rectal veins. Liver disease can also cause increased pressure in the veins and also cause hemorrhoids.
Treatment of hemorrhoids
- warm baths several times for about 10 minutes
- consistent use of medicated (hemorroidal) creams such as Anusol
- endoscopical or surgical treatment
A minimally invasive surgical approach now available in the United States, called Procedure for Prolapse and Hemorrhoids (PPH), may help patients recover from hemorrhoid surgery faster with less pain when compared to conventional hemorrhoidectomy procedures.
PPH is a technique that reduces the prolapse (enlargement) of hemorrhoidal tissue. With the PPH procedure, patients experience less pain and recover faster than patients who undergo conventional hemorrhoidectomy procedures.
Natural treatment of hemorrhoids
- Taking herbs and dietary supplements that strengthen vein walls
- Eating fiber-rich bulking agents
- Using the squatting position for bowel movements
Medical treatment of hemorrhoids
- Rubber band ligation.
- Infrared coagulation
- Hemorrhoidolysis/Galvanic Electrotherapy
- Doppler Guided Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation
Prevention of hemorrhoids includes exercising, drinking more fluids, eating more dietary fiber, including walking, straining by producing stools that are softer and easier to pass, reducing bowel movement strain and time. Serious cases of hemorrhoids (third and fourth degree) may require hemorrhoidectomy, rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, infrared photocoagulation, cryotherapy, bipolar diathermy or laser therapy.