Disclaimer: All the information presented here are for educational purposes only. You always have to consult your doctor if you are experiencing any medical condition.
This is really a painful (most of the time) subject! Hemorrhoids are a significant inconvenience that lots of people from different age groups might experience. It is an issue that many of us could feel a little uneasy when talking about it or trying to diagnose it.
However, before delving into the main question, we should have some background about the subject.
- What are hemorrhoids?
- What do hemorrhoids look like? What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
- What are the types of hemorrhoids?
- Are hemorrhoids painful or itchy?
- What causes hemorrhoids?
- Is there any hemorrhoids home treatment?
- When should you see your doctor for a hemorrhoids case?
- How can we prevent hemorrhoids from happening in the first place?
- How long do hemorrhoids last?
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are a condition that can affect anyone, but are more common in people over the age of 50.
What do hemorrhoids look like? What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are caused when blood vessels in the rectum and anus become swollen and inflamed that are caused by increased pressure on the veins in the lower rectum and anus, often caused by straining to have a bowel movement, pregnancy, or obesity. Some other definitions state that hemorrhoids are dislocated anal pads (cushions).
What are the types of hemorrhoids?
There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum, and external hemorrhoids are located outside the rectum.
Are hemorrhoids painful or itchy?
Hemorrhoids can cause pain, itching, and even bleeding. Normally, internal hemorrhoids cause bleeding without pain. On the other side, external hemorrhoids usually are painful. You can also have a mixture of internal and external hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids can have thrombosis, which is clotted blood inside the anal cushion that is protruding outside the anus.
What causes hemorrhoids?
There are a number of things that can cause hemorrhoids, including:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Being overweight
- Heavy lifting
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
- During child birth for women
Is there any hemorrhoids home treatment?
There are a number of things that can help reduce the symptoms of hemorrhoids, including:
- Taking a warm (sitz) bath
- Applying a cold compress
- Taking over-the-counter anti-inflammatory and analgesics medications including suppositories, and creams
- Eating a high-fiber diet
- Drinking plenty of water
When should you see your doctor for a hemorrhoids case?
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of hemorrhoids for more than seven days, it is important to see your doctor. Your doctor can help determine the cause of your hemorrhoids and may advise you to use medication or other treatments that are available over-the-counter. Also, he may prescribe a more customized compounded medication that contains a mixture of analgesics, anti-inflammatory, and vasoconstrictor (medicine used to narrow the blood vessels).
Chaparral Pharmacy can help you with the preparation of such compounds, based on your doctor’s prescription.
Also you should see your doctor if:
- You experienced a rectal bleeding,
- You suffered a mucus or stool leak between bowl movements,
- The hemorrhoids don’t want to return inside the rectum for a long period of time
For severe continuous cases of hemorrhoids that exceed long periods of time, you may need a surgery.
How can we prevent hemorrhoids from happening in the first place?
We should follow a healthy lifestyle and trying to apply the home treatment recommendations even before any hemorrhoids appear, especially for certain aspects. For example, we need to:
- avoid constipation by drinking sufficient number of water glasses, drinking prune juice every now and then, if you have a history of constipation and after consulting with your doctor,
- consume a balanced diet that is rich in fibre that could be found many types of vegetables and fruits such as lettuce, beans, legumes, and oranges,
- Don’t sit on toilettes (or even the normal chairs, couches, etc…) for a long periods of times, and
- Don’t strain to produce bowel movement, either in constipation or diarrhea
How long do hemorrhoids last?
Normally, when hemorrhoids come they don’t disappear after that. It comes and goes depending on your body and your lifestyle. In severe cases, patients may need surgery to remove the hemorrhoids. Thankfully, most patients can learn to live with it.
For some people, hemorrhoids could become a sensitive issue due to the nature of the issue. However, it is extremely important to consult a doctor in case that you have a persistent and painful hemorrhoids that refuse to respond to your home treatment and lifestyle changes.
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