FAQs - Symptoms - Diagnosis - Treatment - Prevention
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen but normally
vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum that stretch under
pressure, similar to varicose veins in the legs.
The increased pressure and swelling may
straining to move the bowel. Other contributing factors include
pregnancy, heredity, aging, and chronic constipation or diarrhea.
Hemorrhoids are either inside the anus
under the skin around the anus (external).
What Are the Symptoms of
Many anorectal problems, including
abscesses, or irritation and itching (pruritus ani), have similar
symptoms and are incorrectly referred to as hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids usually are not dangerous
threatening. In most cases, hemorrhoidal symptoms will go away within a
Although many people have hemorrhoids,
experience symptoms. The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is
bright red blood covering the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet
bowl. However, an internal hemorrhoid may protrude through the anus
outside the body, becoming irritated and painful. This is known as a
Symptoms of external hemorrhoids may
swelling or a hard lump around the anus that results when a blood clot
forms. This condition is known as a thrombosed external hemorrhoid.
In addition, excessive straining,
around the anus may cause irritation with bleeding and/or itching,
which may produce a vicious cycle of symptoms. Draining mucus may also
How Common Are Hemorrhoids?
Both women and men commonly experience
About half of the population have hemorrhoids by age fifty. Women often
experience hemorrhoids during pregnancy. The pressure of the fetus in
the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes, cause the hemorrhoidal
vessels to enlarge. These vessels are also placed under severe pressure
during childbirth. For most women, however, hemorrhoids caused by
pregnancy are a temporary problem.
How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?
A thorough evaluation and proper
diagnosis by the
is important any time bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool
lasts more than a couple of days. Bleeding may also be a symptom of
other digestive diseases, including colorectal cancer.
The doctor examines the anus and rectum
swollen blood vessels that indicate hemorrhoids and will also perform a
digital rectal exam with a gloved, lubricated finger to feel for
Closer evaluation of the rectum for
an exam with an anoscope, a hollow, lighted tube useful for viewing
internal hemorrhoids, or a proctoscope, useful for more completely
examining the entire rectum.
To rule out other causes of
the doctor may examine the rectum and lower colon (sigmoid) with
sigmoidoscopy or the entire colon with colonoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy and
colonoscopy are diagnostic procedures that also involve the use of
lighted, flexible tubes inserted through the rectum.
What Is the Treatment for Hemorroids?
Medical treatment of hemorrhoids
relieving symptoms. Measures to reduce symptoms include:
- Warm tub or
sitz baths several times a day in
warm water for about 10 minutes.
- Ice packs
to help reduce swelling.
of a hemorroidal cream or
the affected area for a limited time.
Prevention of the recurrence of
changing conditions associated with the pressure and straining of
constipation. Doctors will often recommend increasing fiber and fluids
in the diet. Eating the right amount of fiber and drinking six to eight
glasses of fluid (not alcohol) result in softer, bulkier stools. A
softer stool makes emptying the bowels easier and lessens the pressure
on hemorrhoids caused by straining. Eliminating straining also helps
prevent the hemorrhoids from protruding.
Good sources of fiber are fruits,
grains. In addition, doctors may suggest a bulk stool softener or a
fiber supplement such as psyllium (Metamucil) or methylcellulose
In some cases, hemorrhoids must be
These methods are used to shrink and destroy the hemorrhoidal tissue
and are performed under anesthesia. The doctor will perform the surgery
during an office or hospital visit.
A number of surgical methods may be
used to remove
reduce the size of internal hemorrhoids. These techniques include:
rubber band is placed around the base of the hemorrhoid inside the
rectum. The band cuts off circulation, and the hemorrhoid withers away
within a few days.
chemical solution is injected around the blood vessel to shrink the
Techniques used to treat both internal
or laser heat (laser
coagulation) or infrared light (infrared photo coagulation)--Both
techniques use special devices to burn hemorrhoidal tissue.
extensive or severe internal or external hemorrhoids may require
removal by surgery known as hemorrhoidectomy. This is the best method
for permanent removal of hemorrhoids.
How Are Hemorrhoids Prevented?
The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is
soft so they pass easily, thus decreasing pressure and straining, and
to empty bowels as soon as possible after the urge occurs. Exercise,
including walking, and increased fiber in the diet help reduce
constipation and straining by producing stools that are softer and
easier to pass.
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Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/diseases-and-conditions-articles/hemorrhoids-faqs-symptoms-diagnosis-treatment-prevention-3563158.html
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