Hemorrhoids are clusters of enlarged/swollen blood vessels on the lower part of the rectum and/or the anus. The swelling causes the walls of the rectum to be inflamed and easily irritated, and are almost always unpleasantly painful. Some of the known causes of hemorrhoids include sitting for extended periods of time, straining during bowel movements, and constipation. Persons at or over the age of 50 are, however, at a higher risk of hemorrhoids. This mainly occurs as we age and tissues stretch, making it hard to support veins and arterioles.
According to the National Institutes of health, 75% of all Americans suffer from hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. While people over the age of 50% are at a higher risk, younger women may develop the same during pregnancy, and sometimes after childbirth. While this condition is more widespread, many people prefer not to talk about it, and only seek help when/if it worsens. The good news is you can order medication online from theprescriptiondoctor.com.
Types Of Hemorrhoids
There are two types of hemorrhoids:
a. Internal hemorrhoids
b. External hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum, hence hard to see or feel. They can, however, cause bleeding if/when agitated. External hemorrhoids, on the other hand, occur at the anal opening. These are what causes discomfort, itching, and pain.
According to Herbert Lerner, a medical officer (M.D) with the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), hemorrhoids are preventable and treatable. One may use over-the-counter creams for temporary relief for not more than one week until he/she can see a qualified health expert for professional treatment.
The most common signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids include bright, red blood smears on the stool, toilet tissue, as well as the toilet bowl. Darker and thick blood may indicate a more serious underlying condition, including anal or colorectal cancer. It would be advisable to seek immediate attention from a qualified doctor at this point.
What You Should Know About Treating/Preventing Hemorrhoids
1. Quit reading in the loo: A study published by Staples (a business supply company) shows that at least 35% of Americans take their iPad, Kindle, and smartphones with them in the loo. Many will take longer than expected, merely sitting on the can and reading stuff. Such behavior only leads to, and even worsens hemorrhoids. Quit taking reading materials, and especially your phone, with you in the bathroom.
2. Wipe wet: Use moistened wipes (with witch hazel) to wipe the inflamed or irritated area. You could also use a wet toilet paper for the same purpose for fast relief. You shouldn’t, however, use wipes with fragrances or alcohol on the affected area, as these will only make the condition worse. A cold compress or an ice pack on the hemorrhoids may also help soothe and reduce the swelling.
3. Consider a sitz bath: Sitting in a warm bath for at least 10 minutes once or twice per day can help soothe the itching and pain. You’ll only need enough warm water to cover your buttocks for this to work. The warm water helps keep the affected area clean too. You might also want to use a blow-dryer set in at the lowest speed to dry the area. This eliminates the need to use toilet paper, which can cause irritation on the affected part.
4. Don’t hold bowel movements back: Experts recommend going to the bathroom as soon as you feel the need to. Holding bowel movements can cause it to back up increasing pressure on the already weakened veins. You might also want to train your body to go moments after having a meal. This can help establish regular bowel movements, thus easing the pressure.
5. Increase your fiber intake: According to Rajat Malic, an FDA gastroenterologist, the best way to prevent hemorrhoids would be by keeping stools soft. Constipation is the last thing you want to be dealing with at this point. That said, drinking plenty of water/fluids, and increasing your dietary fiber intake, will help maintain steady bowel movements and soft stools for that matter. Be sure to add foods rich in fiber to your diet plan for this to work. These include fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and cereals.
6. Move more: Sitting for extended periods of time can cause or worsen hemorrhoids. Mayo Clinic, therefore, recommends taking on regular exercise, sitting less, and moving more to increase bowel movements. You might also want to lose the extra pounds in weight for the best results.
7. Consider surgery: If none of the home treatments and over-the-counter medication seems to work, it is time you consulted an expert in this. The doctor may recommend a less invasive procedure (such as rubber band ligation) to help treat/handle the problem. The method involves cutting blood supply to the hemorrhoids, then shrinking them using infrared or laser light. For external hemorrhoids, the doctor may choose to remove it altogether.
There are also more advanced procedures (Doppler-guided hemorrhoidal artery ligation) that can help treat severe hemorrhoids using doppler radar. Hemorrhoidectomy may, however, be required for severe hemorrhoids. Be sure to talk to your doctor to know more about this, possible side effects, chances of recurrence, and recovery time before taking on any surgical procedure.