Hemorrhoids are swollen veins which itch, hurt or bleed, they are located in the rectum and resemble varicose veins, they are also often known as piles. They are very painful as they are situated in a very sensitive area, and whenever bowel movements pass by these veins in the rectum they swell up and cause irritation. The symptoms include:
pain or tenderness during a bowel movement
bright red anal bleeding
a mucous anal discharge
painful lump or swelling near the anus
There are two types of hemorrhoids - internal and external. People who suffer with internal hemorrhoids do not usually feel too much pain, this is because the sensitive veins are situated higher up inside the anal canal away from any nerve ending. However, they will occasionally bleed when a bowel movement passes these swollen veins. People who suffer from internal hemorrhoids have usually had the problem on and off for years and have become used to the symptom of bleeding. Hemorrhoids that are enlarged or prolapsed and protrude outside of the anal sphincter will eventually become visible as a lump of skin. Prolapsed hemorrhoids are quite painful as well. They eventually withdraw into the rectum on their own, but if they do not, they can be gently pushed back into place. External hemorrhoids are found inside the anus and are usually painful. External hemorrhoids that prolapsed to the outside, usually when a stool has been passed, can be seen and felt and if blood clots form within these prolapsed external hemorrhoids, an extremely painful condition known as thrombosis occurs. If an external hemorrhoids becomes thrombosis, there may be bleeding and it might turn purple or blue. Thrombosis hemorrhoids look frightening but they are not serious and will heal in about a week. Hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous and are a very common cause of anal bleeding. If you happen to suffer from anal bleeding or pain of any sort, your doctor should be consulted as soon as possible as a diagnosis is essential. It is not certain what actually causes hemorrhoids, but experts believe that weak veins might be the cause. These veins are often weaker because of genetic factors. Pressure and straining will cause these weaker veins to swell up and become prone to pain. Sources of this pressure include:
sitting or standing for long periods
coughing, sneezing or vomiting
straining from diarrhea or constipation
Choosing the correct diet helps to control this condition. People that stick to a high-fibre diet are most unlikely to suffer from hemorrhoids, whereas those who eat a diet high in refined foods often suffer from a low-fibre diet or an inadequate fluid intake which causes constipation, hemorrhoids are then caused because of the straining when a bowel movement is passed, also hard stools are produced and these irritate the swollen veins even more.
High fibre diets usually help haemorrhoids almost immediately, try to drink plenty of filtered water every day. Try eat as few refined foods as possible and reduce your salt intake. Researchers have found that certain supplements may also help such as vitamin C and E, B complex, calcium, Mineral complex, lecithin, pollen, fluoride, Bioflavonoids and Rutin.
Apply petroleum jelly just inside the anus so that bowel movements are made less painful. Try not to sit for long periods and make sure you take a break. Do not scratch haemorrhoids and bath regularly so that the anal area is kept clean. An application of witch hazel, on irritated haemorroids helps reduce the pain and itching. Your doctor must tell you what pain killers are allowed to be taken with this condition. Heavy objects should be lifted properly, you should breath constantly, lift with your legs and not your back and stomach. Exercise regularly and eat plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
Eating a high fibre diet as well as fresh fruit and vegetables, drinking plenty of filtered water, and regular exercise should prevent haemorrhoids.
When to seek further professional advice
Professional advice should be sought if:
normal bowel movement changes for more than 2 weeks.
you bleed from your anus for the first time.
the bleeding is persistent and it becomes more severe.
there is persistent pain the anal region.
blood from the anal area is dark.
The following treatments help in treating the discomfort of haemorrhoids. However, if the symptoms still continue, you should contact your doctor.
Herbal Therapies such as pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria) ointment, applied twice daily, often helps reduce the pain caused by external haemorrhoids. Psyllium husks can also be tried as they help decrease bleeding and itchiness. Over a dozen homeopathic remedies can help ease haemorrhoid pain, Professional help is needed to select the correct one. Massage practitioners often use techniques that will help with constipation and relief of haemorrhoids, make sure that he is fully qualified. Aromatherapy is often used to help alleviate the pain. Blend 3 drops of cypress and 2 drops of sandalwood essential oils into 5 teaspoons of calendula base carrier oil, apply this mixture to the affected area twice daily, you will find that it helps reduce the pain and pressure
As soon as your doctor diagnosis hemorrhoids, he will prescribe some form of treatment as they do not usually go away if they are not treated, although they do ‘right’ themselves occasionally without treatment so that living with them is bearable. The right diet is considered the basis from which to start any kind of treatment for hemorrhoids. Immediate relief may occur just by changing your diet. Predominantly high-fibre foods are highly recommended whereas refined, junk-type foods should be avoided. If your hemorrhoids flare up, sitting in a warm salt bath will help soothe the area and reduce the swelling. Cauterization, surgery, banding and injections are also available if the above treatments do not help in relieving the pain, these options can be discussed with your doctor.
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