Many people struggle with hemorrhoids as a daily part of life. These swollen veins inside the anus and lower rectum sometimes result in pain and bleeding. It can become even more cumbersome if they are left untreated. Even though hemorrhoids are not always symptomatic or bothersome, people should still know the about hemorrhoids causes and treatment options. With that useful information they can get the proper care if their hemorrhoids ever become problematic.
Before talking about treatment, let’s first determine what causes hemorrhoids and what types of hemorrhoids do exist.
Types of Hemorrhoids
We all have hemorrhoid, in fact it is a vein and at baseline it doesn’t bother us. For different reasons this vein can get swollen and it brings a lot of pain and discomfort. Depending on where the swollen vein develops we distinguish different types of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are generally classified into one of three categories: internal, external or thrombosed.
When hemorrhoids remain inside the rectum and cannot be seen or felt, doctors normally consider these hemorrhoids to be internal. Usually they aren’t painful, but sometimes may bleed.
Hemorrhoids that bulge from underneath the skin and are located around the anus are classified as external. External hemorrhoid may also bleed; additionally it can be itchy and very painful.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are external hemorrhoids that have formed blood clots inside of them.
The different types of hemorrhoids share some common symptoms, and signs may be more severe in cases of thrombosed hemorrhoids. These symptoms include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Anal itching
- Anal leakage
- Pain in the anal region
- Soft or hard lumps in and/or around the anus
Those who have internal hemorrhoids in many cases don’t know that they have hemorrhoids. Only after seeing blood in toilet paper or stool they go for check up. A proctologist is a doctor who provides treatment for hemorrhoids.
Sometimes internal and external hemorrhoids may prolapse and bulge outside of the anus. Prolapsed hemorrhoid can cause pain and you feel uncomfortable, especially when you sit.
Why Hemorrhoids Develop
Hemorrhoids can affect people of any age and gender. As people age it becomes more common, after 50 the possibility of developing hemorrhoids increases.
People can get hemorrhoids at different stages of their lives, and hemorrhoids causes and treatment options can vary from patient to patient. Here is the list of main causes:
1. Straining too hard while having bowel movements is one of the top causes of hemorrhoids.
2. Being overweight or pregnant can also make the rectal and anal veins swell.
3. Suffering of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
4. Who have frequent bouts of diarrhea are also more prone to developing hemorrhoids.
5. Having chronic constipation.
6. Lifting heavy objects on a regular basis can trigger hemorrhoids as well.
How Hemorrhoids are Diagnosed
If a person believes that they might have hemorrhoids based on their symptoms, they can visit their doctor for an examination to get an accurate diagnosis. The doctor can look around and inside the patient’s anal cavity to see if any visible hemorrhoids are noticeable. Bleeding, leakage and inflammation are other things that the doctor will check for when performing the visual examination, as these may also indicate the presence of hemorrhoids.
The doctor can also perform a digital examination by using a gloved hand to feel for swollen blood vessels in the region. Pain or tenderness that the patient may feel during the digital exam can additionally help the doctor make a proper diagnosis.
Moreover, your healthcare provider may use a sigmoidoscopy procedure. A sigmoidoscope is a lighted tube with camera to view the inside lower part of the colon and rectum.
Anoscopy is another physical exam which doctor uses to check the anus and rectum with anoscope. These exams are not painful, but for a patient it can be a bit uncomfortable. Physical test helps to provide more accurate diagnosis.
Nonsurgical Treatment Options
Hemorrhoids can often be treated without surgery, and this may be especially true in cases that are not severe. A topical medicated cream or ointment that can be bought in stores or prescribed by a doctor often works well in treating hemorrhoids.
If the hemorrhoids are accompanied by frequent pain, over-the-counter ibuprofen or other pain-killing medicines can offer relief. Soaking in a sitz bath is another treatment that may be effective. The doctor can also try shrinking the hemorrhoids by injecting them with a special solution or cutting off their circulation with rubber band ligation.
Your healthcare provider may also treat hemorrhoids with electro coagulation or infrared coagulation treatments. Infrared coagulation helps to get rid of the hemorrhoid by transmitting heat into the rectum.
Medications, self-care and other conservative treatments are not always enough to eliminate hemorrhoids, and surgery may be required if they remain bothersome. A hemorrhoidectomy can be performed to remove the hemorrhoids through surgical cutting. A surgical technique that involves stapling the hemorrhoids to obstruct their blood supply so that they fall off naturally may also be used. Doppler sensor technology is also a common procedure. With that surgeons can identify the exact arteries that are feeding blood to the hemorrhoids so that the blood supply can be cut off in a way that is not as invasive.
Hemorrhoids can often be prevented with the right precautions and lifestyle changes. Cutting back on processed foods and maintaining a diet that is higher in fiber can make passing bowel movements less strenuous, which may prevent hemorrhoids from forming.
Maintaining a healthy body weight can also be helpful. In addition to preventing obesity, exercise can help keep hemorrhoids from forming by allowing waste to move easier through the digestive system. Sitting on the toilet for too long may exacerbate existing hemorrhoids and cause new ones to form, so limiting the time in the bathroom can be another good preventative measure.
Knowing some of the most common hemorrhoids causes and treatment options can help people take better care of themselves. Doctors who offer diagnostic and treatment services for hemorrhoids are available to help people who may struggle with this condition.