The hemorrhoids , popularly known as piles, are produced for different reasons, from constipation chronic, through pregnancy or because of other diseases.
The treatment of this ailment is usually simple and hemorrhoids tend to improve with home remedies, but, sometimes, complications can occur that even require surgery.
Types of hemorrhoids
We can talk about two types of hemorrhoids , depending on where they are inside the anus. In this way, they are considered external hemorrhoids if they are below the dentate line of the anus and internal hemorrhoids if they are above.
- The external hemorrhoids are located in the visible region of the anus just below the junction to the rectum. Piles of this class usually do not present bleeding, since they tend to remain under the skin; although if you make a great effort they can lead to a bleeding and painful clot (thrombosed external hemorrhoid). This circumstance can make it difficult to clean the area after defecation.
- The internal hemorrhoids are in the internal hemorrhoidal plexus in the lower part of the rectum, anus above. The main symptom of this type of hemorrhoid is bleeding. Unlike the external piles, the internal ones are covered with a mucosa and not with skin, therefore, when the stool passes, they bleed.
The hemorrhoids internal can be classified into four grades:
- Grade I: it is the most frequent and is the one found in the submucosal tissue on the dentate line. Sometimes fresh blood can flow when defecating and cause alarm to the subject suffering from it.
- Grade II: they are considered grade II hemorrhoids when they come out during the effort of defecation and reintroduce themselves at the end without having to intervene to make it happen.
- Grade III: those of this grade also emerge with the work of defecation, but the person has to reintroduce them manually.
- Grade IV: In this grade, hemorrhoids are always prolapsed and cannot be reintroduced into the anus.
Causes of hemorrhoids
The hemorrhoids a fairly common problem and occur as a result of increased pressure in the anus.
The causes for which they occur are variable. Here are some of the most common:
- There is a genetic component in the appearance of hemorrhoids , so we can speak of hereditary factors as a trigger for suffering from hemorrhoids.
- Obesity is a major risk element due to increased pressure on the pelvic floor.
- Pregnancy is another risk factor, precisely for the same reason mentioned in the obesity section. Increased pressure on the pelvic floor due to weight gain in the abdomen can trigger hemorrhoids . It is more frequent that they appear during the last trimester of gestation, when the volume of the belly reaches its maximum point.
- Constipation can also favor its appearance, especially due to the effort that must be made to achieve defecation and due to the compression of the hemorrhoidal veins. If the stool is very hard, it can irritate the area.
- Diarrhea is, in the same way, an irritating agent that can cause hemorrhoids.
- Poor posture for a long period of time, such as standing for too long or sitting for a long time.
- Portal system hypertension.
- Laxative abuse, as it can irritate the area in the same way as diarrhea.
- There are also nutritional factors, eating a diet low in fiber and rich in astringent foods favors its appearance.
There are other more serious causes that favor the appearance of hemorrhoids, such as liver cirrhosis , so it is advisable to consult a professional when they do not heal with the usual treatments .
Symptoms of hemorrhoids
The symptoms that hemorrhoids produce are variable. When they are very mild they may not produce any, or notice a small itch in the area of the anus, but they do not always present bleeding.
Next, we explain the main symptoms that they produce:
- Although we have previously commented that hemorrhoids do not always bleed, it is precisely the presence of plasma that is the main symptom and the one that gives us the greatest clue of its existence. When bleeding occurs when defecating, it is important to consult a medical professional, since this fact can be due to very serious diseases such as colorectal cancer or anal cancer , among others.
- Hard bumps may be seen in the anus and increased tenderness in the area.
- Prolapse: it is a bulge that occurs when the piles emerge to the outside and, when trying to reintroduce them, they cause significant pain and it is difficult to achieve.
- Suffering pain and itching in the anus is another symptom, especially at the time of defecation or when sitting on a hard surface.
- Another symptom is the presence of smelly mucus coming from the rectum. This mucus causes irritation, itching, and burning in the area.
Diagnosis of hemorrhoids
In most cases, the doctor will diagnose the presence of piles with a mere examination of the area of the anus. However, if the hemorrhoids are internal and you cannot see them with the naked eye, you may recommend a rectal exam, a sigmoidoscopy, or a rectoscopy or colonoscopy .
Treatments for hemorrhoids
The best treatment for hemorrhoids is prevention. Leading a proper lifestyle is essential to avoid its appearance and to alleviate its symptoms.
Following a healthy and balanced diet, rich in fiber with a lot of fruits and vegetables is a guarantee to alleviate the symptoms that hemorrhoids produce .
It is important to avoid the consumption of spices and other irritants such as alcohol, carbonated drinks and foods that produce gases, such as legumes, which, despite having a lot of fiber, are also irritating.
Avoid consuming fat and consuming plenty of water, also favors the relief of hemorrhoids . Drinking at least two liters of water a day helps to defecate more easily.
The practice of physical exercise and moving, in general, is an important factor for proper evacuation, which is why it also helps prevent piles.
If necessary, stool softeners can be used to avoid suffering during visits to the toilet.
When prevention factors do not work and hemorrhoids have already occurred, a local drug treatment is usually the most indicated.
Sitz baths also relieve pain caused by this problem, as well as the application of local ice and apple cider vinegar anoints.
Sometimes, when the usual home remedies do not work and hemorrhoids continue, it is necessary to consult a doctor to evaluate the situation. In extreme cases, surgery may be necessary to correct them.
Loss of blood can form clots and these, in turn, can cause necrosis of the surrounding tissue. If the bleeding is very heavy and prolonged in time, it can lead to iron deficiency anemia , although this is not common.
With proper care and monitoring of hemorrhoids , complications rarely occur. That is why it is so important to consult with a medical professional before any questions or abnormalities that may arise.
In case you have to go to the doctor’s office to receive a treatment against hemorrhoids, the most common is a procedure called infrared coagulation. This process consists of applying heat to the affected area to try to reduce the size of the hemorrhoid.
It is also possible to put some elastic bands at the base of the protrusion to try to strangle it and that it comes off on its own after a few days.
If these two methods do not work, the doctor will need to do a surgical evaluation to decide whether to do a hemorrhoidectomy, which involves removing the piles by surgery. This procedure is the most effective of all, although it is also the most invasive and the one that requires a greater recovery, so it should be carried out as a last resort.
What you should know about hemorrhoids is that, if they appear, they have treatment and that this will depend on the type of hemorrhoid and the degree it has.
Always, before any doubt or complication, it will be necessary to consult an expert to receive advice and the pertinent treatment.
The best advice to avoid hemorrhoids is to lead a healthy lifestyle, hydrate well, get some exercise regularly, and eat an adequate diet rich in fiber. Although genetics play an important role in the possibility of suffering them, the environment and what each person can do to prevent them from arising is almost as important.
Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.