What is the cause of hemorrhoids?
Pushing the veins in the anus or rectum puts pressure and causes hemorrhoids. Any type of pressure that increases pressure on the abdomen or lower limbs can cause swelling and inflammation of the anal and rectal veins. Hemorrhoids may be caused by:
- Pelvic pressure caused by weight gain, especially during pregnancy
- Straining to defecate due to constipation
- Straining to lift heavy objects or lift weights
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoids rarely cause pain (and are usually not felt), unless they are protruding. Many people with internal hemorrhoids don’t know they have it because they don’t have any symptoms. If you have internal hemorrhoids, you may see blood on the toilet paper, in the stool, or on the toilet bowl.
Symptoms of external hemorrhoids include:
- Itching of the anus
- The presence of hard, painful and sensitive lumps near the anus
- Pain in the anus, especially when sitting
- Rectal bleeding
Protruding hemorrhoids can be painful and annoying. You may be able to feel their protrusion outside the anus and gently push them in with your finger.
What diseases cause symptoms like those of hemorrhoids?
Various digestive disorders can cause rectal bleeding and other symptoms similar to hemorrhoids. Some of these disorders are life threatening. Therefore, see a doctor if you have these symptoms.
Intestinal diseases that can cause bleeding include:
- Colon cancer
- Crohn’s disease
- ulcerative colitis
How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?
A doctor diagnoses hemorrhoids based on symptoms and physical examination. The following may also be done:
Digital rectal examination (anal examination): The doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into the rectum to feel the swollen veins.
Anoscopy: The doctor uses an anoscope (light tube) to see the lining of the anus and rectum.
Sigmoidoscopy: The doctor uses a sigmoidoscope (a light tube equipped with a camera) to see the lower part of the colon (sigmoid colon) and the rectum. Types of sigmoidoscopy include flexible sigmoidoscopy and inflexible sigmoidoscopy (proctoscopy). These tests may be uncomfortable, but not painful. They are usually done in a doctor’s office or outpatient center without anesthesia, and you go home the same day. Your doctor may order other tests to confirm or check your symptoms colon cancer, do a colonoscopy.
What are the complications of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and painful, but usually do not cause serious problems. Rarely, people with hemorrhoids may experience the following problems:
- Blood clots in external hemorrhoids
- Skin tassels (tissue hanging from the skin)
- Strangulation of hemorrhoids (muscles inside the anus prevent blood from reaching the protruding internal hemorrhoids)
Home remedies for hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids often resolve on their own without treatment. Symptoms such as pain and bleeding may last a week or a little longer. In the meantime, you can take the following steps to reduce your symptoms:
- Using over-the-counter medications containing lidocaine, witch hazel, or hydrocortisone on the affected area
- Drink plenty of water
- Increasing fiber intake through diet and supplements
- Sitting bath (sit in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes every day)
- Use of laxatives
- Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain and inflammation
How is hemorrhoids treated?
Also, if your symptoms do not improve after a week of home treatment, see a doctor. A doctor may treat hemorrhoids by:
Tie the rubber band: A small rubber band is tied around the base of the hemorrhoid to stop the blood supply to the vein.