Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen blood vessels in lower part of the anus and rectum. They may be either inside the anus (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).
Hemorrhoids are common in both men and women. Nearly half of all the people have hemorrhoids by age 50. They usually affects adults aged 45 to 65 and often occur due to increased pressure in the veins of the anus. Elderly are more likely to encounter hemorrhoids because the tissues supporting the veins in the rectum and anus weaken and stretch.
Constipation is usually associated with increased risk of hemorrhoids. Fortunately, many effective measures are available to treat hemorrhoids.
Heavy weight lifting
Chronic diarrhoea and constipation
Standing for long period of time
Hemorrhoids can develop from increases pressure in lower rectum due to :
Straining during bowel movement
Chronic diarrhoea or constipation
Sitting for long period of time on the toilet
Family history of hemorrhoids
Lifting heavy objects repeatedly
Certain diseases, such as liver cirrhosis
Signs and symptoms
Painless bleeding during bowel movements - you may notice small amount of bright red blood on your toilet or tissue
Extreme itching around the anus
Irritation and pain around the anus
Swelling around the anus
One or more hard tender lumps near the anus
Pain during bowel movements
Eating high- fiber foods: Consuming more fruits, vegetables and whole grains soften stool and increase its bulk which will help you avoid the straining that can worsen symptoms from existing hemorrhoids.
Avoid using toilet paper: Keep your anal area clean after a bowel movement using moist towelettes or wet toilet paper that does not contain perfume or alcohol.
Keep anal area clean: Take bath or shower daily to keep the skin around the anus gently with warm water.
Sitz bath: Sit in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day. It relieves the burning or itching symptoms.
Wear cotton undergarments and try not to scratch the area: It will help lessen itching.
Ice packs and cold compresses: It may help to reduce swelling and pain.
Over the counter corticosteroid creams: They help reduce pain and swelling.
Stool softeners: They help reduce straining and constipation.
Oral pain relievers: Oral pain reliever such as, acetaminophen, ibuprofen may be used to relieve discomfort.
Seek medical help if you have severe pain and rectal bleeding and hemorrhoid symptoms do not improve with home treatment.
Eat high fiber diet: Foods Containing high amount of fiber such as, fruits, vegetables and whole grains softens the stool and increase bulk that will help to avoid straining during bowel movements.
Drink plenty of fluids: Drink at least six to eight glasses of water as well as other fluids ( avoid alcohol) per day to soften the stool.
Do not ignore the urge to go to the toilet: If you ignore and wait for a bowel movement, the urge to have bowel movement goes away and stool become dry and difficult to pass.
Do not strain: Straining while bowel movement creates greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum resulting in hemorrhoids.
Physical activity: Stay physically active to prevent constipation and lessen pressure on the veins. Moreover, exercise helps to lose extra weight which may be a contributing factor to hemorrhoids.
Avoid sitting for long period of time: Avoid sitting for long time particularly on the toilet which can increase the pressure on the veins in the anus.
Consider fiber supplements: Most people do not get recommended amount of fiber- 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men in their diet. Researches have revealed that over the counter fiber supplements, such as Metamucil and Citrucel, improve overall symptoms and bleeding from hemorrhoids.
These fiber supplements help soften stools. Be sure to drink at least eight glasses of water or other fluids daily if you use fiber supplements otherwise it may cause constipation or make constipation worse.