Hemorrhoids are also called piles. They are swollen and inflamed veins located in the anus and lower rectum.
They have the same similarities to varicose veins. Hemorrhoids have many causes that are yet unknown. But, hemorrhoids may result from straining during bowel movements.
Another cause may result from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy.
Read on to learn more about “Hemorrhoids: Causes, Symptoms, and Risk”.
You can classify hemorrhoids into;
- Internal hemorrhoid: this is located inside the rectum
- External hemorrhoids: this develop under the skin around the anus
Hemorrhoids occurrence is very prevalent. Sometimes symptoms do present at the beginning. Common symptoms you may observe are dull throbbing pain, itching, discomfort, and bleeding.
Occasionally, the thrombosed hemorrhoid may appear (a clot form of hemorrhoid). Although these are not dangerous but can be very painful and sometimes need to be explored.
Luckily, there are many effective options are available to treat hemorrhoids.
You can get relief from symptoms with simple home treatments and lifestyle changes.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Symptoms of hemorrhoids often depend on their location. The Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids may include one or more of the following:
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements
- Itching or irritation in your rectal region
- Anal pain or discomfort
- Swelling around your anus
- Painful lump near your anus
- Discomfort especially when you are sitting
Types of Hemorrhoids
There are two types of hemorrhoids;
Internal hemorrhoids lie inside the rectum. It affects the soft tissues of the anal canal.
You can’t see or feel this type of hemorrhoids, and they rarely cause discomfort.
It is normally caused by too much pressure on the internal vein when you strain. When passing a stool it can damage the hemorrhoid surface and make it bleed.
Rarely, when you strain, this can push internal hemorrhoids through the anal opening.
This is confirmed when blood drips into the toilet bowl after a bowel movement.
When you stain it makes the hemorrhoidal vein stretch, it can cause it to bulge out of the anus. This is referred to as a protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid.
Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids can include:
- Bleeding during bowel movements
- Itching or irritation
- Pain in the case of prolapse
External hemorrhoids happen when the external veins around the anus are swollen. They are present under the skin around your anus.
External hemorrhoids cause itching or bleeding when irritated.
They result from the formation of a clot in external hemorrhoids. Thrombosed hemorrhoids occur when there is a blockage of veins by blood clots.
They may look scary and can result in severe pain, swelling, inflammation, and a hard lump near your anus.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are easily treated with natural remedies. You should always seek emergency care if you experience;
- large amounts of rectal bleeding
- dizziness or fainting.
Causes of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can be caused by many factors. When the veins around the anus are under pressure, this can cause it to stretch and bulge out. it can also lead to as well.
Hemorrhoids can occur due to increased pressure in the lower rectum from:
- Straining during bowel movement
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Anal intercourse
- Low-fiber diet
Risk factors of Hemorrhoids
As you age, your risk of hemorrhoids becomes higher.
This is because the tissues that support the veins in your rectum and anus become weak and stretch.
In pregnancy, hemorrhoids can also occur. This is because the growing baby’s weight puts pressure on the major veins in the anal region.
Complications of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can be chronic and painful. They do not usually cause complications.
Occasionally, a thrombosed hemorrhoid may rupture. This may cause some bleeding and pain, but the site of the rupture usually heals on its own.
Although complications of hemorrhoids are quite rare but include:
This is rare but occurs due to significant loss from chronic hemorrhoids.
- Strangulated hemorrhoid
Strangulated hemorrhoid occurs if there is a cut in blood flow to internal hemorrhoid. This can result in extreme pain.
Strangulated hemorrhoids can expose you to a risk of infection.
It is important you seek medical care to prevent this outcome.
When should you worry about hemorrhoids?
You should always discuss with a physician if you find blood in your stool because it is not normal.
Most often, blood in the stool results from hemorrhoids. Watch out for a bright red color on the tissue paper after a bowel movement.
If your stool has darker red blood color, this can be worrisome because it may be a sign of other conditions.
It is vital to undergo a test to rule out other conditions. This type of bleeding is atypical for hemorrhoids. It may be a sign that another problem is occurring.
If you also experience the symptoms below seek medical care immediately;
- Mucus or pus from the anus
- Fast heartbeat
Hemorrhoids are common conditions involving swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus. Depending on their location, they often result in discomfort, pain, itchiness, and bleeding.
Whatever the cause, hemorrhoids are treatable. Treatment can either be with natural remedies or prescription drugs.