Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins located in a person’s anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids present symptoms including itching and burning sensations, discomfort, swelling or the appearance of lumps around the anus and bleeding during bowel movements. The condition can be caused by straining during bowel movements, increased pressure from pregnancy or obesity, or chronic diarrhea or constipation. Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur in older adults as the tissues supporting the veins in this delicate area can stretch and weaken with aging.
1. Constipation is the most common cause of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can be created when the pressure used to pass a constipated stool fills the anal veins to the point of creation.
2. The extreme pressure and force during labor can cause hemorrhoids.
3. Straining during a bowel movement can cause excess tension and increase the pressure in the rectal veins.
4. Obesity adds pressure to the rectum and pelvic area from excess weight that can form hemorrhoids.
5. An enlarged uterus that results from Pregnancy can create added pressure and weight on the pelvic area that can cause swelling on anal canal tissues.
6. The overuse of the anal muscles from chronic diarrhea and pressure created by sitting on the toilet for an extended period of time can cause the development of hemorrhoids.
There are a variety of treatments available to a physician to treat hemorrhoids, depending on the severity of the condition. Minor cases are often treated with medicated creams or ointments, suppositories or pads. If a small clot forms in hemorrhoid, the doctor may use a minimally invasive procedure to treat the condition. Rubber band ligations are used to cut off circulation to the hemorrhoid, which then withers and falls off. In some cases, the doctor may inject a chemical solution into the hemorrhoid to shrink it. Another alternative to shrink a pile is a laser coagulation treatment, where the laser or infrared light or heat is used to harden and shrivel small hemorrhoids. In more severe cases or where less invasive treatments are not successful in eliminated the piles, a doctor can employ surgical techniques including hemorrhoidectomies or hemorrhoid stapling. The hemorrhoidectomy is the removal of the excessive tissue. Hemorrhoid stapling is another method to cut off blood flow to the pile, causing it to shrivel and fall off.
Straining during bowel movements is the most common cause of hemorrhoids, so keeping stools soft and easily passed is essential to hemorrhoid prevention. Some best practice for healthy bowel movements include:
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