What are Hemorrhoids?
What are Hemorrhoids? - Few topics are harder to talk about than hemorrhoids; the painful swelling of veins are inside or around the anus. Hemorrhoids are sometimes also called piles. Most people would instead not even mention this condition to their doctor, yet around half of all adults will suffer from symptoms of hemorrhoidal swelling by the age of 50. The most common symptoms are itching, sensitivity, one or more swollen lumps around the anal opening, and, in the more advanced cases, bleeding.
We all have hemorrhoid veins lining the inside the anal canal and around the opening of the anus, which usually serves as ‘cushions’ to help in the process of passing stool. There are internal and external varicosities of veins which drain the inferior section of the rectal arteries. Internal hemorrhoids, which line the rectal passage, are seldom the cause of discomfort since we have no pain receptors there. Under normal conditions, we do not feel nor see these rectal veins. External hemorrhoids, in contrast, if they become swollen or irritated, are visible and painful. They are located at the anal opening.
In some cases, passing stool past painless but irritated internal hemorrhoidal veins will also result in bleeding, and this may even push these hemorrhoids out of the anal canal, and expose them. Protruding hemorrhoids which become exposed and hemorrhoids which swell around the anal opening are particularly painful.
When, for some possible reasons, the hemorrhoid veins become swollen or irritated, the first signs are itching and discomfort. Under these circumstances, passing stool may become difficult and painful, and may even result in the rupturing or damage of the delicate surrounding tissue of the hemorrhoid veins. As stool passes, particularly in the case of hard stool, this can cause hemorrhoids to tear and bleed. It will become apparent by bright red bleeding from the rectum, and it can be quite painful.
Some of the reasons which can cause hemorrhoidal swelling and irritation include
Irregular bowel movements as a result of constipation or diarrhea, low fiber intake in the diet, certain types of exercise, prolonged sitting, obesity, pregnancy, nervous conditions and stress, and aging. Both men and women suffer from hemorrhoids, in many cases, lifestyle changes and home remedies successfully treat the problem. There are over the counter treatments to help the swelling and itching. In the cases where the problem persists, some surgical procedures can be considered.
In most cases, hemorrhoidal conditions will subside in a few days with the proper treatment. Bleeding, painful bowel movements and irritation should not be ignored, and a doctor should be consulted. Serious complications can result from an untreated hemorrhoidal pathology, and a doctor should be asked to discard other possible causes of the symptoms, which may include anal fissures and rectal cancer.