Hemorroids - Introduction
A precise definition of hemorroids does not exist. Hemorroids* are essentially varicose veins of the rectum. The hemorrhoidal veins are located in the lowest area of the rectum and the anus. Sometimes they swell, so that the vein walls become stretched, slim, and irritated b passing bowel movements. When these veins bleed, itch, or hurt, they are known as hemorroids. Hemorroids can be : internal and external.
Picture of hemorroids
Veins in the rectum and anus are under considerable pressure whenever a stool is passed. Pushing or straining may cause veins in the rectal wall to lump, creating clusters of swollen, or dilated, veins called hemorroids. Internal hemorroids can form anywhere inside the anal canal, while external hemorroids are visible, or just below, the opening of the anus.
Internal hemorroids lie inside the rectum. Sometimes internal hemorroids prolapse, or enlarge and protrude outside the anal sphincter. If so, you may be able to see or feel them as moist, pink pads of skin that are pinker than the surrounding area. Prolapsed hemorroids may hurt, because the anus is dense with pain-sensing nerves.
External hemorroids are situated within the anus and are usually painful. If an external hemorrhoid prolapses to the outside you can see and feel it. Blood clots sometimes form within prolapsed external hemorroids, causing an extremely painful condition called a thrombosis. If an external hemorrhoid becomes thrombosed, it can look rather frightening, turning purple or blue, and possibly bleeding. Despite their appearance, thrombosed hemorroids are usually not serious and will resolve themselves in about a week.
Hemorrhoids - Info Site Topics
Symptoms of hemorroids
- pain or tenderness during bowel movements.
- light red anal bleeding that may streak the bowel movement or the toilet paper.
- painful swelling or a lump at the anus.
- anal itching.
- mucous anal discharge.
"Weak" veins-leading to hemorroids and other varicose veins-may be inherited. It's likely that extreme abdominal pressure causes the veins to swell and become susceptible to irritation. Sources of this pressure include obesity, pregnancy, standing or sitting for long periods, liver disease, straining from constipation or diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, and holding one's breath while straining to do physical labor.Nutrition and Diet hava a pivotal role in causing-and preventing-hemorroids. People who consistently eat a high-fiber diet are Sunlikely to get hemorroids, whereas those who prefer a diet high in refined foods can expect them. A low-fiber diet or inadequate fluid intake causes constipation, which contributes to hemorroids in two ways: It encourages straining to have a bowel movement and it also aggravates the hemorroids by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins.
Treatment of hemorroids
hemorroids do not usually go away completely once you have them, unless you undergo one of the procedures below. They can get improved, however, so that living with them is tolerable. Both conventional and alternative practitioners consider diet the best way for treating hemorroids.
A diet rich in high-fiber foods and low in refined and junk foods is essential. Probably half of all hemorroid sufferers find relief with dietary changes alone. Most hemorrhoid treatments aim to minimize pain and itching. Warm (but not hot) sitz baths are the most time-honored and oft-suggested therapy: Sit in about three inches of warm water for 10 minutes, few times a day, especially after a bowel movement. If you are pregnant, discuss any treatment, including dietary changes, with your doctor before proceeding.
Alternative therapies for hemorroids
You can try one or several of these therapies to alleviate hemorroid discomfort. If symptoms continue regardless of your efforts at relief, contact your doctor.
Acupuncture for hemorroids
Acupuncture can help in relieving hemorrhoid pain. There are few responsive points for acupunctural therapy for hemorroids. See a licensed practitioner for treatment.
Herbal therapies for hemorroids
Applied twice daily, pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria) ointment can reduce the pain of external hemorroids: Simmer 2 tbsp fresh or dried pilewort in 7 oz petroleum jelly for 10 minutes. Allow to cool before using; store leftover ointment in a closed container. Pilewort may also be taken as tee.
More than a dozen remedies, each taken at 12x can help hemorrhoid pain. Choosing the right one requires attention to your symptoms and, usually, a homeopath's help. For a sore, bruised, and perhaps bleeding anus, try Hamamelis. Aesculus can ease sharp, spiking rectal pain that is worsened with bowel movements, and Sulphur can reduce burning and itching aggravated by warmth.
Yoga for hemorroids
Yoga can encourage blood flow away from hemorroids, reducing pain, inflammation, and bleeding. You can practice the known yoga positions ; Half Shoulder Stand, Shoulder Stand, Plow and Bridge. Hold each posture for a few minutes each day. A good complement for these postures is lying on a slant board with your head down for 15 minutes each day.
Conventional treatments for hemorroids
If you have hemorroids, a high-fiber diet combined with sitz baths and acetaminophen should reduce discomfort within two weeks. If symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend one of the following procedures. All except laser coagulation and surgery can be performed in your doctor's office.
An internal hemorrhoid can be injected with phenol in oil, quinine, and urea, or morrhuate sodium, which creates a scar and closes off the hemorrhoid. The injection hurts only a little, as any injection does. With a success rate of 90 percent, this is many physicians' first choice. Results are not permanent, however; repeat injections may be needed every two or three years.
Prolapsed hemorroids are often removed using rubber-band ligation. A special tool secures a tiny rubber band around the hemorrhoid, shutting off its blood supply almost instantly. Within a week, the hemorrhoid shrivels and falls off. This painless method is successful about 75 percent of the time.
Coagulation or cauterization
Using either an electric probe, a laser beam, or an infrared light, a tiny burn painlessly seals the end of the hemorrhoid, causing it to close off and shrink. This is most useful for prolapsed hemorrhoid.
For internal hemorroids or really uncomfortable external hemorroids (such as thrombosed hemorroids that are too painful to live with), your physician may elect traditional surgery, called hemorrhoidectomy. In the hospital, under general anesthesia, the hemorrhoid is removed. After the operation, expect a week or so of bed rest, with analgesics prescribed for discomfort.
The success rate for hemorrhoid removal approaches 95 percent, but unless dietary and lifestyle changes are made, hemorroids may recur.
Over the counter relief for hemorroids
The basic ingredient in all these medicines is a lubricant such as lanolin, cocoa butter, vegetable oil, or one of many others. Some also include an anesthetic such as benzocaine or lidocaine, or an astringent such as tan-nic acid or zinc compounds, purported to reduce swelling by constricting capillaries.
Hemorroids, however, are not capillaries; they're veins, and astringents may have no effect on them. Anesthetics may provide short-term relief, but only in cream or ointment form: Suppositories usually go too far up into the anal canal to help the hemorroids below.
Lubrication is the greatest benefit of most over-the-counter hemorrhoid medications. Plain petroleum jelly works as well and can be applied with your finger. For pain relief, attempt acetaminophen and sitz baths.
Nutrition and diet for hemorroids.
Doctors consider diet the best way for treating hemorroids. Practice high-fiber diet. Meals and snacks should consist primarily of vegetables, fruit, nuts, and whole grains, and as few refined foods and meats as possible.
If this is a big change for you, introduce the new foods slowly, to avoid gas. If you aren't able to eat enough high-fiber food, supplement your diet with psyllium stool softeners or bulk-forming agent. (Avoid laxatives, which cause diarrhea that can further irritate the swollen veins.) Drink at least nine glasses of water dayli; if your life is especially active or you live in a hot climate, you will need more water. It's almost impossible to drink too much water. Monitor your sodium intake. Excess salt in the diet causes fluid retention, which means swelling in all veins, including hemorroids.