Hemorrhoids or piles are swollen veins in the rectum or anus. Hemorrhoids may be located inside the anal canal or rectum (internal hemorrhoids), or develop around the anus (external hemorrhoids).
Generally, hemorrhoid is a condition that appears as swollen and enlarged veins in the anus, the final part of the gastrointestinal tract. The internal wall of the anus at the lower end of the large intestine because of having elasticity and valvular function, is made up of the cushions of veins with sensitive walls.
The capillaries of the lower end of the gastrointestinal tract, which protect the anal canal, start to swell during passing a hard stool, so the stretched walls of the them increase the pressure inside the veins, causing them to be twisted and enlarged.
Signs and Symptoms
Painless bleeding during a bowel movement is one of the important signs of hemorrhoids. You might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your stool or toilet tissue.
Itching or irritation in your anal area.
You may have swelling around your anus.
Lumps near your anus, which may be painful.
Straining during bowel movements.
Sitting on the toilet for long period of time to pass your stool.
Chronic constipation or diarrhea.
A low-fiber diet causes hemorrhoids.
A lump around the anal region.
Leakage of mucus may occur after bowel movements, when the person feels that the bowel is not completely empty after passing the stool.
_Laser treatment for hemorrhoids
_Rubber band ligation for hemorrhoids
It should be noted that none of the methods above require anesthesia, and both of them can be done in an outpatient setting. People with hemorrhoids can be treated without pain and bleeding and return to their work at the same day.
One of the ways to prevent hemorrhoids is to drink two liters of water a day. People should drink enough water daily which is about one and a half to two liters per day, because this amount of water simulates the intestinal canal, and bowel movements will not be difficult for the person.
Drinking plenty of water also helps improve constipation, thus hemorrhoids will be prevented.
The other way to prevent hemorrhoids or piles is to eat foods rich in fiber. The use of high-fiber diet causes the blood vessels of hemorrhoids to not swell, and the person will not experience severe pain and bleeding.
Exercise is another way to prevent hemorrhoids. In addition to helping the person lose weight, exercising keeps bowel movements more regular.
When bowel movements are normal, stool will be softer and easier to pass without straining which reduces the risk for developing hemorrhoids.
It is recommended to do exercises, such as walking, swimming, and running at least three times a week. These activities will stimulate the intestinal motility and prevent hemorrhoids.
The Effect of Nutrition on Hemorrhoids
If you are at risk of hemorrhoids or piles, you should avoid eating some foods, including seasoned foods, salty foods, garlic, vinegar, and coffee because these foods can cause constipation and make stools harder to pass. Additionally, salty seafoods can cause airway obstruction which worsens veins swelling in the rectum or anus.
Going to the toilet when needed also is a way to prevent hemorrhoids. Especially if you have already had hemorrhoids, it is better to go to the toilet the moment you need it.
It is advisable to go and empty your bowel as soon as you feel the urge. This is one of the most important thing to do for preventing hemorrhoids.
The Common Age of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are common both in men and women but mostly occur as people age, because about half of the people over age 50 have hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy are also very common. In pregnant women, the anal veins swell because of hormonal changes and increased intra-abdominal pressure. However, hemorrhoids in pregnancy are a temporary problem.
Hemorrhoids or Piles are Divided into Three Categories
Internal hemorrhoids (piles)
External hemorrhoids (piles)
Thrombosed hemorrhoids (piles)
In this type of hemorrhoids, the cushions of blood vessels swell inside the rectum and the person cannot usually see or feel them. Internal hemorrhoids normally are painless and they rarely cause discomfort.
But straining when passing stool can damage a hemorrhoid’s surface and cause it to bleed. The repeated straining can push these cushions to the out of the anus over time and form the external hemorrhoids.
This type of hemorrhoids are painful in most cases. These cushions develop under the skin around the anus, being more sensitive to the pain and bleeding. The affected person often feels itching in this area and the first itching or irritation can cause the mass to bleed.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids mostly develop in the edge of the anus. These cushions are as large as beans, and excessive straining during bowel movements is the main cause of them. People who are physically inactive or have desk jobs and those doing heavy exercises (lifting) usually are at greater risk for getting this type of hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids and Nutrition
Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur in people who eat low-fiber foods. Drinking a small amount of water and eating fast foods can increase the risk of hemorrhoids or piles.
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