Categorized | Hemorrhoids 101


What are Hemorrhoids?

The term “hemorrhoids” refers to the inflammation or swelling of the veins in the anus and rectum.

Unknown to many people, everyone actually has hemorrhoids. In anatomical terms, they are defined as “lump of tissue located at the junction of the anus and rectum.”  However, due to various factors, they grow large and cause pain.

The definite causes of enlargement of such lump of tissue are not yet known. But the most common factors that trigger the enlargement of such tissues are poor fiber intake, chronic diarrhea or constipation, aging, pregnancy, and anal sex. They are either internal or external.

Internal hemorrhoids appear inside the rectum and the external appear on the skin around the anus. An internal hemorrhoid also bleeds especially when irritated and, when untreated, it can lead to more severe cases such as the strangulated or the prolapsed hemorrhoids.  An external hemorrhoid, which is sometimes painful, is more prone to thrombosis. The hemorrhoid becomes thrombosed hemorrhoid when the vein is ruptured and when blood clot appears.

Such condition is very common that it affects about 50% of the population by age 50. Pregnancy is also the most common factor that causes the hemorrhoidal vessels to expand or get irritated. Hemorrhoidal vessel enlargement among pregnant women, however, often disappears after child birth.

There are four types or stages of hemorrhoids according to severity. A stage 1 hemorrhoid is internal and is the least problematic, while a stage 4 is the worst that often cause bleeding and pain.  A stage 4 hemorrhoid is external.

Symptoms of Enlargement of Hemorroidal Vessels

Although half of the population has hemorrhoids, only a few experience symptoms. This enlargement of the hemorrhoidal vessels is not really life threatening and symptoms usually disappear within a few days.  Some people do experience hemorrhoidal symptoms, which cause discomfort and pain.

The most common sign you have hemorrhoidal vessels inflammation when you spot blood on your stool. Internal hemorrhoid may also protrude through the anus. This hemorrhoid is called protruding hemorrhoid.

The most common symptoms of external hemorrhoid include lump around the anus, and swelling that cause pain. Such condition is also called thrombosed external hemorrhoid.

There are various anorectal condition symptoms that are often incorrectly referred to as hemorrhoidal symptoms. These include fissures, and anorectal irritation and itching.

When you spot blood in the stool, consulting a health care professional is important as hemorrhoids may be a symptom of a more serious illness like digestive diseases and colorectal cancer.

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