Hemorrhoids is an anatomical term that refers to the cushion of tissues that is filled with blood vessels. It is found at the junction of the anus and the rectum. The condition happens when the veins in the anus and the rectum are swollen or inflamed. It also refers to the hemorrhoid tissue’s varicosities.
There are two types of hemorrhoids – the external and internal hemorrhoids. If it occurs outside the anal verge, it is known as an external hemorrhoid. Such hemorrhoid is at times painful due to the swelling and irritation. It is also prone to thrombosis. Thrombosis happens when the vein ruptures and the blood clots.
On the other hand, internal hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum. People who have this condition are usually unaware that they have it since pain receptors are lacking in this area. This is the reason why it is not really too painful. However, it may bleed when irritated. Internal hemorrhoids may also lead to two severe conditions if untreated. The first is known as the prolapsed hemorrhoids, which are too distended that they are pressed outside the anus. The second severe condition is known as the strangulated hemorrhoid wherein the prolapsed hemorrhoid is trapped outside the anal opening.
While hemorrhoids are not dangerous or life threatening, it still causes discomfort and pain. Some of its major causes are constipation or diarrhea, portal hypertension, obesity, pregnancy, insufficient liquid on stool, excess of lactic acid on stool, vitamin E deficiency, and eating too much spicy food.
Drinking more liquid and eating food rich in dietary fiber will help prevent hemorrhoids. Exercising, reducing the strain and time of each bowel movement, practicing good posture, and getting rid of too tight underwear and clothing are some of the ways to alleviate the condition.
There are many treatments available for such condition as well. Each treatment varies in effectiveness, price, and risk. Hydrotherapy is commonly used in case of external hemorrhoids. Cold compress and taking topical analgesic, moisturizer, and astringent are also effective in curing the condition.
There are also surgical and non medical treatments for hemorrhoids. Such treatments include rubber band ligation wherein a rubber band is applied onto the area to cut off the blood supply. Desiccation of electrical current known as hemorrhoidolysis is also a common treatment. Sclerotherapy, a process wherein sclerosant or some other hardening agent is injected on the infected area, can cause the vein walls to collapse.
Hemorrhoids may not be lethal but it could also be a symptom of a more serious problem. This is the reason why it is advised to consult a physician to make sure there are no life threatening conditions to worry about.