Hemorrhoids, also known as plies, are single or multiple swollen veins that occur around the anal area. Once these veins swell, they stretch, thin out and become very itchy and irritating especially during bowel movements. Even though it is a less often discussed condition, it is estimated that half of all adults have experienced this condition by 50.
Hemorrhoids can either be external or internal. External hemorrhoids develop outside the anus and are the worst compared to internal hemorrhoids. On the other hand, internal hemorrhoids develop inside the anus and the rectum.
The real cause of hemorrhoids is not known. However, it is believed that they arise when one has weak veins around the rectal area. Other notable reasons may include, straining when passing stool, obesity, pregnancy, strenuous sneezing and coughing, genetic history and so on. Basically, activities that put pressure on your body can lead to this condition.
Hemorrhoids can be diagnosed through visual examination or digital rectal examination. If need be, the doctor can also employ sigmoidoscopy that can give a detailed diagnosis of the condition’s extent.
Diagnosing piles is quite easy as their symptoms are straight forward. Some of the symptoms include;
· Itchy anus
· Pain on the anal area
· Lumps and swellings on the anal and rectal area
· Pain when passing stool
· Blood stains on stool
Even though piles are very painful and make victims very uncomfortable, they pose very little risk. Most of them actually disappear on their own without treatment. However, in some rare cases, it may lead to anemia and general body weakness.
First, you can also opt for home remedies like using warm water on the area and increasing intake of fiber. There are several over-the-counter medications for hemorrhoids in form of creams and ointments.
You can also visit your doctor who may perform rubber band ligation. This involves cutting off circulation on the area thus forcing the pile to shrink off and disappear completely. Being a surgical procedure, you should not try this on your own. There’s also the option of sclerotherapy which involves the use of a chemical that is injected in the blood vessels around the pile causing it to shrink.
How to prevent hemorrhoids
There is no definite way of keeping hemorrhoids at bay. You can however make sure you eat enough fiber and stay hydrated always. Also, avoid strenuous activities, sitting down for long and straining while passing stool.