Hemorrhoids also known as piles are swollen veins in the anus and the lower rectum. Hemorrhoids can be caused from strain during bowel movements or an increase pressure on the veins during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids can be situated within the rectum, which are the internal hemorrhoids while external hemorrhoids occur beneath the skin on the area surrounding the anus. People reaching the age of 50 and above can experience itching, discomfort and bleeding which are the signs of hemorrhoids, but most people get relief from the symptoms by using first aid measures and changes in lifestyle.
Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids
- There is trouble-free bleeding during bowel movement and there are small amounts of a bright red blood in the toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl.
- An irritation and itching in the anal region
- There is pain and swelling on the area surrounding the anus
- There is a lump near the anus, that are very sensitive and painful
- Leak of feces
Straining or irritation when passing stool can damage the delicate surface of the hemorrhoids and causing it to bleed. Sometimes, straining pushes an internal hemorrhoid via the opening in the anus and this condition is known as a prolapsed hemorrhoid and causes pain and irritation.
The veins around the anus stretches caused by pressure and may bulge or swell. Hemorrhoids develop from an increased pressure in the lower rectum, and factors that cause increased pressure include the following:
- Sitting for a long periods of time in the toilet
- Straining during bowel movements
- Obesity and pregnancy
- A chronic diarrhea and constipation
- Eating a low-fiber diet
- Doing anal intercourse
Hemorrhoids are likely to occur among the older people because the tissues supporting the veins in the rectum and anus are weak and stretched with aging.
Home remedies and treatment of hemorrhoids
- Use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or even a suppository that is comprised of hydrocortisone. You can also use pads that include witch hazel.
- Immerse the anal area in water for 10-15 minutes at 2-3 times in a day.
- Bathe or shower daily with warm water to cleanse the skin around the anus area. Do not use soap since it may aggravate the problem. Do not use alcohol-based or perfumed wipes.
- Keep the anal area clean after a bowel movement by using a moist towel or wet toilet paper that does not contain perfume or alcohol.
- Apply ice packs or cold compresses on the anus if swelling occurs.
- Use acetaminophen, aspirin or ibuprofen to relieve discomfort.
The best way in preventing hemorrhoids is by keeping the stools soft, so they can pass easily.
- Eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains, to make stool soft and increases its bulk that will help avoid straining. Add fiber to the diet to avoid problems with gas.
- Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water every day.
- Do not strain and holding the breath when passing a stool, it will create a greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum.
- Have a bowel movement if there is an urge, do not wait to pass a bowel movement and the urge goes away, the stool becomes dry and hard to pass.
- Exercise every day to prevent constipation.
- Avoid long siting period in the toilet; it can increase pressure on the veins in the anus.