What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins of the anus and rectum. They are a very common problem, affecting around 10 million Americans at any given time. Although they can be painful, they are usually not considered serious.
There are two types of hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are when the veins swell inside the anal canal. Whereas external hemorrhoids are swollen veins near the opening of the anus. People with piles experience painful bowel movements since the stretched veins become thin and easily irritated.
The symptoms and treatment will depend on the type of hemorrhoids you have.
What foods trigger hemorrhoids?
Since hemorrhoids are closely connected to the diet of a person, certain foods are known to increase your chance of getting them. To help prevent the development of hemorrhoids, avoid the following; caffeinated foods, processed meats, bakery items, polished rice, and deep-fried foods.
How long does it usually take for hemorrhoids to go away?
The duration of hemorrhoids is different for each person. Small hemorrhoids can go away within a few days without any treatment. Large, external hemorrhoids usually cause more severe pain and take longer to heal. If your hemorrhoids remain for more than a week or are accompanied by bleeding, then it’s best to seek treatment from a doctor.
Can hemorrhoids cause prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer in men. It grows slowly and is confined to the prostate gland in its initial stages. However, some types are more aggresive in their growth and can quickly spread. There is no connection between prostate cancer and hemorrhoids, but prostate is often discovered when people go to a doctor for hemorrhoid treatment.
How is colon cancer connected to hemorrhoids?
Although colon cancer and hemorrhoids are two very different conditions, they share many of the same symptoms. Around 90% of colon and rectal cancer patients initially thought they had hemorrhoids due to symptoms like rectal bleeding and rectal itching.
Hemorrhoid bleedings usually flare up during bowel movements and then go away. But if you suffer from constant bleeding or a combination of bleeding and pain, it could be more than just hemorrhoids and immediate medical attention is highly recommended.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are blood on the toilet paper after wiping or blood in the stool. But there are other warning signs such as itching and rectal pain. Internal hemorrhoids are often painless and can sometimes bulge out of the anus. They are usually only painful when they bulge out since the anal muscles will squeeze them, sometimes cutting their blood circulation completely.
External hemorrhoids clot under the skin and easily get irritated, creating hard painful lumps. This is also called clotted, or thrombosed hemorrhoid.
How do you treat hemorrhoids?
Most small and external hemorrhoids don’t require medical treatment and should go away on their own. You can speed up the healing process at home by drinking more water, adding fiber to your meals, and using over-the-counter medication to ease itching. Since constipation can cause and further aggravate your hemorrhoids, using stool softeners is also advised.
For people with severe hemorrhoids, more intensive treatments may be needed. Some of the medical treatment procedures may include:
- Rubber band litigation: this is the most common, nonsurgical treatment for hemorrhoids. A small, tight rubber band will be placed around the pile by your doctor, which will cut off the blood circulation and allow it to fall off.
- Sclerotherapy: a chemical medication is injected into the pile to shrink it. The doctor may also use light, heat, or freezing temperature to achieve this.
- Surgical removal: for cases where at-home or in-office treatments don’t produce any results, surgical removal may be recommended. Although this is an invasive procedure, it’s effective in preventing hemorrhoids from reoccurring.
How do you prevent hemorrhoids?
Simple changes in your lifestyle and diet are usually enough to achieve symptom relief and prevent future hemorrhoids. Eat high-fiber foods and drink plenty of water to maintain softer stools and limit straining during bowel movements.
Regular exercise and adequate sleep will help ensure more regular bowel movements. For people who are overweight, losing weight will help lower the pressure on the veins in your anus and rectum.