Hemorrhoids are swellings or lumps which appear at the end of anal canal. They affect the veins and tissue of the anal area. Hemorrhoids are quite common, especially in middle aged and elderly people, and pregnant women. The symptoms of this condition include irritation, itchiness or pain in the anus or around it, swelling of the anal area, pain while passing stool, bleeding from the anus, and discharge of feces. There are various causes for hemorrhoids. Having chronic constipation or diarrhea, having anal intercourse, sitting often too long on the toilet or straining while passing stool, are the most common causes of hemorrhoids. Overweight people are at greater risk of hemorrhoids because there is too much pressure on the veins in the pelvis and anal canal.
If you suffer from mild form of hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend ointments or creams which can help ease itchiness and pain. In more persistent and severe cases, you may need treatment which includes simple outpatient procedures or surgery. Small clot outside your anus can be removed wit a tiny cut, which is performed in the mildest cases. Larger hemorrhoids, which bleed and cause pain, can be treated with rubber band ligation, coagulation therapy, injections or hemorrhoidectomy. Rubber band ligation is a procedure which involves rubber bands that are placed at the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply. After several days the hemorrhoid shrinks and eventually falls off. In coagulation therapy the doctor uses heat, electricity or lasers to cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Injections include a chemical which causes the hemorrhoid to shrink. In case of larger hemorrhoids your doctor may perform hemorrhoidectomy, which is a removal of hemorrhoids and the surrounding tissue. This procedure is quite effective, but it includes longer recovery time and risk of side effects.
In order to relieve the pain or discomfort of hemorrhoids, you should use moist or wet toilet paper after passing stool. Also you should just pat the area, and not rub. It is recommended to wash the anal region with water and dry it with a piece of cloth or toilet paper. Warm and cold compressions can also ease the pain and reduce itchiness. You can also soak the anal region in a warm tub instead of warm compressions. You should not sit for a long time without a soft pillow. Make sure your underwear is made of cotton and not too tight.
The best prevention of getting hemorrhoids is to have regular bowel movements and soft stool. In order to achieve this, you should ear food rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains and drink plenty of fluids every day. Avoid sitting for extended periods of time do not strain while passing stool. You should be physically active and keep your weight normal.