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Introduction to Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are inflamed and enlarged veins in the anus and lower part of the rectum. They commonly develop due to straining associated with bowel movements (e.g. constipation).

Hemorrhoids are classified into two groups, internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are enlarged veins inside the anal canal while external hemorrhoids develop under the skin of the anus.

Many people have problem with hemorrhoids. Some people are more prone to the condition (for example pregnant women). Fortunately, there are several treatment options that can successfully alleviate all the symptoms associated with the condition.

What do Hemorrhoids Look Like?

Since hemorrhoids represent enlarged blood vessels it is clear that they will be bright red or purple in color. However, external hemorrhoids may also be skin-colored bumps. Most hemorrhoids do not look unique. It may be difficult for one to see the hemorrhoid due to their location and in case of internal hemorrhoids the problem becomes even worse.

External hemorrhoids are usually of round shape and they may also be flat. In many cases external hemorrhoids resemble a marble. In case the person strains the hemorrhoid becomes bigger and much easier to be noticed. In patients suffering from hemorrhoid thrombosis the enlarged blood vessel becomes even bigger and easily noticed. The blood clot can be also palpated by a well experienced doctor. Internal hemorrhoids can be only visualized with specific methods such as rectoscopy.

Treatment for Hemorrhoids

The goal of the treatment for hemorrhoids is relieving of the symptoms. The person may benefit from warm tub or sitz baths that are performed several times a day. There are many creams that can be applied directly on the hemorrhoid. It is essential to clean the anus after each bowel movement.

Severe internal hemorrhoids are treated with rubber band ligation, injection sclerotherapy, infrared photocoagulation, laser coagulation or hemorrhoidectomy. External hemorrhoids can be treated with infrared photocoagulation, laser coagulation or hemorrhoidectomy. Hemorrhoidectomy is also a treatment modality for prolapsed hemorrhoids as well as thrombosed external hemorrhoids. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids may be also drained.

All patients suffering from hemorrhoids are due to take care of what they eat and regulate their bowel movement. Their diet should contain at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day. Furthermore, intake of at least 8 glasses of water per day is a must. These patients are also due to increase the amount of daily physical activity, lose weight and exercise the buttock muscles. Straining during defecation is forbidden and if the stool is still hard and one has problems with constipation he/ she should consult a doctor and may be prescribed stool softeners or laxatives. And finally, maintaining good personal hygiene and keeping the anal area clean is essential during the treatment as well as after the condition has been brought under control.

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