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About Hemorrhoids

The problem with hemorrhoids is that most people feel shy about discussing the condition with others, even with their doctors. However, the fact is that the problem is pervasive, with almost half the American population, aged above 50, suffering from one or the other form of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids is a condition in which the veins in and around the anus swell due to excessive pressure on them. However, if detected early, hemorrhoids can be completely cured. Hence, visiting a doctor as soon as you notice any pain or bleeding during bowel movement is an absolute must to treat the disease completely.


The appearance of hemorrhoids is similar to that of small marbles sticking out of the anus. Their number, size and shape can vary from person to person. It could be in the form of a single piece of mass or in the form of a cluster. The treatment of hemorrhoids depends on the type of hemorrhoids an individual is suffering from.

What Leads to Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids develop when the bowel movement is abnormal and you strain yourself to finish it. This is generally the case with people suffering from constipation. Also, pregnancy can lead to hemorrhoids when the pressure builds up in the rectal wall due to the growing fetus. Hemorrhoids can also be caused by anal intercourse, prolonged sitting or a sedentary lifestyle, lifting heavy weights, anal or rectal infection, obesity and eating a low-fiber diet. Other common causes of hemorrhoid development include diarrhea, age and even genetics. Pain and bleeding at the time of bowel movement and burning sensation are some common symptoms of hemorrhoids. Rectal itching and a soft lump felt at the anal opening are also symptoms of hemorrhoids. A doctor may perform visual examination of the anus or a digital rectum examination to diagnose the condition. Many doctors use a lighted tube called anoscope to perform the internal examination of the anal canal.

Types of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are basically of three types:
  • External Hemorrhoids: The easiest to diagnose external hemorrhoids look like a small bulge or lump. The veins swell leading to pain in the rectal region, which is the main symptom of this type of hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoid also features obvious signs of blood.
  • Internal Hemorrhoids: These are characterized by the swelling and inflammation of internal veins. These hemorrhoids enlarge to bulge out through the rectum. These patients pass blood during the bowel movement. These hemorrhoids ultimately develop into thrombosed hemorrhoids resulting in blood clot and intense pain and burning sensation.
  • Bleeding Hemorrhoids: Believed to be the worst form of hemorrhoids, bleeding hemorrhoids can be internal or external. The major symptom of bleeding hemorrhoid is bright red blood during bowel movements. In a few cases, loss of blood can be so much that the patient may suffer from iron deficiency.

When Should You Visit a Doctor?

Every type of hemorrhoid needs medical care. During the initial stages, individuals can take precautions and try some home remedies to cure the problem and relieve symptoms. Such remedies include a sitz bath for 15 minutes three times a day, increased intake of fibrous foods, stool softners, avoiding lifting heavy weights, applying ointments and regular exercise. However, if the problem persists or increases in intensity, you need to consult a doctor at the earliest.
  • As discussed above, bleeding is one of the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids. However, abnormal bleeding is an alarm for emergency medical care. Remember rectal bleeding may also be a cause of cancer.
  • It is important to visit a medical practitioner as soon as possible if the patient is consuming anticoagulation medication, such as prasugrel (Effient), warfarin (Coumadin) and clopidogrel (Plavix).
  • People who feel weakness and lightheadedness might be suffering from considerable blood loss, which requires emergency medical care.
  • Individuals suffering from hemorrhoids do not ideally experience abdominal pain. Should this be the case, a visit to a doctor should be arranged immediately.
  • If the prolapsed hemorrhoid is not in a position to be pushed back through the anal canal, medical care should be sought without any delay.
  • Pain caused by thrombosed external hemorrhoids requires immediate medical care.