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Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. They stretch under pressure and are similar to varicose veins in the legs. Hemorrhoids are either internal or external.
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is unknown. The major contributing factor appears to be too much pressure on the veins in the rectum. If the pressure continues, the veins become enlarged and protrude.
A risk factor is something that increases your chance of getting a disease or condition. Risk factors include:
In most cases, symptoms will go away within several days. Although many people have hemorrhoids, not all experience symptoms.
Common symptoms include:
◦ On the stool
◦ On the toilet paper
◦ In the toilet bowl
The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. The doctor will examine the anus and rectum to look for swollen blood vessels and perform a digital rectal exam. This is done by inserting a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for abnormalities. Sometimes, it is necessary to do the exam with the use of an endoscope that allows visualizing the rectal canal and other parts of the colon.
Bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool can be a symptom of other diseases involving gastrointestinal tract or colon/rectal cancer. It is important to see a doctor if you have any rectal bleeding.
Initial medical treatment of hemorrhoids is aimed at relieving symptoms. Measures to reduce symptoms include:
If these treatments provide insufficient relief, one of several nonsurgical procedures may be used to shrink or destroy the hemorrhoidal tissue. These procedures, which are generally performed in a doctor’s office, include:
If nonsurgical procedures are either not an option or fail to resolve the problem, surgical management is the final option:
Hemorrhoidectomy—this surgery involves permanent removal of hemorrhoids by cutting the hemorrhoidal tissue away. Some of the newest surgical treatments involve using stainless steel staples. While many surgeons favor these treatments, there is some evidence that techniques that are more traditional produce more consistent and long-lasting relief.
If you are diagnosed with hemorrhoids, follow your doctor's instructions.
The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep stools soft so they pass easily. The following practices can help:
For more information please visit: www.hemhealing.com