What are hemorrhoids?
They are the result of dilated or enlarged veins around the anus or the lower portion of the rectum. Hemorrhoids are common and affect women more frequently than men. They are the result of the increase of pressure in the anus, causing the veins around it to enlarge. Hemorrhoids can be internal or external.
What are the causes?
The majority of the times hemorrhoids are caused due to strenuous effort at the time of defecating in people who suffer on constipation. People who spend extended periods of time in the same position, whether sitting or standing, are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. Some diseases like cirrhosis can cause their development.
What are the symptoms?
In most cases, hemorrhoids do not cause pain. The only exception is in the case of a clot obstructing the flow of blood. Other symptoms include itching around the anus, pain during defecation, and bright, red blood around the anus.
How is it diagnosed?
The physician reaches a diagnosis based on symptoms and physical exploration of the anus. Other helpful examinations are the anoscopy and sigmoidoscopy.
What is the treatment?
Initial treatment must be aimed at achieving defecation without pain. Patients must avoid irritating or fatty food, and drink abundant amounts of fluids in order to soften the feces. Analgesics and anti-inflammatory medications can be applied when hemorrhoids begin to swell.
If the previous measures do not resolve the inflammation or the patient experiences persistent hemorrhage, it is necessary to undergo a hemorrhoidectomy in order to remove the dilated veins.