What are hemorrhoids?
The hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are small varicose veins that are located in the canal, they occur when the veins located in the lower part of the rectum or in the anus are dilated, thus becoming varicose. In principle anyone can have hemorrhoids and not suffer any symptoms, so it should not be considered a disease or seek treatment.
The problem arises when these varicose veins produce discomfort that leads to consult the doctor looking for a solution. That’s when we talk about Hemorrhoid syndrome and that’s when the situation is pathological.
Hemorrhoids appear mostly from the third decade of life, being quite uncommon below that age, as well as in old age.
Types of Hemorrhoids
Three types of hemorrhoids are distinguished according to their situation with respect to the rectal canal:
» Internal hemorrhoids: If the affected veins are located in the lower area of the rectum, above the anus, and are covered by mucosa. In this case, four sub-groups are also distinguished in response to the degree of prolapse:
• Grade I: Prolapsan to the anus, but do not descend during defecation.
• Grade II: Prolapsan to the anus during defecation, but return to its place after it.
• Grade III: Prolapsan, do not return unless manually reinserted.
• Grade IV: Prolapsan, do not return or manual reduction, or return to prolapsarse immediately after reintroduction.
» External hemorrhoids: When they are located below the union of the anus with the rectum. In this situation they are covered in the epithelium.
» Mixed hemorrhoids: If they affect the two types of veins.
Causes of Hemorrhoids
The most frequent causes of hemorrhoid onset are:
» Hereditary factors: If there is a family history (parents or grandparents who suffered from hemorrhoids), there is an increased risk of suffering them.
» Constipation: Hard and dry stools (very compact) oppress the hemorrhoidal veins. The opposite situation, excessive diarrhea, can also cause hemorrhoids due to irritation.
» Improper posture: Stand or sit for a long time without changing positions (e.g. during work performance).
» Pregnancy: They are often present during pregnancy, even in women who have never experienced this problem before. It happens especially in recent weeks, because of the increased pressure exerted by the uterus on the hemorrhoidal veins, and also during childbirth, due to the effort.
» Menstruation: It has also been suggested that women’s menstrual cycles may affect their onset or increased symptoms, since there are estrogen receptors in the hemorrhoids.
» Overweight: excess abdominal fat also produces pressure in the iliac and hemorrhoidal veins.
» Diet: Low fiber consumption in the diet is contemplated as a possible factor that favours hemorrhoids. This would be linked to constipation, which contributes a poor diet in vegetables and fruits.
Some cases of mild hemorrhoids are asymptomatic, but what is considered the hemorrhoid syndrome would form the following symptoms:
• Bleeding: Usually occurs when defecating. It is usually scarce and is detected by traces of red and shiny blood in the cup or stains on the toilet paper. Hemorrhoid bleeding is not considered sufficient to justify anemia.
• Prolapse: This is a lump that appears when the hemorrhoids come out from within the anus and it is difficult to introduce them again. It is characteristic of internal hemorrhoids, and as detailed above, depending on the degree we can distinguish prolapse during defecation, even after it, and those that remain unless they are manually reintroduced.
• Secretion: Mucus secretion from the mucosa itself is typical of internal hemorrhoids. may cause skin irritation and itching or burning sensation, especially during defecation.
• Pain: Internal hemorrhoids do not usually hurt, contrary to external ones, which are particularly bothersome when they leave the anus by the pressure of the ring. Sometimes, when the pain is abrupt in its appearance and remains for days, we can be faced with a thrombosis of the hemorrhoids. In this situation in addition, the individual will notice a lump in the region with an important inflammation of the area and a sphincter especially sensitive to any friction.
• Constipation: Although it would be one of its favouring factors, it can be considered a symptom secondary to hemorrhoids, since the pain and inflammation of the area can inhibit the defecation act as a measure of pain, thus becoming a vicious circle.
Here are some recurrent guidelines for hemorrhoid treatment to relieve your annoying symptoms:
» Take Sitz baths with warm-fresh water (3-4 a day) for 10-15 minutes.
» Apply Criocompresas or ice in the affected area to relieve symptoms such as pain, itching, and inflammation.
» Antihemorroidal Cream, which works as a local painkiller and improves symptoms immediately. With these ointments up to 80% of the uncomplicated hemorrhoids can be improved associated with the other measures described.
» Analgesics by mouth to eliminate pain.
» Natural natural remedies can be used, making an infusion with plants, such as chamomile, burdock, calendula and horse chestnut, which favor the venous circulation, and take the Sitz baths with this preparation.
» Use hygienic wipes for hemorrhoids instead of toilet paper, which moisturize, relieve itching, and prevent possible infections in the area.
Treatment for bloody hemorrhoids
• If they are bleeding internal hemorrhoids, or very annoying (important and continued itching or pain, abundant mucus secretion), certain methods can be used to eliminate them, such as:
• Place elastic bands on the base of the hemorrhoid, her until it falls alone after a few days. At first, the patient may feel discomfort and have some slight blood loss.
• Coagulation, with laser or infrared light, that applies heat on the affected tissue in order to coagulate the veins on the hemorrhoid, which shrinks and disappears. Electrocoagulation also interrupts blood supply to the hemorrhoid. This technique causes discomfort and bleeding for a few days.
• Cryotherapy. Liquid nitrogen is used to freeze the hemorrhoid and destroy it. The downside is that inflammation of the anus tends to occur and healing is slow.
• The sclerosing injections. Substances are injected into the hemorrhoids, which cause scarring, reducing symptoms.
Surgery to treat hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoidectomy (surgical removal of hemorrhoids) is usually used for large, annoying, internal hemorrhoids that have not responded to other treatments. It is considered the most effective method of treating internal hemorrhoids, although, like all surgery, it carries risks and disadvantages.
A risk derived from a hemorrhoid surgical intervention is the formation of clots in the legs. These clots may occur days after surgery and cause acute swelling and pain.
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