What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids (also commonly known as haemorrhoids, hemroids and piles) can be defined as pads of tissue in and around the anal area. Everyone has hemorrhoids and they only become a problem when they are inflamed or swollen. Hemorrhoids can last for years, and unfortunately they usually get worse as time goes by.
Hemorrhoids are a problem in approximately 4% of the world’s population, a staggering 240 million people. They cause problems to almost 90% of people at least once in their lifetime. Hemorrhoids are found in males and females alike and the likelihood of hemorrhoids becoming problems peaks between the ages of 45 – 65.
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include itching, bleeding of the anus, blood coating the stool, blood seen in the toilet bowl, or on toilet paper.
Hemorrhoids usually occur in one of two forms: Internally or Externally.
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These occur inside the anal canal (towards the top of the anal canal) and are most easily recognized by noticing blood on the stool or the toilet paper.
As the name suggests these usually occur at the opening of the anus or in the lower part of the anal canal. They are skin covered veins and often have a blue color to them. When inflamed or swollen however, external hemorrhoids become red in color and sensitive to touch. They start to irritate and itch the sufferer and can become quiet painful at this point.
Why do Hemorrhoids Occur?
It is still unknown exactly why hemorrhoids enlarge. Some theories point to an insufficient intake of fiber, excessive straining while going to the toilet, and sitting on the toilet for excessive amounts of time. Pregnancy is also a common cause of inflamed hemorrhoids, but again, the reason is still unknown.
Hemorrhoids may enlarge due to deterioration of the muscle which anchors the hemorrhoid cushions (this often occurs as people age), or due to the shearing force associated when passing an excessively large or hard stool (this pushing the cushions further down the anal passage).
95% of hemorrhoids can be treated without the need for surgery. The earlier that hemorrhoids are noticed, the easier they are to treat naturally, the longer they go on for however, the more serious they can become and in some cases will ultimately require surgical removal.
Over-the-Counter Treatments for Hemorrhoids
A large range of over-the-counter treatments are available for hemorrhoids. Very few studies report that these types of medications actually do anything to treat hemorrhoids. They most commonly relieve irritation and reduce the other symptoms associated with hemorrhoids.
These types of medications may help relieve pain and also reduce other side effects of hemorrhoids but we do not recommend them as a sustainable cure for hemorrhoids.
What do I do if I Suffer From Hemorrhoids?
If you suffer from any of the symptoms above it is highly likely you suffer from inflamed hemorrhoids. In this case we suggest that you take immediate action, either through a consultation with your local doctor through one of the hemorrhoid treatments explained here. Hemorrhoids are best treated immediately as the can worsen significantly over time. Early action is generally very straight forward and can usually treat the problem very quickly.
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