Hemorrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal which help with stool control. They become athological or piles when swollen or inflamed. In their physiological state, they act as a cushion composed of arterio-venous channels and connective tissue.
Veins can swell inside the anal canal to form internal hemorrhoids. Or they can swell near the opening of the anus to form external hemorrhoids. One can have both types at the same time.
Types of hemorrhoids include internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids and mixed hemorrhoids (including both internal and external).
Too much pressure on the veins in the pelvic and rectal area causes hemorrhoids. Normally, tissue inside the anus fills with blood to help control bowel movements. If you strain to move stool, the increased pressure causes the veins in this tissue to swell and stretch. This can cause hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are very common, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth.
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is still unknown.
A number of factors play vital role including:
irregular bowel habits (like constipation or diarrhea),
lack of exercise,
nutritional factors (low-fiber diets),
absence of valves within the hemorrhoidal veins.
Other factors that are believed to increase the risk include obesity, prolonged sitting, chronic cough and pelvic floor dysfunction<.
The most common symptoms of both internal and external hemorrhoids include:
Rectal bleeding. You might see streaks of bright red blood on toilet paper after you strain to have a bowel movement.
Rectal pain. It may be painful to clean the anal area.
One or more hard tender lumps near the anus.
Numbers of preventative measures are recommended including avoiding straining while attempting to defecate, avoiding constipation and diarrhea (by taking high fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluid or taking fiber supplements) and getting sufficient exercise.
Spending less time attempting to defecate, avoiding reading while on the toilet, as well as losing weight for overweight persons and avoiding heavy lifting are also recommended
Treatments for hemorrhoids include:
Over-the-counter corticosteroid creams to help reduce pain and swelling
Hemorrhoid creams with lidocaine to help reduce pain
Stool softeners help reduce straining and constipation
Sitz baths can help you to feel better. Sit in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes.
Surgery to remove hemorrhoids may be done if other treatments don't work.