Hemorrhoids, often called Piles, are swellings of enlarged blood vessels that can be found either inside the rectum or around the anus. For many people Hemorrhoids fail to cause any symptoms and largely go unnoticed, some patients don’t even realize they have the condition. As a rule of thumb, most people’s Hemorrhoids aren’t too painful so long as the blood supply to the area isn’t cut off.
Nevertheless, for some people Hemorrhoids can cause quite uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. When these symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Bleeding during or after a bowel movement. The blood that is passed is often bright red, if there is dark blood contact your doctor immediately.
- An intensely itchy bottom that doesn’t subside.
- An irritating lump that may hang outside of your anus, this lump may need to be repeatedly pushed back into the anus after bowel movements.
- Mucus being discharged during or after a bowel movement.
- Soreness, redness and swelling around your back-passage.
What Causes Hemorrhoids to Develop?
Sadly, like far too many conditions plaguing humanity, the exact cause of Hemorrhoids remains frustratingly unclear. However, what is known is that they are heavily associated with events that cause a significant increase in the pressure of the blood vessels in and around your anus and rectum. Increased pressure on the blood vessels in and around your anus and rectum can cause inflammation and swelling in the region.
It’s believed that the vast majority of Hemorrhoid cases are caused by too much straining when people open their bowels. This straining can often be caused by prolonged periods of constipation – a problem often easily solved by increasing dietary fiber.
Conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome are also often responsible for cases of Hemorrhoids. This is because chronic diarrhea creates a similar pressure in and around the back-passage to chronic constipation.
Although these factors are often the most common causes of Hemorrhoids, there are other circumstances that can increase the chances you develop the condition, these include:
- If you are overweight, or clinically obese, you are at a much higher risk of developing Hemorrhoids than someone in better shape. That’s likely because the dietary choices of an overweight person are statistically more likely to be poorer and less rich is dietary fiber.
- Age is also an important factor in whether or not you’re at risk of developing Hemorrhoids. This is because as you age the supporting tissues that hold your body together become weaker, this weakness provides an opportunity for increased pressure in your rectum and anus to lead to a Hemorrhoid.
- Being pregnant also increases the risk of developing Hemorrhoids. Once again, this is because pregnancy often puts an increased amount of pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvis, rectum and anus.
- If you have family members who’ve experienced Hemorrhoids, this puts you slightly more at risk of developing them yourself due to genetic similarities.
- Regularly lifting heavy objects with improper technique is a significant risk factor in predicting cases of Hemorrhoids.
- If you have a chronic cough, or have recently experienced a violent period of vomiting, you may also be slightly more at risk of developing Hemorrhoids.
- Leading a sedentary life-style, where you spend far too much time sat down, is another indicator of predicting where Hemorrhoids may develop.
How do you Treat Hemorrhoids?
Luckily the symptoms of Hemorrhoids tend to settle down within a few days without needing too much treatment. With that being said there are a wide range of creams, ointments and even suppositories that are available for purchase over-the-counter at your local pharmacy that can help speed the process up.
Nevertheless, if these treatments fail to ease your hemorrhoids, make sure to contact your doctor for advice on the next steps.