What are Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus or lower rectum. More than half adults over the age of 50 will have hemorrhoids as some point in there life.
Internal vs External Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can be located inside the anal canal, or externally, under the skin of the anus. Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless but cam bleed, whereas external ones usually cause pain.
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Extreme itching around the anus
- Blood in the stool
- Swelling around the anus
Hemorrhoids occur from too much pressure in the veins surrounding the anus, causing the veins to stretch, bulge, and swell.
Common causes for the pressure that leads to hemorrhoids include:
- Extreme straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long periods of time, especially on the toilet
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Anal sex
- Low-fiber diets
- Heavy lifting
- Family history
The older you are, the higher your chances of developing hemorrhoids. As we age, the veins surrounding the anus weaken and stretch.
Though common as we age, there are preventative things we can do to lower our chances of developing hemorrhoids.
Common ways to help prevent hemorrhoids include:
- Drinking lots of water
- Regular exercise
- High-fiber diets
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time, especially on the toilet, or hard surfaces.
Most of the time, hemorrhoids aren’t serious. Treatment methods for hemorrhoids medication or ointments to relieve pain, fiber supplements, and lifestyle changes, or a combination of treatment methods.
In more severe cases, surgery may be recommended for some people.
When to See a Medical Doctor
If you suffer from hemorrhoids, speak to a doctor.
While mostly harmless, they can cause discomfort and pain to the point of impacting our daily lives. In more severe cases, complications like anemia can be caused by hemorrhoids.
It may take trying a few treatment methods before finding one the works best for you. A doctor can help assess the severity, and create a treatment plan that’s best for your needs.