Hemorrhoids are swollen vessels in the rectum. The veins are swollen and become stretched, thin and irritated during bowel movements. There are 2 types of hemorrhoids – internal and external.[youtube url=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C8vZoIhQCwU”]
Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum which cannot be seen or feel. They do not usually cause pain since there are limited number of sensory nerves in the rectum. Bleeding is only the indication of their presence inside. Sometimes, the internal hemorrhoids become enlarged and protrude outside of the anal sphincter and described as moist, pink pads of skin that can cause pain. They simply go back into the rectum or can be gently pushed back in its place.
The external hemorrhoids usually develop within the anus and usually cause pain. When they move or prolapse outside, especially when having a bowel movement, they can be seen and felt. Sometimes, blood clots can develop on the prolapsed external hemorrhoids and result to thrombosis.
Causes of hemorrhoids
- Sneezing and coughing
- Straining during bowel movements
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Holding breath when performing an activity that is physically hard
- Moist, pink pads of skin that protrudes from the anus and can sometimes appear purple or bluish
- Pain and discomfort can be felt around the anus
- Bleeding from the anus
- After every bowel movement, clean the anal area properly by wiping it gently using a damp unscented toilet paper or a pre-moistened baby wipes for sensitive skin.
- Apply a cold compress on the affected area to shrink the hemorrhoids, lessen the pain and itching. Passing out of stool becomes easier when the swelling is lessened. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply directly over the affected area several times every day to constrict the blood vessels and lessen the hemorrhoids.
- Consume psyllium husk regularly to minimize strain on the swollen veins and provides enough time to heal. Psyllium husk is filled with fibers which makes stool soft and promote easy bowel movements.
- Soak the affected area in warm water to lessen the pain and itching and relax the blood vessels. Soak the inflamed area in warm water for at least 15-20 minutes, sit back and raise the knee for maximum exposure of the anal area to the warm water and wipe using a wet towel. Perform this process regularly to lessen the hemorrhoids effectively. Another alternative is adding a handful of Epsom salts to the bath until completely dissolved. Soak the affected area in this solution to shrink and relieve pain from the hemorrhoids.
- Apply a prescribed over-the-counter topical cream or ointment such as a corticosteroid cream with a low dosage of steroid to lessen the swelling and pain or a lidocaine cream to minimize the pain.
- Avoid being dehydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day for fast healing of the condition.
- Take the prescribed over-the-counter pain medication such as aspirin, acetaminophen and ibuprofen to lessen the soreness of the area.