Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, occur when the veins in the rectal area become swollen and inflamed due to increased pressure and strain during bowel movements. Hemorrhoids can lead to pain, discomfort, bleeding, and other symptoms. They can be classified into internal and external hemorrhoids.
Causes of hemorrhoids
- Prolonged sitting or inactivity.
- Pregnancy and childbirth.
- Respiratory diseases, chronic coughing, and frequent infections.
- Low-fiber diet.
- Prolonged standing.
- Dehydration and a lack of fluid intake.
- Consumption of dry, low-fiber foods.
- Heavy lifting.
- Genetic predisposition.
- Inflammation in the rectal area.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
The most common and bothersome symptom is the discomfort and burning sensation during bowel movements. Other symptoms of hemorrhoids can include:
- Pain and discomfort in the rectal area.
- Oozing or discharge from the rectal area.
- Itching or irritation in the rectal area.
- Prolapse of internal hemorrhoids, which may require manual reduction.
- Bleeding, often associated with bowel movements.
- Swelling around the rectal area.
- Persistent discomfort after defecation.
Types of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are categorized based on their location:
These are located inside the rectum and are typically not visible unless they prolapse (protrude) during a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids can be further classified into four grades:
- Grade I: Hemorrhoids bleed but do not prolapse.
- Grade II: Hemorrhoids prolapse during a bowel movement and retract spontaneously.
- Grade III: Hemorrhoids require manual reduction after prolapsing during a bowel movement.
- Grade IV: Hemorrhoids are irreducible, and manual reduction is not possible.
These occur outside the rectum and are visible as swollen, inflamed lumps around the anal area. They can be painful and may lead to the formation of blood clots.
Complications of Hemorrhoids
Complications of hemorrhoids can include:
- Rectal prolapse and rectal descent.
- Inflammation and irritation of the rectal area.
- Bleeding, which may lead to anemia.
- Thrombosis (blood clot formation) in swollen veins.
- Anal fissures.
- Infection of hemorrhoids.
Laser Treatment for Hemorrhoids
Laser therapy for hemorrhoids is a minimally invasive procedure that can help shrink or remove hemorrhoidal tissue. It offers advantages such as reduced pain, shorter recovery time, and the ability to target the affected area with precision.
Preventive measures for hemorrhoids
- Avoiding chronic constipation
- Maintaining a high-fiber diet.
- Staying hydrated.
- Regular exercise.
- Avoid heavy lifting.
- Proper toilet habits, including not delaying bowel movements.
- Avoid prolonged periods of standing or sitting.
- Reducing caffeine intake.
It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you suspect you have hemorrhoids or are experiencing symptoms.