What is Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids the ailment caused by the extensive swelling of the veins in the rectum and anus. The veins in the rectum and anus are necessary to facilitate the completion of bowel movements, such that stool can be eliminated properly and with relative ease. However, these veins may become too gorged with blood. If the blood pressure becomes too high, hemorrhoids is the result.
Generally, hemorrhoids is not something that need be strongly worried about. However, hemorrhoids have several variations and can, unchecked, become quite a problem. The primary symptoms of hemorrhoids are discomfort, pain, itching and bleeding.
There is a distinction between internal and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless, with minor bleeding being the only factor present. Discomfort of some sort may be present at worst. External hemorrhoids generally feature much worse bleeding and the rest of the symptoms, including itching and pain.
It should also be noted that hemorrhoids is, in addition to the name of the ailment, the name of the vascular structures in the rectum and anus that may be damaged. Every individual has hemorrhoids anatomically; not every individual is suffering from hemorrhoids pathologically.
Who gets Hemorrhoids?
Almost everyone is equally susceptible to hemorrhoids. There are no genetic underlying causes that bring hemorrhoids about. The only factors that can be passed on genetically that may be relevant to hemorrhoids are blood pressure and any potential vascular malformations that can be shared through the same vector. There are otherwise no genetic predispositions of statistical relevance. Individuals of all races and sexes are equally likely to suffer from hemorrhoids. Blood pressure can be a factor that is passed along genetically, but hemorrhoids is secondary to this, not the primary effect of a genetic condition. Vascular malformation is a rare and vague possibility, but again, the genetic predisposition would be for something likely to occur that may contribute to a case of hemorrhoids in the future, not an actual genetic predisposition for hemorrhoids specifically.
The only exception to this is age. The older an individual becomes, the more susceptible they become to the strain and damage that results in hemorrhoids. Generally, cases of hemorrhoids do not occur in very young individuals, but become reasonably more likely as they get older. Individuals middle-aged and older are most likely to suffer from hemorrhoids, although it also bears noting that they are most likely to have acquired issues with high blood pressure and other predisposing factors. Age itself may be far less relevant in a well cared-for body, but other factors and stimuli may still cause hemorrhoids.
What causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids is caused by and is the damage of veins meant to carry blood to the rectum and anus to aid in the passing of stool. If an individual strains too hard during a bowel movement, the dramatic increase in pressure in the veins may damage them, causing them to rupture and subsequently causing bleeds in the rectum and anus. The strain is the primary factor, which in turn may come about due to issues of diet. Balanced diets generally result in relatively easy bowel movements, whereas poorly constructed diets can result in very difficult bowel movements, and, consequently, straining.
In addition to straining as a cause, persistently high blood pressure itself can be a factor. This makes the strain required far lower by passively increasing the pressure throughout the entire vascular system at once. Factors that raise blood pressure immediately can be major contributors to hemorrhoids; an individual going through a very stressful time in their life who is not minding their diet appropriately and consequently is suffering from high blood pressure and difficult bowel movements is a prime candidate for a case of hemorrhoids.
What does Hemorrhoids cause?
Hemorrhoids causes discomfort, pain, itching and bleeding. The strain on the body is naturally quite unpleasant, but the damage incurred to the vascular system in the rectum and anus will almost inevitably be quite painful. It may ache without provocation for some time, bowel movements may be very unpleasantly painful for some time to follow, and it may be very painful to wipe after a bowel movement while an individual is suffering from hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids are generally nothing more than minor bleeding that will not present itself except when an individual wipes after a bowel movement. The blood is arterial and oxygenated, so it will be bright red, but this does not constitute a major health risk. Some discomfort may occur as well, but this will usually be very minor.
External hemorrhoids are very much more noticeable. External hemorrhoids will result in persistent pain, itching and discomfort. Wiping after a bowel movement will reveal that the bleeding is worse than it is with internal hemorrhoids, and additionally, wiping will be much more painful, if not unbearably so. External hemorrhoids have a tendency to persist for some time, and are far more likely to require some form of treatment or symptom alleviation.
How serious is Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids is, as a rule, not serious. Hemorrhoids is certainly uncomfortable, but it is far from truly dangerous. Hemorrhoids is more likely to occur as a complication attached to another ailment than it is to cause any dangerous complications in and of itself. Hemorrhoids have no fatality rate and almost no possible complications. The greatest difficulty on hand with hemorrhoids is far and away the discomfort; the blood lost to wiping when hemorrhoids are at their very worst is not sufficient to cause any true medical concern.
Hemorrhoids are most serious when they present for the potential indication of a more serious ailment. High blood pressure may be indicated by a case of hemorrhoids, as may various dietary issues that are causing bowel movements to be unnecessarily straining. However, this has nothing to do with hemorrhoids themselves. It simply means that a case of hemorrhoids or symptoms that appear to be indicative of hemorrhoids are worth addressing with a medical professional even if the symptoms themselves are not severe.
The only exception to this is when hemorrhoids persist unchecked for a very long period of time. If hemorrhoids should become effectively chronic and refuse to heal on their own, the bleeding, pain and itching may only grow worse and worse over time. This may mandate surgical intervention. However, this is not the standard by any metric and such occurrences are very, very rare indeed.
What does Hemorrhoids treatment look like?
Hemorrhoids treatment is primarily symptomatic. The initial response will almost always be in the form of a topical cream, usually over-the-counter, although prescription variants do exist in more powerful concentrations for more severe cases of hemorrhoids. The active ingredient in most of these treatments is designed to constrict blood vessels. This prevents further bleeding and thus allows the strained veins to heal naturally, as well as preventing further damage from straining.
More serious cases may require more indirect cures that will act less directly on the hemorrhoids themselves. At the forefront of these are dietary modifications; extensive strain during bowel movements is usually caused by a lack of fiber in one’s diet. This is fairly easy to rectify with a few minor changes of habit, and supplements also exist for the same purpose. Truly severe cases will usually have an underlying cause related to blood pressure, such as hypertension. Treatment for these conditions will likely be administered if they are uncovered, but these treatments will ultimately be unrelated to hemorrhoids itself.
In their absolute worst form, external hemorrhoids may require surgical intervention. This assumes that the hemorrhoids themselves are effectively chronic and show know sign of healing. If the pain, itching and bleeding continues even after topical treatment, than surgical intervention may be employed to manually restrict bloodflow as necessary and allow the affected veins to heal. This can make bowel movements very difficult for an extended period of time, however, and obviously carries the risk that all surgeries do by rite of being surgeries. Thus, this is only ever a factor in the absolute worst cases.
How do I know if I have Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids is fairly easily identifiable by the signature bright red bleeding that will occur during the wiping after a bowel movement. Similarly, the pain and itching that can be caused by external hemorrhoids are quite distinctive, and both of these necessarily follow the straining of the rectum during a difficult bowel movement. That said, however, it is very important to speak with a medical professional. Blood after wiping does not always indicate hemorrhoids and can also indicate more serious ailments. Similarly, the discomfort, pain and itching may all come from other sources. If these symptoms persist and are severe it is very important to contact a doctor or other medical professional for examination and treatment.
Diagnosis of hemorrhoids is a fairly simple process and, despite the common jokes in today’s pop culture, it is mildly uncomfortable at worst. The discomfort incurred is, in any case, far less than the discomfort suffered if hemorrhoids is allowed to progress untreated.