Hemorrhoids, popularly known as piles can occur in anyone. The majority of people tend not to count it as a significant condition or a cause worthy of mention.

Hemorrhoids are a very common condition that can affect persons of any age or pregnant women. By the age of 50, more than half of the adult population has experienced hemorrhoids at least once.

The most neglected form of hemorrhoids is the one that develops during pregnancy.

WHAT ARE HEMORRHOIDS?

Hemorrhoids (Piles) are swollen veins that develop inside the anus or at the lower part of the rectum. When these veins get swollen, the blood in that area pools and results in expansion. The expansion extends to the linings of the rectum and the anal tissues.

Hemorrhoids aren’t always visible, but when they expand, they form red-colored lumps.

TYPES OF HEMORRHOIDS

There are four major types of hemorrhoids that developed in the body. They include:

  • Internal

  • External

  • Prolapsed

  • Thrombosed.

  • Internal Hemorrhoids: This kind of hemorrhoids is found deep inside the rectum and invisible to the eyes. Internal hemorrhoids are usually a less serious condition with mild symptoms. One might not even notice the symptoms because there are no nerves in the rectum. However, you can see blood in feces. The blood is the result of the feces irritating the internal hemorrhoids. Sometimes, the hemorrhoids clear out without any form of treatment.

  • External Hemorrhoids: External Hemorrhoids affect the outer surface of the anus. They appear as lumps on the anal surface. They become clearer as the veins expand. Just like the internal hemorrhoids, they are also not regarded as a serious medical condition because it can clear out by itself. Sitting or passing stools will be difficult due to the inflamed veins on the anus. When the discomfort turns severe, it’s advisable to see a doctor immediately.

  • Prolapsed Hemorrhoids: Prolapsed Hemorrhoids occur when internal hemorrhoids continually swell and pop out of the anus. There are four grades of prolapsed hemorrhoids:

  1. Grade 1: At this stage, the hemorrhoids are not prolapsed.

  2. Grade 2: At this stage, the prolapsed hemorrhoids can contract on their own. It mostly sticks out when the rectum during the process of defecating. It will reverse once the anus relaxes.

  3. Grade 3: At this stage, the prolapsed hemorrhoids can’t contract on their own. You’ll need to push it back into the rectum with your hands physically.

  4. Grade 4: At this stage, the prolapsed hemorrhoids can’t contract on their own and can’t be pushed back into the rectum. This grade causes a lot of pain and discomfort. It requires surgery to remove.

Prolapsed hemorrhoids are visible to the eyes because of their protrusion. They cause a lot of discomforts and disrupt your daily activities.

  • Thrombosed Hemorrhoids: Thrombosed Hemorrhoids are the kinds of hemorrhoids that contain thrombus in the tissues. Thrombosis is the formation of blood clots called a thrombus in blood vessels. Thrombosed Hemorrhoids often appear as lumps on the surface of the anus and can either be internal or external.

CAUSES OF HEMORRHOIDS

There are no exact conditions known to cause the development of hemorrhoids, but there are different factors that can increase the risk. Such factors include:

  • Heredity: Parents can pass hemorrhoid genes to their children. When you have a history of hemorrhoids in the family, there are high chances of also developing hemorrhoids.

  • Constipation: When you have constant constipation, hemorrhoids can develop as a complication.

  • Pregnancy: Pregnant women are more prone to developing hemorrhoids as the uterus expands during pregnancy and causes the colon to swell.

  • Obesity: Being obese can also increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids due to the increased pressure on the body.

  • Anal intercourse: Constant anal intercourse can lead to hemorrhoids because of the pressure exerted on the rectum.

  • Diarrhea: Diarrhea irritates the bowel and increases the risk of hemorrhoids.

SYMPTOMS OF HEMORRHOIDS

Symptoms of hemorrhoids can be mild or severe. Common ones include:

  • Intense pain and discomfort.

  • Itchiness in the anus.

  • Lumps on the surface of the anus.

  • Burning sensation in the anus.

  • Bleeding

  • Inflammation

See a doctor if the symptoms persist.

DIAGNOSIS OF HEMORRHOIDS

There are different ways to diagnose hemorrhoids. Common forms of diagnosis include:

  1. Anal Visual Examination: This process involves physically checking out the areas of the anus for lumps. It is an examination that mostly checks for external or prolapsed hemorrhoids.

  2. Digital Rectal Examination: In this examination, a doctor will have to insert a finger using lubricated gloves into the rectum to check for any abnormalities. Should there be any sign of hemorrhoids in the anus, the doctor would recommend another test.

  3. Sigmoidoscopy: In this test, a thin, the doctor inserts a plastic tube (sigmoidoscope) into the rectum. The tube comes with a light and a camera. It would analyze the insides of the rectum to detect any form of hemorrhoids that might be present.

TREATMENT OF HEMORRHOIDS

Treatment of hemorrhoids depends on the type and how severe the observed symptoms are. The treatment can be non-surgical or surgical.

Non-surgical treatment

This form of treatment doesn’t require surgery. It can be simple home remedies or over-the-counter medications. Treatment in this case includes:

  • Hemorrhoids cream: Hydrocortisone or other hemorrhoids cream can be applied on the surface of the anus to relieve the swelling and pain.

  • Cold compress: You can place an ice pack on the anal surface to also relieve swelling and pain.

  • Pain reliefs: Pain reliefs like Ibuprofen, Acetaminophen, Aspirin, etc. help reduce the pain and discomfort that follows hemorrhoids.

  • Warm water treatment: You can sit exposing your anal surface in a warm water bath for about 15 minutes. It helps relieve the symptoms and pain.

Surgical Treatment

In severe conditions, hemorrhoids will require surgery for removal to be to avoid complications. Common surgical procedures include:

  • Rubber band litigation: This involves cutting off the areas affected by the hemorrhoids by using a rubber band. A rubber band is placed around the hemorrhoids until it shrinks and falls off. The procedure is dangerous; hence a medical doctor should perform it.

  • Sclerotherapy: This procedure involves the injection of chemicals into the blood vessels to reduce the size of the hemorrhoids. The procedure is also known as injection therapy.

  • Hemorrhoidectomy: Hemorrhoidectomy is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of severe hemorrhoids. It is the most effective surgical treatment—other surgical procedures available include Hemorrhoidopexy and Infrared coagulation.

COMPLICATIONS OF HEMORRHOIDS

Complications don’t often arise from hemorrhoids; but in rare cases, few could develop. Below is a list of common complications;

  • Anemia: If there’s consistent blood loss from the body due to hemorrhoids it could lead to Anaemia. In this condition, the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to transport oxygen to all the other cells in the body.

  • Hemorrhoids Strangulation: This occurs when the channel there is a blockage in the blood supply to the hemorrhoids. The hemorrhoids are said to be strangulated, and it causes a lot of unbearable pain.

  • Bacterial Infection: Certain bacteria can enter the body through bleeding hemorrhoids and affect the tissues of the rectum and colon.

HEMORRHOIDS DURING PREGNANCY

During pregnancy, you’re highly susceptible to developing hemorrhoids because of the increasing size of the uterus. Research shows that more than 50 percent of women develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Symptoms during pregnancy are similar to that of normal hemorrhoids. They include:

  • Itchiness

  • Bleeding

  • Inflammation

  • Pain during defecation

Causes of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Some of the factors that can cause hemorrhoids during pregnancy are:

  • Hormonal changes: During pregnancy, the body experience a lot of changes in hormones that can result in hemorrhoids.

  • Uterus size: the increasing uterus size exerts pressure on the veins around the anus that could lead to hemorrhoids.

  • Blood Volume: The body produces more blood during pregnancy and causes the veins to expand, which could turn into hemorrhoids.

  • Constipation: Constipation increases with pregnancy, and constant constipation causes hemorrhoids.

Treatment of Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy

Hemorrhoids might disappear after childbirth without treatment, but sometimes it doesn’t. It’s advisable to use home remedies during pregnancy.

  • Avoid using coarse wipes or pads. Most preferably, use one with witch hazel.

  • Sit in a warm bath for about 15 minutes daily.

  • Engage in Kegel exercises to help build the muscles.

  • Use an ice pack to cold compress the anal surface.

  • Drink lots of water and eat fiber-rich foods.

  • Avoid sitting for a long period.

If symptoms persist, you need to see the doctor for a proper diagnosis. Surgery will be an option if the hemorrhoid is severe.

What to Expect If You Have Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy.

During pregnancy, the large intestine—also known as the large bowel—will move up to 10x its normal volume. This is called intestinal hyperplasia and can cause hemorrhoids. If you are pregnant and have hemorrhoids, you may experience pain, itching, bleeding, and swelling in the anus. These symptoms are not typically serious and do not indicate any long-term health risks.

How To Prevent Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy.

Pregnancy is a time of rapid physical and emotional changes in a woman, and it can be a challenging time to keep your digestive system in check. The large digestive tract of the pregnant woman makes it more susceptible to injury, as does the increased blood volume that can lead to sluggishness and anemia. The surging hormones that also intensify during pregnancy also can affect the digestive tract. So, how can you keep your digestive tract in top shape during this time? ‘BY USING PROBIOTICS’ Bacteria within the digestive tract perform many tasks that keep our health in balance and help us get rid of toxins throughout the day. The main role of these bacteria is to digest and break down the food we eat, which is why they are often called the “gut”. They produce lactates, B vitamins, vitamins C, K, and N as well as enzymes that help break down food in our intestines and absorb nutrients. A healthy gut is crucial to good health. However, if your gut is unhealthy and overpopulated with unhealthy bacteria, it can cause problems. Hemorrhoids are not a disease or medical condition. Rather, they are a condition of the veins of the anus and rectum. Many people have hemorrhoids whether they know it or not. When people suffer from repeated bouts of hemorrhoids, it can lead to the condition lasting for years and years. They are one of the most painful and embarrassing conditions that one can have. One can easily get hemorrhoids due to over-stretching, gluteal (buttock) exercise, pregnancy, or any other reason. However, you can treat your hemorrhoids naturally with certain home remedies.
CONCLUSION

The chances of developing hemorrhoids increase during pregnancy. When you observe symptoms of hemorrhoids, treat immediately to before it worsens. Drinking lots of water and eating fiber-rich foods helps reduce the risk of hemorrhoids. When you begin to feel pain or discomfort, you should seek a doctor immediately.

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