What Are Hemroids?

What are hemroids? Seen more frequently in men than women, they are more likely to appear when you get older. Younger people and children might also get hemorrhoids. Women might suffer from them when they are pregnant. According to statistics, around 4/5 adults in Europe and North America suffer from hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Sometimes you may not be aware that you are suffering from them but will find when a check-up is done.

Causes of Hemroids(Hemorrhoids)

Hemorrhoids or Piles are when the veins in the anus and lower rectum get swollen and inflamed. They may be caused due to one of the following reasons:

  • ŸBad bowel habit. Rushing to empty the bowel. Hurrying can cause hemorrhoids. It puts excessive strain while defecating and increases pressure on the rectal veins.
  • ŸDiarrhea or constipation. If you are suffering from persistent diarrhea or constipation, it can put excess pressure on the veins and anal canal, causing hemorrhoids.
  • ŸObesity. Obesity causes excessive weight and pressure in the abdominal region and pelvis. This increases the pressure in the pelvic veins.  
  • ŸPregnancy. Changes in the hormonal levels during pregnancy cause increased blood supply to the pelvic area. The growing fetus also puts pressure on the blood vessels in the anal region.
  • ŸSome disease. Chronic conditions like heart and liver disease cause pooling of blood in the abdominal area, which causes enlargement of veins.

Symptoms of Hemroids (Hemorrhoids)

What are hermroids? One way to distinguish it from other disease is to know its symptoms. Some of the symptoms commonly seen in patients suffering from Hemorrhoids are:

  • Bleeding during defecating. Blood can be seen in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper
  • Irritation and itching in the anal region
  • Pain and discomfort in the anal area
  • Protruding lumps in the anal region
  • Swelling in the anal region
  • Painful or sensitive lump near the anus
  • Involuntary leaking feces

Internal hemorrhoids can be described based on their severity and the following grading system can be used:

  • First degree hemorrhoids. Bleeding hemorrhoids that do not descend.
  • Second degree hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids which may or may not show bleeding but prolapse and retract on their own.
  • Third degree hemorrhoids. Descending hemorrhoids, but require to be pushed back in by means of a finger.
  • Fourth degree hemorrhoids. Prolapsing hemorrhoids, which cannot be pushed back. They usually contain blood clots and pull the rectal lining through the anus.

When to See a Doctor

Emergency care should be sought when there is excessive rectal bleeding, dizziness, faintness and lightheadedness. Also, if the symptoms begin which changes in bowel habits, you should consult the doctor. If the stools appear black, maroon, tarry or with blood clots, it can be a sign of bleeding in other parts of digestive tract and immediate medical attention should be sought.

Treatments of Hemroids (Hemorrhoids)

Since the question "what are hemroids" has been known, you may concern more about how to treat it, here are some common treatments.

1. Medicine

For mild irritation or pain, over the counter medication as suggested by the doctor can be used, which include creams, ointments, suppositories and pads. They relieve pain and itching temporarily. However, they should not be used for longer than a week, as they might lead to rashes & inflammation.

2. Rubber Band Ligation

This is a minimally invasive procedure, where the hemorrhoids are tied off with rubber bands which cuts off the circulation. This causes it to wither and fall off. It can be uncomfortable and cause bleeding, however, it is not severe.

3. Injection

The doctor injects a chemical solution in the hemorrhoid which shrinks it. This procedure may or may not cause pain but is not as effective as rubber band ligation.

4. Coagulation

Laser, infrared light and heat are used to harden and shrivel the small, bleeding and internal hemorrhoids. Coagulation does not have many side effects; however, there are high chances of recurrence of hemorrhoids, as compared to rubber band ligation.

5. Surgery

  • ŸHemorrhoid removal. Hemorrhoidectomy is effective and complete way in treating severe and recurring hemorrhoids. Excessive tissue is removed under local or general sedation. It can cause difficulty in emptying the bladder temporarily or UTI in some people. Soaking in warm bath can help in relieving pain after the procedure.
  • ŸHemorrhoid stapling. Stapled hemorrhoidectomy blocks the blood flow to the hemorrhoidal tissue. It is less painful than complete hemorrhoidectomy and faster to recovery. There is, however, more chance of recurrence and prolapse.

6. Home Remedies

  • ŸFiber. Fiber is known to soften and increase the bulk of stools, which in turn reduces the straining. It has a consistent beneficial effect in relieving symptoms and bleeding. 7 RCTs consisting of over 378 participants confirmed that fiber helps in improving symptoms like itching, pain and discomfort.
  • ŸWater. Drinking eight glasses of water is beneficial. You can increase water intake depending on your lifestyle and the climate. You can consult your doctor in case of any medical conditions.
  • ŸBioflavonoids. Bioflavonoids like Diosmin, Hesperidin and Oxerutins are plant compounds found in the citrus fruits like oranges and lemons. Clinical trials have shown that they reduce bleeding and pain in acute hemorrhoid pain. They stabilize and strengthen veins, capillaries and reduce inflammation.
  • ŸGood hygiene. Maintaining good hygiene is essential. Use moist toilet paper to clean the anus, or take a bath or shower. Dry the area with soft cloth and avoid wiping hard. Zinc oxide powder can be used to reduce irritation. OTC creams or suppositories can also be used. 
  • ŸDon't sit for hours. Don’t sit for extended periods, take breaks every hour. Move around for at least 5 minutes. Using a soft cushion to sit can ease the pain and pressure from hemorrhoids and is also more comfortable.

The video below gives you more choices to treat hemroids quickly: