Hemorrhoids Are Common
Although not often talked about, it is estimated that roughly 4% of the general population has or will someday have active hemorrhoids. What is interesting is how the decisions that people make in terms of their hemorrhoids treatment can vary significantly from one person to another. The medical world tends to lean towards a description of hemorrhoids as a symptom producing growth or enlargement and/or distal displacement of the normal look and feel of the anal cushions. But to the common person, hemorrhoids are often thought of as enlarged bumps on the outside or inside of the butt region, and they usually follow with some bleeding and pain.
What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like
To get a better understanding of what is happening with the digestive system when hemorrhoids are active, please review the picture. As the veins become enlarged and stressed, they can begin to feel painful to people living with them. The pain from hemorrhoids is often magnified for people when they are sitting down on hard surfaces or even while sitting down in comfortable padded chairs.
Causes of Hemorrhoids
There are several common ideas behind what are the leading causes of hemorrhoids, they include:
- prolonged constipation
- poor diet (lack of fiber)
- bacteria or other anal infections
Signs and Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Some of the most common patient reported symptoms of hemorrhoids are the following:
- blood spots on the toilet paper (usually bright red, not dark red)
- small noticeable bumps felt around the anus while wiping with toilet paper
- painful moments when having a bowel movement that normally should be pain free
Testing For Hemorrhoids
There are a few different medical procedures which are commonly used to test and detect hemorrhoids. They include the following:
- Sigmoidoscopy: this is a moderately uncomfortable procedure where the lower part of the GI tract is examined with a scope tube. The tube is inserted up the rectum and has an attached camera lens which allows the physician to view how things are looking on the inside. Patients often report mild discomfort both during and after the procedure, but the pain is usually gone within a few hours after it is complete.
- Anoscopy: similar to the sigmoidoscopy, the anoscopy uses a camera like tube and is inserted up the rectum, but only a few centimeters. So the actual probing up the anal passageway is much shorter of a distance, which often means a less painful experience.
There are many different types of treatment for people who suffer from hemorrhoids. There are both Western medicine approaches which include medications, as well as minimally invasive surgical procedures, and then there are a whole range of alternative treatments that are also commonly used. Because hemorrhoids are seen all over the world, every single country has similar and often times very different ways to treat this common medical condition. Here are some current treatment ideas that are in use:
- Staying away from toilet papers that have added chemicals or odor fighting agents
- Making sure to wear cotton only underpants that are less abrasive compared to other types of clothing that rest against your butt
- Steroid Creams
- Resting in a warm bath with some salt has been known to ease the pain and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids
- Rubber Band Ligation: this is close to a surgical procedure
- Radiofrequency Ablation: using an electrode with a radio frequency to coagulate the hemorrhoids
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