What are Hemorrhoids?
To experience hemorrhoids is to experience discomfort, a total lack of ease, and often, unbearable pain. Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are the veins that are swollen in your rectal region. At unfortunate times in your life, unwanted stretching happens. The unwanted stretching is that of the walls of the blood vessels of the anal region. These blood vessels can stretch to be thin enough for the veins in that region to bulge.
The bulging of the veins of the rectal region can lead to a state of complete irritation at various times of the day. When nature’s call is to be attended — that is when it is time for the day’s first session of defecation, the pain of having piles can be felt. Not only would you want to expel your stool, but you would also want to utterly do away with and expel the pain that hemorrhoids can cause.
While we understand that you could underestimate the magnitude of the danger piles can inflict upon you, it is important for you to read, and take in fully that one of the most common causes behind most cases of rectal bleeding is piles. Although hemorrhoids can go away on their own on many occasions, piles pain treatment procedures can provide some relief.
What are the different types of hemorrhoids, and what are their symptoms?
Before hemorrhoid pain treatment is sought, it is key to understand the kind of hemorrhoid pain that you are facing. Indeed, piles can be classified to be of three different types, such as:
- Internal hemorrhoids
- External hemorrhoids
- Thrombosed hemorrhoids
Much to the total lack of surprise, all three types of hemorrhoids exhibit slightly different characteristics and symptoms that let you know of their presence in your system. Let’s take a look at the common symptoms that these different types of hemorrhoids present as they manifest themselves in your anal region.
As the name might already suggest, these are piles issues found in the interior of your rectum. In fact, these hemorrhoids can sometimes go away without you ever feeling their presence at all. You can’t see these hemorrhoids as they are typically found perched in a great depth inside the rectum of yours. Internal hemorrhoids are often not felt and do not hurt as a result. This is because, where internal hemorrhoids generally occur, very few pain-sensing nerves are present. To know the symptoms of these hemorrhoids, nonetheless, is useful as it can be painful too. Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids can be present in ways similar to the following:
- Bloody stool. When there’s waste discharge as you relieve yourself, visuals of there being blood in the toilet bowl, or perhaps on the wipe are indicative of your having an internal hemorrhoids issue
- Anal prolapse. Often during excretion, there could be tissue that bulges out of your rectal (anal) opening. This is likely to cause great pain, and what you are experiencing is the condition of there being prolapsed hemorrhoids that can be seen. They present themselves as moist bumps that, when in comparison with the regions that surround them, can appear pinker. The good thing with this kind of a problem is that they are known to go inside, back to where they descended from on their own accord. Even in the event of them not retreating, it is possible to gently push them back and set them up in the right place.
When put on a plate and compared with one of the other forms of piles external hemorrhoids can be unmissable and quite apparent in the pain experienced by you. These hemorrhoids are present around the anus — under the skin around it. This region is a hotspot of pain-sensing nerves, and as a result, much of the pain you experience can be severe. The symptoms of external hemorrhoids can include:
- Throbbing pain in the anal region, especially when you are defecating.
- Bleeding accompanying the pain. Again, spotted often during nature’s call for solid waste disposal.
- An incessant itching of bothersome unease.
- Swelling in the rectal region.
Now that you know what to expect to see and feel if you are experiencing these two types of hemorrhoids that are contrasting yet similar in many ways, it’s time for you to know what and how bad the other type of hemorrhoids can be.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids are in some ways, offshoots of the type of hemorrhoids we just saw the symptoms of, external hemorrhoids. When a blood clot present in the region turns external hemorrhoids there to the color of purple or blue in some cases, the condition that it results in is what experts call thrombosis. Thrombosis, which also goes by another name, thrombosed hemorrhoid, can express symptoms in the following ways:
- Severe amounts of pain. External hemorrhoids do this too, and this is them with an unsavory twist of being accompanied by a blood clot. Expect to face severe pain and a necessity to find medication for pain relief purposes.
- Itching. Again, similar to external hemorrhoids, thrombosis can lead you to have a constant urge to scratch the itch out of the itching anal region.
- Bleeding. Perhaps the most common symptom across all the spectrum of hemorrhoids, bleeding should be expected to occur while defecating.
Should you ring your doctor?
Well, this depends entirely on how severe your hemorrhoids are. It is to be noted that only rarely are hemorrhoids dangerous to your physical safety. Hemorrhoids — be it internal, external, or thrombosed — and their associated symptoms go away on their own, usually in a week or two. Only if the symptoms don’t go away and there’s bleeding that’s palpable and can be seen do you have to visit your doctor to look for hemorrhoid pain treatment. A visit to your doctor in this case at the very least ensures that you know whether or not your condition is serious.
Treatment(s) to get rid of hemorrhoids
Before we get into discussing steps to treat hemorrhoids during this restrictive lockdown period, it is important to know that hemorrhoids flare-ups can be prevented with some changes to your life — dietary or otherwise.
Ways to prevent — and even treat — hemorrhoids
- Consuming fiber: Fiber in food can play a fascinating role in preventing flare-ups of your hemorrhoids as fiber enables food to pass through your system in an easier way. Plant food such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, etc., can be great sources of fiber.
- Fiber supplements: If obtaining 20 to 35 grams of fiber per day in a dietary way is hard, there is the option of buying fiber supplements that work to soften your stool. Do not use large amounts of these supplements at the beginning.
- Hydration: To avoid hard stools that can cause irritation and bleed to your rectum, apart from issues such as constipation, it is important for you to drink plenty of water. You can also consume food items that are enriched with water.
- Exercising: If you cannot go outside due to the pandemic situation, you can look to do something as simple as brisk walking for at least 30 minutes a day (on your terrace, or within your confines). This boosts blood circulation in your system.
- Avoid excessive sitting: Keep moving even if it’s a desk job that your job type is. Get up, stretch your legs and get the blood moving.
- Avoid obesity: A condition to try and follow is the avoidance of obesity. If you do not maintain a healthy diet, it is quite easy to get the hemorrhoids all flared up.
- Do not strain during bowel movements: It is important to let the stool pass in the least strained manner. Do not force or strain it, and also try to sit as little as you can on the toilet.
More ways to care for and treat hemorrhoids at home during lockdown
- Taking a sitz bath: This is a form of therapy that’s stood the test of time. To employ this method successfully as part of hemorrhoid pain treatment, you should first have warm water readied. Once it is ready, perch yourself in it for about 15 minutes, approximately 3 inches in it. Repeat this procedure several times in a day’s time and find your swelling getting reduced. This relaxes the clenching muscle (sphincter) of the region. It is advisable to follow it after a session of excretion. This is also a spectacular therapy for hemorrhoid pain relief during pregnancy.
- Over-the-counter medication: It is recommended for you to buy pain relief cream (petroleum jelly) or ointments that are made specifically to tackle hemorrhoid symptoms. Apply a little bit of it inside your anus and find yourself hurting less when it comes to defecation.
- Baby wipes: After your defecation is complete, applying a baby wipe or a wet cloth in the anal region for a gentle wipe can be incredibly therapeutic and soothing.
- Cold compress: The tender rectal area can do with a cold pack put on it for not more than a few minutes time. This helps the area’s pain to numb and the swelling to lessen.
- Wearing loosely fitted clothing: Start wearing fabric that’s breathable like, say, cotton, and avoid tightly fitted clothing. This works as a relief to pain and discomfort.
- Pain killers: Apart from applicable medication, you can also choose to consume pain relievers such as ibuprofen and aspirin. These ‘pain killers’ can help relieve your hemorrhoid symptoms.
Indeed, there are medical procedures such as getting your internal hemorrhoid (should you have it) injected with a solution to close your hemorrhoid off, and the rubber band ligation method (for prolapsed hemorrhoids treatment), too. In the latter, doctors using a tool, and put a little rubber band around your hemorrhoid to shut its blood supply down.
But what you need to keep in mind is that you can treat your hemorrhoids at home, especially now during the lockdown, quite successfully with some lifestyle and dietary changes and prevent your hemorrhoids problem from needing medical or surgical intervention for it to be cured.