Hemorrhoids: How to Treat Them and How to Avoid Them
Hemorrhoids are very common. In fact, nearly three out of four adults will experience this painful condition during their lifetime. While hemorrhoids can be quite painful, treatment is typically fast and effective. The occurrence of hemorrhoids is generally preventable.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Also known as piles, hemorrhoids are swollen veins that occur in the lower parts of the anus or rectum. These veins are similar to varicose veins and are classified in two categories: internal (located inside the rectum) or external (in the skin surrounding the anus).
Some hemorrhoids may be asymptomatic, but others may cause bleeding, itching, and pain or discomfort. From time to time a clot may form inside the hemorrhoid. This is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. These can be quite painful and may require that the hemorrhoid be lanced and drained to provide relief.
Everyday activities cause the skin around the anus to stretch and swell. Increased pressure in the lower rectum can cause hemorrhoids to appear. Some of these activities include:
- Anal intercourse
- Sitting on a toilet for lengthy periods of time
- Straining during a bowel movement
- Chronic digestive issues such as constipation or diarrhea
- A diet which is insufficient in fiber
- Lifting heavy objects
What Are Some Ways to Avoid Getting Hemorrhoids?
Preventing hemorrhoids may require a few minor changes to your daily routine. Here are a few ways you can prevent hemorrhoids from forming:
- Drink plenty of water. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water and other non-alcoholic beverages can help to keep stool soft.
- Consume a diet rich in fiber. Eating a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will add bulk to the stool, allowing it to pass easier.
- Don’t wait. If you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, make sure you don’t try to hold it in. This can cause strain on the walls of the rectum and anus, creating hemorrhoids.
- Get moving. Staying physically active will not only help create a stronger body, but it will aid your digestive system to move waste through your body more efficiently.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Extra weight puts undue strain on all of our body’s systems, and the digestive system is no exception.
- Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. Excessive sitting can create undue pressure on the anus and will encourage hemorrhoids to form.
How Can I Treat Hemorrhoids?
Symptoms of hemorrhoids may be treated using over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid creams, applying ice to the area, taking a warm sitz bath, or OTC painkillers. While these methods will not remove hemorrhoids, they provide some relief.
What is Sclerotherapy?
Hemorrhoids can be treated in Los Angeles by injecting a chemical compound into the base of the hemorrhoid, damaging the system which supplies blood to the area. This is known as sclerotherapy. Once blood can no longer enter the affected area, the hemorrhoid will eventually die and fall off creating scar tissue in the process. This scar tissue will prevent new hemorrhoids from growing in that same area. This treatment is very effective for removing hemorrhoids and can be performed on several hemorrhoids in one session.