Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the walls of the rectum or anus, often characterized by bleeding or pains. They occur when too much pressure is exerted on the rectal veins.
It’s common for people to have hemorrhoids, however, it becomes a problem when inflamed and swollen, causing so much pain that it becomes unbearable.
What causes hemorrhoids
There are so many factors that could make you develop hemorrhoids, but most of these factors are associated with activities that exert pressure on the walls of the rectal veins.
The most common factors are prolonged straining while stooling, which disrupts blood flow in and out of the veins. This often happens when one uses the toilet repeatedly, whether due to chronic constipation or diarrhea.
Other common causes of hemorrhoids include:
Pregnant women are exposed to hemorrhoids because of the pressure exerted by the uterus on the veins. The extra weight of the growing fetus puts pressure on the veins behind the uterus.
It is more common in mothers during the third trimester of pregnancy. However, it gets better after the baby is born.
Hemorrhoids usually occur in obese people because of their extra body weight. The excess weight constricts the blood vessels surrounding the rectum, therefore leaving a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids.
Regular heavy lifting
Heavy lifting is also a prevailing cause of hemorrhoids. Heavy lifting usually results in straining, which exerts pressure on the internal organs in the veins around the anus.
Sitting for an extended period can cause blood to pool into the anal area, resulting in an increased level of pressure on the veins. Leading a sedentary lifestyle where you have to sit more often can put an individual at a greater risk of developing hemorrhoids.
As we already know that constipation or prolonged straining are both factors that lead to hemorrhoids. Lack of fiber in the diet causes further constipation and harder stools. This increases abdominal pains and weakens the veins.
Dehydration is one of the most prevalent factors that cause constipation. It is essential to stay hydrated if you’re looking to lower the risks of getting exposed to hemorrhoids.
Also, people who take a lot of alcohol are more susceptible to constant dehydration. Be sure to avoid taking too much alcohol, stay hydrated, and drink plenty of water.
Stages of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids range from mild to severe cases, where symptoms can either be slight or almost unnoticeable to where the pain becomes unbearable. The latter stage is usually felt as bulges at the anus and is often comes with pains, itching, or intense bleeding.
The mild stage of hemorrhoidal disease is categorized into two, using a grading system that classifies each degree based on the noticeable symptoms.
- Stage 1: In this case, the enlarged veins are still within the anal canal and are not visible outside. The hemorrhoids bleed, though they are not obvious because they do not prolapse.
- Stage 2: In the second degree of the mild stage is, veins prolapse and can be visible on the outside during certain activities, like the passing of hard stools. However, they retract on their own without being pushed back in.
This stage of hemorrhoids is much more severe than usual and can result in itching, burning, swelling, redness, and rectal pains. It also occurs in two stages.
- Stage 1: prolapse occurs but can retract when patients push it back in using the fingers.
- Stage 2: This stage of severe hemorrhoid is called the thrombosed hemorrhoids. It is an extreme case in which hemorrhoids prolapse and cannot be pushed back to their usual position. Such a situation may cause loss of blood supply and also severe damages to the surrounding tissue. Therefore, patients should seek medical attention to prevent further complications.
A thrombosed hemorrhoid is a blood clot that makes the external hemorrhoid purple or blue; more symptoms like intense itching and bleeding often occur in such conditions.
The thrombosed hemorrhoid usually leaves scarring after healing, a tag of skin protruding from the anal region. This tag of skin, if a little too large, causes intense irritation of the skin.
How Long Do Mild Cases Of Hemorrhoids Last?
Technically, there are no set durations for hemorrhoids, but in most cases, hemorrhoids often resolve themselves in several days.
Mild cases of hemorrhoids are expected to end within 7-14 days, and this is because it takes time for the swelling to lessen and the anal or rectal regions to return to normal.
If, after 14 days, your hemorrhoids do not heal and are left untreated, they can develop into a severe case of hemorrhoids.
How Long Do Severe Cases Of Hemorrhoids Last?
When dealing with prolapsed or thrombosed hemorrhoids, it takes over 14 days for the swelling of the rectal vein to diminish.
Here, it takes a more extended period to heal, and patients will experience more pain and discomfort.
If such symptoms persist and hemorrhoids do not resolve, patients should visit healthcare professionals for interventions. Some procedures can be performed to help the individual get their hemorrhoids under control.
Do Hemorrhoids Really Go Away?
Although some hemorrhoids, such as the mild ones, usually go away on their own, there is a high possibility that you might see them again in the future. Their symptoms persist for a long time and are continuously recurring.
Hemorrhoids usually persist if you do not get the right treatments. In such cases, they might develop into severe conditions that would require surgical interventions or intensive hemorrhoidal treatment.
Sometimes, the chance of dealing with them again varies from person to person. However, there are dietary and lifestyle recommendations that can help with healing and also prevention.
Learning to spot your hemorrhoids in the early days and taking the right decision to treat the disease makes you one step closer to being hemorrhoids free.
How To Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids
There are several methods of treating hemorrhoids, albeit some are more temporary interventions than permanent ones. These methods range from dietary modifications to lifestyle modifications, ointments, anesthetic steroids, or antiseptics.
The more permanent methods include the rubber band litigation or surgical intervention, which involves removing the hemorrhoids. This process is called hemorrhoidectomy and is performed on people with really severe cases of hemorrhoids.
Lifestyle and dietary management
Lifestyle and dietary management are effective ways of being hemorrhoid-free. As we’ve earlier established, sitting for a long time or leading a sedentary lifestyle increases the risk of getting hemorrhoids.
Engaging in more activities can help keep one’s bowel movement regular; it helps reduce the time spent sitting, and the pressure surmounted on the anal or rectal veins. Standing for too long can also result in hemorrhoids because it puts pressure on your lower body’s rectal it anal veins.
Attempt to avoid standing or sitting in one spot for too long. It also helps to do exercises that would help strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, lowering the risks of getting hemorrhoids.
As hemorrhoids sometimes occur because of irregular bowel movements, a natural way of maintaining regular bowel movement is by consuming more fibers either through supplements or foods.
Foods rich in fiber
These foods help with better digestion, reducing discomforts and pain. Examples of foods typically rich in fiber include legumes, whole grains, fruits like apple, melons, orange, and likewise vegetables.
Taking plenty of water
Water is important in the dietary management of hemorrhoids. Adequate hydration is a crucial factor that helps keep the stools soft. Therefore, reducing straining while using the toilet.
Drinking enough water helps prevent dehydration, reducing the risk of constipation, and keeping the bowel movements regular. If the home remedies don’t work for you, it is a sign for you to visit the doctor.
Hemorrhoids can become bothersome if left unattended. There are many dietary and lifestyle changes you can make to reduce the significant risks of getting hemorrhoids. We have mentioned these minor fixes in this article.
These routines will be of great help to you in ridding yourself of these little foxes called hemorrhoids. However, if your symptoms persist after weeks of putting these things into practice, ensure that you visit your doctor for professional advice.