Sunday, October 22, 2017

Hemorrhoids: Overview, Causes and Symptoms

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Category: Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can be prevented and treated fairly easily with a combination of mainstream and complementary approaches.

If you have hemorrhoids, join the uncomfortable club. At some point in life, an estimated one-third of U.S. adults—some 80 million people—suffer the rectal pain and bleeding that they cause, and spend $200 million a year on products to treat them. Chronic hemorrhoids affect some 9 million Americans, and can turn sitting, walking, sneezing, laughing, and defecating into extremely painful propositions.

Hemorrhoids Overview

Hemorrhoids are varicose veins that develop around or inside your anus. Three veins drain blood away from your anal area, explains family practitioner Anne Simons, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of family and community medicine at the University of California’s San Francisco Medical Center. They expand (dilate) during bowel movements and shrink back to normal size afterward.

At least, that’s what they’re supposed to do. “Unfortunately,” Dr. Simons says, “repeated straining during defecation—either from constipation, or as a result of hard stools—can interfere with this process, and keep those veins permanently swollen.”

The swelling triggers nerves in the area, and you feel discomfort, quite often, pain. In addition, the swelling weakens your blood vessels, and defecation can rupture them, causing bleeding ranging from faint pink streaks on your toilet paper to bright red blood in your toilet or on your underwear.

Hemorrhoids are quite common during pregnancy because the developing fetus places pressure on the veins of women’s lower abdomen, which interferes with normal blood drainage. Likewise, if you’re overweight, you’re at increased risk.

If you have hemorrhoids, you almost certainly have another very common problem—constipation. “Constipation is the underlying cause of hemorrhoids,” says family practitioner Alan Gaby, M.D., a professor of nutrition at Bastyr University, the naturopathic medical school near Seattle. “The low-fiber diet that so many Americans eat produces smaller, denser, harder stools, which are more difficult to pass. You have to strain to pass them, so you get hemorrhoids.”

Like constipation, your chances of suffering hemorrhoids increase as you age. About half of Americans over age 50 have them. “Compared with younger adults, older people generally get less exercise and drink less fluid—both contributors to constipation,” Dr. Simons explains. “In addition, rectal muscle tone tends to diminish with age, so older people strain more and are more likely to develop hemorrhoids.”

Alt: hemorrhoids, hemerrhoids, hemeroids, hemmeroids, hemoroids, hemmoroids, constipation

Comments

2 Responses to “Hemorrhoids: Overview, Causes and Symptoms”
  1. karol says:

    What are the symtoms?
    When is a good time to tell your doctor about it?
    How can a hemorrhoid get infected?

  2. Selena says:

    What kind of disease has white bumps that can spread.