Hemorrhoids affect a great number of people worldwide, and although they are mild and temporary in most people, they can really produce debilitating symptoms in some cases. There are several methods of combating this disorder, from topical treatment to medications and surgical management.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
There are two interconnected rings of veins in the wall of the anus – internal and external. If any of these veins gets distended and inflamed, it can produce pain, irritation, and even bleeding from the anus. The most important risk factors for the development of hemorrhoids are a sedentary lifestyle, obesity, a lack of physical activity, improper bowel evacuation, and genetic factors.
Lifestyle changes can sometimes be enough to get rid of this annoying disorder. If you have problems with hemorrhoids and you are obese, the first thing you should do is lose some weight. Namely, increased abdominal pressure also increases blood pressure in abdominal veins as well as in anal veins. That way, they get distended, enlarged, and inflamed.
Be more physically active in order to eliminate hemorrhoids. Not only will you lose weight, but you will also improve circulation and blood flow through the veins of your legs and pelvis.
Fast food and large meals of fat-rich food are important risk factors for hemorrhoids. You should introduce more food rich in dietary fibers and eat 5-6 smaller meals daily instead of one or two large meals. Vegetables and whole grains are an excellent choice for enriching your diet. Besides eliminating the symptoms of hemorrhoids, you will also be healthier and more vibrant.
Fruits rich in flavonoids, such as oranges, are very powerful against hemorrhoids, as they improve the strength of the venous wall.
Keep good hygiene in your anal area. This is extremely important because bacteria in the anal area can aggravate the symptoms by causing infection and stimulating inflammation. Try soaking the anal area in warm water for 10 minutes every day. Instead of dry toilet paper, use neutral wet wipes without alcohol.
Topical treatment for hemorrhoids includes creams and ointments which reduce pain, itching, and irritation caused by the inflammatory process. They often contain menthol or other synthetic analgesic substances. As the inflamed blood vessels disable normal blood flow, thrombosis can occur in these blood vessels, which is why antithrombotic topical creams are recommended in moderate and severe cases. Of natural remedies, aloe vera extract and butcher’s broom extract have been shown effective in lowering the intensity of the symptoms.
Nonsurgical interventions are performed in moderate and severe cases and if the hemorrhoids cause bleeding. Injection with chemicals which obliterate the lumen of hemorrhoid veins by causing scaring inside of them are often sufficient and a long-term solution. Ligation of hemorrhoidal blood vessels stops the blood flow through them and they fall off within a few weeks. Cauterization is especially suitable for patients with bleeding hemorrhoids. This technique uses an infrared light or a laser in order to burn the bleeding areas.
In persistent and severe cases, surgical treatment is required. The procedure of removing hemorrhoids is called a hemorrhoidectomy. This procedure will definitely eliminate hemorrhoids, but if risk factors still exist, they may appear again after some time.
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