Hemorrhoids: A Simple Guide to Understanding, Treating, Preventing and stages

Uncomfortable but common, hemorrhoids impact many. This guide delves into causes, symptoms, treatments and stages for better health.

Hemorrhoids

What are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen and reddened veins in the anus and rectum. They can be internal (inside the rectum) or external (under the skin around the anal opening). The primary cause is increased pressure on the lower rectum, leading to the enlargement of blood vessels in the region.

what is Hemorrhoids

Causes of Hemorrhoids:

Straining during Bowel Movements:

Constipation and straining during bowel movements can cause veins in the rectum and anus to swell.

Pregnancy:

Added pressure on the pelvic region during pregnancy can lead to hemorrhoid development. Hormonal and internal secretion changes may also play a role.

Obesity:

Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on the abdomen and pelvic area, contributing to hemorrhoid development.

Sedentary Lifestyle:

Lack of physical activity can lead to poor circulation and increased pressure on rectal veins.

Genetics:

Some individuals may be genetically disposed to developing hemorrhoids.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids:

Common symptoms include:

Rectal Bleeding:

Blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl after a small and large intestine movement.

Itching or Irritation:

External hemorrhoids may cause itching and irritation around the anal area.

Pain or Discomfort:

Straining during bowel movements or sitting for extended periods can result in pain.

Swelling:

Swollen veins in the rectum or anus may cause a lump or swelling.

4 stages of Hemorrhoids:

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, can be classified into different stages based on their severity and the extent of prolapse. The four main stages are often referred to as grades. Understanding the stages of hemorrhoids is essential for determining the appropriate treatment and managing the condition effectively. Here are the four stages of hemorrhoids.

stage 1 – First Degree Hemorrhoids:

In this initial stage, hemorrhoids are internal and usually not prolapsed (protruding outside the anal opening). Symptoms may include minor bleeding during bowel movements, but the hemorrhoids themselves are not visible externally. Individuals at this stage may experience mild discomfort, itching, or irritation.

stage 2 – Second Degree Hemorrhoids:

Hemorrhoids in this stage are larger than Grade 1 and may prolapse during a bowel movement. However, they typically retract spontaneously after the bowel movement. Symptoms may include increased bleeding, greater discomfort, and a feeling of fullness or incomplete evacuation after a bowel movement.

stage 3 – Third Degree Hemorrhoids:

At this stage, hemorrhoids prolapse during a bowel movement and may require manual reduction (pushing them back into the anal canal).
The prolapsed hemorrhoids may protrude outside the anal opening and can be felt with the fingers. Symptoms may include more frequent and severe bleeding, increased discomfort, and a greater sensation of the need to defecate.

stage 4 – Fourth Degree Hemorrhoids:

This is the most severe stage, characterized by hemorrhoids that are always prolapsed and cannot be pushed back into the anal canal. Prolapsed hemorrhoids may contain blood clots (thrombosis), leading to significant pain and swelling. Symptoms may include persistent bleeding, intense discomfort, and difficulty maintaining good anal hygiene. It’s important to note that not everyone with hemorrhoids progresses through all stages, and some individuals may experience intermittent symptoms. Lifestyle changes, dietary modifications, and non-surgical treatments are often recommended for milder stages, while more advanced cases may require medical procedures or surgery.

Treatment of Hemorrhoids:

Lifestyle Changes:

Increasing fiber intake.
Staying hydrated.
Regular physical activity.

Topical Treatments:

Over-the-counter creams or ointments.
Sitz Baths: Soaking or drenching the affected area in warm water.

Medications for Hemorrhoids:

Oral pain relievers or anti-inflammatory drugs recommended by a healthcare professional.

Minimally Invasive Procedures:

Rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or infrared coagulation.

Surgical Options:

In extreme cases, surgical procedures like hemorrhoidectomy may be required. Hemorrhoids can be bothersome, but they are generally treatable with various non-invasive and minimally invasive options. If you’re experiencing symptoms, consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

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