Hemorrhoids are swollen veins which develop in the anus or lower part of the rectum. This is caused by an increased pressure in the veins of the anus. When aggravated, this swelling eventually grows into a painful bump. A swollen vein that progresses outside the rectum is called an external hemorrhoid. Swollen veins found inside the rectum are called internal hemorrhoids. If not careful, this internal hemorrhoid can rupture and become a bleeding hemorrhoid. In some cases the inflamed internal hemorrhoid can protrude out of the anus and consequently become a thrombosed hemorrhoid.
Symptoms and causes of hemorrhoids
Symptoms usually start with a slight pain and itchiness and eventually progress into a swollen bump. If it gets worse, some experience having blood in the stool or pain when wiping and cleaning. Pain is also experienced during bowel movements.
Hemorrhoids are very common and can actually happen to anyone, especially during pregnancy and after giving birth. For some people, symptoms go away naturally while others get worse because it is aggravated. It can be worsened by constipation, too much strain during bowel movements, anal infections, sitting in one position for an extended period of time, and diseases such as liver cirrhosis.
How To Cure Hemorrhoids – Diagnosis
A hemorrhoid is initially diagnosed through a physical examination of the rectal area. Further diagnosis can be done using any of the 3 different procedures:
1) Anoscopy – a digital rectal exam is conducted, then an anoscope is place a few inches inside the rectum to view the entire anal canal. A specimen can also be taken if needed for further testing.
2) Sigmoidoscopy – after a digital rectal exam, a sigmoidoscope is inserted into the anus in order to view the colon area. Air is used to open up the colon further so that the doctors can see better.
3) Stool guaiac test – a small amount of stool sample is placed on a paper card. A drop of testing solution is added in order to see if the color will change. If the color of the stool changes, then it is usually a sign of presence of blood in the stool.
It is often recommended to try out natural treatments first before taking more intensive cures or drastic measures such as surgery. Natural treatments can be very effective and economical.
Practically the best way to cure this condition is to load up on fiber and liquids. Hemorrhoids are typically linked to constipation. This means that the body lacks the necessary fluids and fiber to pass a bowel movement normally. 8 or more glasses of water a day is the recommended amount to be consumed to normalize the fluid levels in the colons. Eating more fruits, vegetables and other fiber rich foods will surely help reduce the chances of the hemorrhoid from worsening. Psyllium is a known supplement that helps the body load up on fiber and can be taken to help ease the hemorrhoid.
Reducing pain and swelling
An easy option to ease the pain is to try out a sitz bath. A plastic sitz bath can be bought from the pharmacy. It is filled with warm water and added with baking soda or Epsom salt. The affected part is soaked for about 15 to 20 minutes and gently pat dry.
Chamomile is also a great anti-inflammatory agent. It can be served as a tea or chamomile ointment and can be applied in the inflamed area to relieve pain and swelling.
Petroleum jelly is an oily and sticky ointment which can also be placed in the affected area to reduce swelling. It can also help the stool to pass much easier and put less pressure on the anal veins. Zinc oxide is yet another white cream which can be applied to relieve pain and swelling. Same relief can be given by a witch hazel cream.
A butcher’s broom, tripahala, and horse chestnut can be taken as supplements or tea in order to air digestion, strengthening of blood vessel walls and as an anti-inflammatory agent.