If you have ever had the misfortune of suffering from hemorrhoids (piles), you’ll already know just how unpleasant the experience can be, and particularly if you have had external hemorrhoids. To say that piles can seriously disrupt your life would be an understatement. Sure, if you only have a mild bout of hemorrhoids then you probably won’t need to put up with anything other than some discomfort, whereas a serious bout of hemorrhoids can result in a great deal of pain.
Nothing to Be Ashamed About
Many people who get hemorrhoids feel extremely embarrassed about the condition, and in fact, many are even too embarrassed to go and see a doctor. According to the United States National Center for Health Statistics, approximately 23 million Americans are living with piles at any given time. As you can see from this figure, if you currently have piles, you are far from being alone. There is more bad news as well: Approximately four out of every five people will suffer from hemorrhoids at some point in their lives, and this does not only apply to people living in the United States either. Unfortunately, people living in Europe are just as susceptible.
Interesting Facts about Hemorrhoids
- Hemorrhoids are easy to prevent and easy to treat.
- Men are more likely to suffer from hemorrhoids than women.
- Women are most at risk during times when they are pregnant.
- The risk of developing hemorrhoids increases as you age.
- Hemorrhoids will often heal without any medical intervention.
- Hemorrhoids can be treated holistically, visit: Jessica Wright book reviews to learn more.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are essentially veins inside the rectum or around the anus that have become swollen or inflamed. Internal hemorrhoids refer to the affected veins being inside the rectum while external hemorrhoids refer to the condition occurring around the anus.
There are several things that can cause hemorrhoids, and just being aware of these causes can go a long way in preventing the problem in the first place. The most common causes are:
- Chronic constipation or anything else that causes you to strain to move a stool
- Chronic diarrhea
- Extended periods of sitting
- Anal intercourse
- Old age
Bleeding is a very common symptom and the amount of blood being passed can vary widely. However, most people will only experience minimal bleeding with the only indication being some blood on the tissue following a bowel movement. As a general rule, this bleeding is not accompanied by any pain.
Itchiness and/or pain around the anal area are also very common symptoms, with many people describing the itchiness as being almost unbearable. Other relatively common symptoms can include lumps and bumps protruding from the anal region, or even one or more lumps close to the anus. These lumps can, however, be rather painful.
Internal hemorrhoids that are located inside the rectum often go unnoticed because frequently don’t cause any noticeable symptoms. Like external hemorrhoids, they can however also cause some bleeding. The biggest concern for people with internal hemorrhoids is the fact that can be pushed down and out through the anal opening as a result of straining to pass a stool. Hemorrhoids that are pushed out like this are called prolapsed hemorrhoids, and these can be horrifically painful.
Why You Need To See a Doctor
While hemorrhoids are not really a reason for serious concern, and despite the fact that they often heal without any need for medical intervention, it is still crucial to go and see a doctor if you notice any blood when passing stools. Other very serious illnesses such as colon cancer and anal cancer can also cause bleeding so it is always best to get a professional opinion rather than to just assume you have hemorrhoids.