Haemorrhoids: Everything You Need to Know

Haemorrhoids are bulging veins in the lower area of the rectum or around the anus. By the age of 50, about half of all adults will experience haemorrhoid-related problems. Internal or external Haemorrhoids are also possible. Internal haemorrhoids form in the rectum or anus, while external haemorrhoids form outside it. Haemorrhoids are sometimes called piles.

External haemorrhoids are the most frequent and troublesome type of haemorrhoids. Pain, extreme itching, and trouble sitting are all symptoms of haemorrhoids. Luckily, effective treatments exist.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you know if you have haemorrhoids? 

Haemorrhoids are uncomfortable, but they are not life-threatening, and they usually go away even without treatment. However, if you have any black bowel movements or bleeding, you should visit a doctor. Bleeding can be caused by a variety of other conditions, so it’s important to get it checked out.

Symptoms of haemorrhoids include:

  • a lot of itchiness around the anus
  • pain and irritation in the anal area 
  • a bulge or enlargement near your anus that is uncomfortable or painful
  • leaking of faeces
  • bowel movements that hurt
  • After bowel movement, blood can be seen on the tissue

Why am I getting haemorrhoids all of a sudden? 

Haemorrhoids can be passed down through the generations.  So if your parents had them, there is a high chance you’re going to have them as well. Haemorrhoids are more likely to develop if you are obese, do a lot of heavy lifting, or put your body under a lot of stress.

Other causes include:

  • chronic constipation can cause a variety of problems.
  • long periods of sitting, particularly on the toilet
  • a history of haemorrhoids in the family

Haemorrhoids can form if you strain when doing a bowel movement, whether you’re suffering from constipation or diarrhoea, or if you spend too much time on the toilet. Haemorrhoids can also be irritated by anal sexual activity. If you’re pregnant, you’re also more prone to get haemorrhoids. When the uterus grows larger, it puts pressure on the colon vein, causing it to protrude.

Can you self diagnose haemorrhoids? 

Haemorrhoids can sometimes be diagnosed just by evaluating the anus. Your doctor may opt to perform a separate examination to check for any abnormalities within the anus to establish the diagnosis. A digital rectal exam is the name for this test. Your doctor will insert a finger covered in gloves and lubrication into the rectum during the process.

A sigmoidoscopy, anoscopy, or colonoscopy may be ordered by your doctor based on the risk factors related to gastrointestinal disease. Your doctor will use a small camera in order to identify any abnormalities around your anus, rectum, or colon during these examinations.

An anoscopy looks inside the anus, while a sigmoidoscopy looks at the final 1.5 feet of your colon (about 40 centimetres), and a colonoscopy looks at the entire colon. During these tests, a tiny camera is inserted into the rectum through a short tube. Your doctor will have a clear view of the inside of your rectum with this test, allowing them to evaluate the haemorrhoid up close.

How do haemorrhoids go away? 

Haemorrhoids can be treated both at home or in a clinic. To relieve pain, soak in a warm tub of water for at least 10 minutes on a daily basis. External haemorrhoids can also be relieved by sitting on a warm water bottle. In case the pain is intolerable, reduce the burning and itching by using an over-the-counter (OTC) suppository, cream or ointment. Medications in the form of suppositories are available both in stores or online. 

Haemorrhoids can also be relieved with over-the-counter remedies applied topically, like hydrocortisone cream or haemorrhoid cream. Both of these preparations are available for purchase online. Pain medicines like acetaminophen and aspirin can help lessen the discomfort.

Every day, wash your anus with clean and warm water in the shower or bath to maintain good hygiene. Avoid using soap because it can worsen haemorrhoids. When wiping after a bowel movement, avoid using dry or scratchy toilet paper.

Your doctor may recommend a rubber band ligation if home therapies are not working for you. By wrapping a rubber band around the haemorrhoid, the doctor is able to cut off blood circulation in the area. As the haemorrhoid loses circulation, it eventually shrinks. Only a medical professional should perform this surgery. Do not try to do this unsupervised.

Injection treatment, also known as sclerotherapy, may be used if rubber band ligation isn’t the best option in your instance. Your doctor will inject a drug directly into a blood vessel during this treatment, causing the haemorrhoid to shrink.

How can you prevent haemorrhoids? 

Avoid straining your bowel when defecating. Additionally, try to drink more water, as drinking plenty of water can help keep the stool from becoming overly firm. To avoid developing haemorrhoids, go to the bathroom as soon as you sense a bowel movement coming on. To avoid constipation, exercise often and avoid sitting for long periods of time, especially on surfaces like tile or concrete.

Fibre-rich foods can help reduce the chance of having haemorrhoids in the long run. Fibre comes from a variety of sources, including:

  • whole wheat flour
  • rice (brown)
  • pears
  • porridge
  • carrots
  • bran
  • buckwheat