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Hemorrhoids are common in both men and women. Hemorrhoids are usually not dangerous or life threatening. Hemorrhoids can be defined as a common condition when blood veins around the anus, rectal tunnel, or lower rectum gets swollen and inflamed. Hemorrhoids can put quite a damper on life, especially when they become so severe that you are in pain, swollen, and suffering from that terrible itch that can accompany them. Hemorrhoids are actually present in everyone and having them is not an abnormality. Hemorrhoids are only treated as a disease when they get large and inflamed and subsequently cause problems.

Treatment

Treatments for hemorrhoids vary in their cost, risk, and effectiveness. The treatment may vary according to severity of symptoms. Most do not require surgery or other treatment unless the hemorrhoids are very large and painful. Surgical removal of hemorrhoids (hemorrhoidectomy) can be used for large internal hemorrhoids, when several small hemorrhoids are present, or when other treatments have not controlled bleeding. Sometimes a combination of treatments (for example, a fixative procedure and a hemorrhoidectomy) is the most effective way to treat hemorrhoids. Which treatment for hemorrhoids is right for me?

Symptoms

Symptoms of external hemorrhoids may include painful swelling or a hard lump around the anus that results when a blood clot forms. In most cases, hemorrhoid symptoms will go away within a few days. The most common symptoms of both internal and external hemorrhoids include: Bleeding during bowel movements. Other symptoms of internal hemorrhoids may include skin irritation, itching or pain that generally arises when hemorrhoids get swell or squeezed by the muscles that control the anus.

Blood

A thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis by the doctor is important any time bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool occurs. Sometimes you can find blood along with your stools or on your underwear after opening your bowels, and if your hemorrhoids is prolapsed, you can see it when wiping after opening yours bowels. You may see blood on the surface of the stool. If the anal sphincter muscle goes into spasm and traps a prolapsed hemorrhoid outside the anal opening, the supply of blood is cut off, and the hemorrhoid becomes a strangulated hemorrhoid. Severe pain may be a sign that the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is being cut off (strangulated hemorrhoid). If your hemorrhoid symptoms began along with a marked change in bowel habits or if you're passing black, tarry or maroon stools, blood clots or blood mixed in with the stool, consult your doctor without delay.

Causes

There are several causes as to why hemorrhoids occur. If you strain to move stool, the increased pressure causes the veins in this tissue to swell and stretch. Common causes of constipation are a low-fiber diet, insufficient water, too much lactic acid from dairy products, or a vitamin E deficiency. Sitting on a toilet can also cause hemorrhoids, as it causes the pelvic floor muscles to relax and the rectal muscles to strain. This increased resting pressure is believed to be one of the main causes of hemorrhoids.

Prevention of hemorrhoids includes drinking more fluids, eating more dietary fiber (such as fruits, vegetables and cereals high in fiber), exercising, practicing better posture, and reducing bowel movement strain and time. Many people do not get a sufficient supply of dietary fiber (20 to 25 grams daily), and small changes in a person's daily diet can help tremendously in both prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids. Increased straining during bowel movements caused by constipation or diarrhea may lead to hemorrhoids. Based on their very low incidence in the underdeveloped world, where most people squat for bodily functions, hemorrhoids have been attributed to the use of the "sitting" toilet.

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