Ad collaborative post // I’ve been much more open in talking about health lately, especially women’s health and 10 things I wish I had known when I was younger about women’s health. The older I get, the much more unphased I am about health related issues. Everyone has to deal with them at some point or another. We all have bodies, so what’s the point in getting embarrassed about it?
I talk about cervical screenings, HPV and women’s health problems quite a bit but rarely have I spoken about the other end. It’s something I’ve actually been thinking quite a bit about recently, since learning that HPV (what I currently have) can also cause anal cancer. However today we’re going to look at a less serious condition – one that is VERY common.
What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are basically swollen veins that are located around the anus or the lower rectum. According to research, 50% of adults experience symptoms of hemorrhoids by the age of 50. There are two main types of hemorrhoids, internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the anus or rectum, whereas external hemorrhoids develop outside of the anus.
External hemorrhoids are commonly known as piles. External hemorrhoids are also the most common form of hemorrhoid found among adults. This can be severely painful, itching and you may experience difficulty sitting. The good news is that all hemorrhoids are treatable and are not necessarily life threatening.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Usually, hemorrhoids appear when there is a great amount of pressure on the veins around the anus. Other factors include:
- Straining while passing stools
- Chronic constipation
- A history of family hemorrhoids
- Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
Some of the Common Symptoms Experienced with Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids may be painful and very uncomfortable but they are not life threatening. They might even disappear on their own without any treatment.
- Extreme itching around the anus and lower rectum
- Irritation and pain around the anus and lower rectum
- Itchy painful lump or swelling near the anus or lower rectum
- Possible fecal leakage
- Uncomfortable and sometimes painful bowel movements
- Bleeding anus or blood on the tissue after having a bowel movement.
Can Hemorrhoids be Passed on from Parents to Child?
It is possible for hemorrhoids to be passed on genetically from parents to child. There is a big chance that you could develop hemorrhoids if your parents had them.
Heavy lifting, obesity and other bodily strain can increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids. Anal sexual intercourse is another contributing factor to the irritation of hemorrhoids. It is important to note that pregnant women commonly experience hemorrhoids.
Usually, a visual examination is enough to diagnose hemorrhoids. Your doctor or GP may do a different examination. This is known as a digital rectal exam. Your doctor may order more tests like sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy or an anoscopy.
How to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can be prevented. Always make sure you avoid straining during passing a stool. Increasing your water intake plays a huge role too.
When you drink enough water it will prevent your stool from hardening. If you need to pass a stool, use the restroom as soon as possible. This will also prevent your stool from hardening. Exercising regularly can also prevent constipation. Avoid sitting down for long periods of time, especially on cold, hard surfaces.
Foods that are high in dietary fibre are very good for you and can prevent developing hemorrhoids in the future. Dietary fibre foods usually include whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, pears, carrots and bran.