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All About Haemorrhoids and Fissures

Dr. Beena Thomas

Although an embarrassing topic of discussion, haemorrhoids are quite common. They occur when veins in your rectum become enlarged from straining or increased pressure. You can relieve the pain, swelling and inflammation of most haemorrhoidal flare-ups with the self-care measures and homoeopathy.


What Are Haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids (often referred to as “piles”) are clusters of veins located in the anus, just under the membrane that lines the lowest part of the rectum and anus. They occur when veins in your rectum become enlarged from straining or increased pressure.

Although sometimes an embarrassing topic of discussion, haemorrhoids are quite common. Many people may experience itching, burning and pain that often signal the presence of this condition.

Fortunately, effective medication and procedures are readily available to treat haemorrhoids. In many cases the condition may require only self-care and life-style changes.

The increased pressure and swelling may result from straining to move the bowel. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, heredity, aging, and chronic constipation or diarrhoea.

Cause
Haemorrhoids can develop from any increased pressure on the veins in the lower rectum. Some common sources of pressure include:

  • Constipation and the accompanying extra straining to pass stools
  • Sitting or standing for excessive lengths of time
  • Obesity
  • Heavy lifting
  • Pregnancy and childbirth: The pressure of the fetus in the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes, cause the haemorrhoidal vessels to enlarge. These vessels are also placed under severe pressure during childbirth. For most women, however, haemorrhoids caused by pregnancy are a temporary problem.
  • It’s also possible to inherit a tendency to develop haemorrhoids.
Signs and Symptoms
Many anorectal problems, including fissures, fistulae, abscesses, or irritation and itching (pruritus ani), have similar symptoms and are incorrectly referred to as haemorrhoids.

Symptoms usually depend on where the haemorrhoid is located. Haemorrhoids are either inside the anus (internal) or under the skin around the anus (external).

Internal: You can’t see or feel these haemorrhoids. But straining of irritation caused by passing stool can injure a haemorrhoid’s delicate surface and cause it to bleed. You may notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl. Because internal membranes lack pain-sensitive nerve fibers, these haemorrhoids usually don’t cause discomfort. However, you may experience a feeling of fullness in your rectum following a bowel movement. Occasionally, straining can push an internal haemorrhoid through the anal opening. If a haemorrhoid remains displaced (prolapsed), it can cause a constant dull ache. When irritated, it can itch or bleed.

External: These haemorrhoids tend to be painful. Sometimes blood may pool in an external haemorrhoid and form a clot (thrombus), causing severe pain and inflammation. This condition is known as a thrombosed external haemorrhoid.

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