Hemorrhoids, also commonly known as piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum and anus that result in discomfort and bleeding. They are a common condition and can range from mildly irritating to severely painful. Here are key points about hemorrhoids:


  1. Types of Hemorrhoids:

    • Internal Hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids form inside the rectum where there are fewer pain-sensing nerves, so they are less likely to be painful. However, they can cause other symptoms like bleeding.
    • External Hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the outside of the anal opening. They can be itchy or painful, especially during sitting or bowel movements.
  2. Causes:

    • Straining During Bowel Movements: The most common cause is straining during bowel movements, often due to constipation.
    • Pregnancy: Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy due to increased pressure on the pelvic veins.
    • Obesity: Being overweight can contribute to hemorrhoid development.
    • Sitting for Prolonged Periods: Lack of physical activity and prolonged sitting can increase pressure on the veins in the rectal area.
    • Age: Hemorrhoids become more common as people age.
  3. Symptoms:

    • Bleeding: Bright red blood on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement.
    • Itching and Irritation: The anal area may be itchy and irritated.
    • Pain or Discomfort: External hemorrhoids can cause pain, especially during sitting or bowel movements.
    • Swelling: Swollen veins around the anus or rectum.
  4. Diagnosis:

    • Physical Examination: A healthcare professional can usually diagnose hemorrhoids by examining the anus and rectum.
    • Digital Rectal Examination (DRE): A gloved finger is inserted into the rectum to check for abnormalities.
    • Colonoscopy: In some cases, a colonoscopy may be recommended to rule out other potential causes of symptoms.
  5. Treatment:

    • Dietary Changes: Increasing fiber intake to soften stool and prevent constipation is a key part of treatment.
    • Topical Medications: Over-the-counter creams, ointments, or suppositories containing ingredients like hydrocortisone can help reduce pain and inflammation.
    • Warm Baths (Sitz Baths): Soaking the anal area in warm water can provide relief.
    • Stool Softeners: These medications can help prevent straining during bowel movements.
    • In-office Procedures: Rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or infrared coagulation are office-based procedures to treat internal hemorrhoids.
    • Surgical Interventions: In cases of severe hemorrhoids, surgical procedures such as hemorrhoidectomy may be considered.
  6. Prevention:

    • Maintaining good anal hygiene.
    • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated.
    • Avoiding prolonged sitting.
    • Regular exercise to promote healthy bowel movements.