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Hemorrhoids are a well-known disease that you have heard about at least once. Even so, it is not uncommon for it to end up being stigmatized, becoming an unnecessarily taboo.
This act ends up making it difficult to know the causes and treatment of the disease. And the main thing: it delays the search for specialized medical care.
For this reason, we brought you a post that presents what this health issue is, how to identify the signs and symptoms of its development and which doctor to seek. Check out!
What is hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are a very common health problem in society. According to a 2020 study published in the journal Annals of Gastroenterology, about 38% of the world’s population is affected. That is, we are talking about more than 3 billion individuals.
What leads to its development is the abnormal dilation of the veins in the anal or rectal region. This causes localized inflammation, generating that swollen and bulky appearance.
These veins are called, within the medical sciences, hemorrhoids. Therefore, everyone in the world has them, as they are part of the human body.
However, the dysfunctional process just mentioned is called hemorrhoidal disease — which, over time, was called just hemorrhoids. It is, in fact, the health problem that affects part of the population.
What are the causes of hemorrhoids?
As the 2021 survey of the Journal of Coloproctology highlights, the causes of hemorrhoids are three: sedentary lifestyle, obesity and constipation.
The first two are quite interconnected: the low level of physical activity and the constant increase in the level of body fat end up favoring pressure in the gastrointestinal region — which affects not only organs and tissues, but the vascular system.
Eventually, this condition leads to irregular blood circulation in the anorectal veins, thus generating excessive dilation in the area and — consequently — the appearance of the disease.
Constipation, on the other hand, is a slightly different cause. When the person does not go regularly to the bathroom and begins to have difficulties to defecate, this leads him to use more and more force to eliminate the feces. That is, there is a blood supply to the rectum and anus area above the ordinary.
To make matters worse: if the stools are very hard and in large quantities – something that occurs, for example, when the individual does not go to the bathroom for days -, the difficulty of evacuation will be even greater. This becomes a perfect scenario for hemorrhoidal disease to appear and become a frequent nuisance.
Not to mention other problems that can happen in parallel, such as fissures — which are injuries to the anorectal wall, due to the impact and friction of these feces.
How do you know if you have hemorrhoids?
There are some signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids that may indicate that you have this problem and need medical attention to treat it.
For example, when you notice, when cleaning yourself or taking a shower, that there are small parts of the anus that are bulky, forming one or more bulges – usually, they are more noticeable after the bowel movement.
Because of this characteristic, this type of hemorrhoid is called external. When they are located inside the rectum, they are called internal.
There are cases of people who also feel the region itch with a certain frequency in everyday life. Other possibilities are pain with defecation and the presence of blood in the stool — which is caused by bleeding from these enlarged veins.
What can make hemorrhoids worse?
In addition to the factors already mentioned for the development and worsening of hemorrhoids, it is important to mention the diet. After all, the consumption of foods low in fiber, combined with little water intake, impairs the gastrointestinal work, the intestinal flora and even the formation of feces — which end up becoming drier, contributing to constipation and excessive exertion. in evacuation.
Therefore, it is important to include in your diet the consumption of fruits, grains, cereals and vegetables that are high in fiber — such as avocado, oats, chia, prunes, beans, etc.
What is good for curing hemorrhoids?
Partial or, if possible, total reduction of the factors that condition the appearance and worsening of hemorrhoids help to improve and even cure this disease.
In other words, this includes improving your diet, going to the bathroom regularly, and weekly exercise or sports. It also helps to reduce the time you spend sitting on the toilet.
After all, if you’ve already evacuated, you can leave for sanitization. There is no reason to remain in a position that provides increased vascularity in the anorectal region — something that happens, for example, when you take distractions to the bathroom, such as a cell phone, tablet, books, magazines, etc.
Which doctor to see if you have hemorrhoids?
There is a medical specialty, in particular, that not only treats and advises about hemorrhoids, but also other problems that may occur in the anal region, both in men and women: coloproctology.
In the initial consultation with the doctor, you will report the evolution of the signs and symptoms that you are presenting, how many days this has been happening and what are the impacts generated in your routine. In addition, they are asked about eating habits and evacuation rhythm.
After this part, the doctor will perform the external and internal physical examination – as hemorrhoidal disease can happen inside the rectal canal. One of the procedures that helps with this task is anoscopy. It is done quickly, practically and painlessly.
Having verified that it is a hemorrhoid, the coloproctologist will indicate which intervention is necessary for your case. Most of the time, this process involves oral or topical medications, in addition to lifestyle changes.
Surgical procedures may be necessary, but only in serious situations – and when the other possible measures do not result in improvement of the condition.
Is it clear what hemorrhoids are and what is behind their appearance? So don’t postpone your trip to the doctor — consult yourself! This is the best and safest way to clarify all your doubts and have professional help to deal with the situation in the best way for your health.
Did you like the post? Take your time reading to learn more about other very common problems: gastritis and reflux!
Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).