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>> What are Piles?
>> Can Dehydration Cause Hemorrhoids?
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>> Can Constipation Cause Hemorrhoids
>> Sitz Bath for Hemorrhoid Relief
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External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids occur when the veins surrounding the anus and the rectum become swollen and inflamed causing a lot of pain and discomfort. This is also caused by excessive pressure or straining of the anorectal veins. Generally, people who are obese, pregnant women or those following unhealthy diets and lifestyles are susceptible to this condition.

Causes of External Hemorrhoids

Choosing Creams for Hemorrhoids: Points to Consider

  1. Unhealthy food habits: This is one of the major causes of hemorrhoids. People who have low fiber content in their food, and mostly eat processed foods, are more susceptible to falling prey to this painful condition. Processed foods lack any form of roughage or fiber, which is necessary for the formation of softer and bulkier stools. This absence of fiber leads to the formation of dry and hard stools,causing more straining and pressure during bowel movements. The increased pressure creates ideal conditions for the development of hemorrhoids. Alcohol and other caffeinated drinks act as diuretics, causing the body to lose water, which again forms hard and dry stools.

  2. Pregnancy: This is another major cause of hemorrhoids. The reason behind it is that as the body grows in size, it exerts more pressure on the hemorrhoidal veins, leading to the development of this condition. Also, the extra pressure exerted during the birthing process may cause hemorrhoids to develop.

  3. Tumors: Tumors that occur in the pelvic region may cause inflammation of the hemorrhoids by exerting pressure on the veins.

Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids

Here are some symptoms of external hemorrhoids:

  1. Anal Lumps: Swollen lumps surrounding the anus are a common symptom. There may be more than one lump around the anus, and they are generally spongy in texture, and very painful and sensitive to touch. Unlike prolapsed internal hemorrhoids which can be pushed back inside, these cannot be pushed back in.

  2. Irritation: External hemorrhoids are accompanied by symptoms of irritation around the anus. It can lead to discomfort and makes cleaning up the anal area after bowel movements very difficult. Irritation is generally caused by chemicals in harsh soaps or excessive cleaning.

  3. Itching: Itching in the anal region is another very common symptom of external hemorrhoids. The skin around the anus becomes sensitive to the fibers of undergarments, chemicals in the soap and other such irritants.

  4. Bleeding: Bleeding may occur while passing stools. Bright, red blood may be noticed in the toilet bowl or on the toilet paper.

  5. Pain: Excessive pain is felt during bowel movement, as the stools are dry and hard. They also cause a lot of pain while lying down or sitting.

  6. Swelling: Inflammation around the anus may be caused due to the formation of blood clots, particularly when it causes extreme pain and bleeding.

Treatment of External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids can be treated with:

  1. Diet and medication: High fiber diets help soften the stools, thereby causing less straining and pressure on the anorectal veins. When a high fiber balanced diet is combined with a doctor’s recommended medication, it can form an effective treatment method.
  2. Warm baths: For relieving the symptoms of external hemorrhoids, doctors also suggest taking warm baths or soaking the anal region in a Sitz bath for about 10 to 20 minutes, several times during the day.
  3. Clot removal: If treating the symptoms does not provide relief from the symptoms of the condition, because of thrombosed external hemorrhoid, surgery is performed to remove the blood clot from the vein.
  4. Hemorrhoidectomy: In this treatment method, the hemorrhoids are removed surgically by cutting around the engorged veins. Healing takes time, during which bowel movements are very painful.
  5. Laser Coagulation: In this procedure, an electric current is applied to the hemorrhoidal tissue. An electrode probe is used to emit an electric current, which causes a chemical reaction in the affected tissue. The reaction cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing the swollen tissue to shrink.
  6. Infrared Photocoagulation: In this procedure, an infrared light is directly applied to the hemorrhoidal tissue. The infrared light causes the swollen veins of the affected area to coagulate. This process cuts off blood supply to the hemorrhoid, causing it to shrink.

Knowledge of the symptoms and its causes facilitates early detection of this condition, and prevents the hemorrhoids from aggravating.