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Say ‘Hell No!’ to Nasty Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are like the last of the “unmentionables” one avoids even among intimate partners. But a fact of life, hemorrhoids come from pressure on the veins in the pelvic and rectal area; the pressure increases, blood pools in veins, causing them to swell. The swollen veins stretch the surrounding tissue, and hemorrhoids appear.
Hemorrhoid treatment doesn’t have to be a nightmare unless they are large and painful. Some common remedies include tying off the hemorrhoids with a rubber band (rubber band ligation) or using heat, lasers, or electric current to create scar tissue (coagulation therapy). Surgical removal of hemorrhoids (e.g. hemorrhoidectomy) can be used for large internal hemorrhoids, when several small hemorrhoids are present, or when other treatments have not controlled bleeding. This is definitely when an over-the-counter medication won’t do.
Preventing hemorrhoids before they start:
- Take a fiber supplement daily if needed. Start with small doses.
- Schedule time each day for a bowel movement.
- Never strain while having a bowel movement.
Healthy bowel habits:
- Go to the bathroom immediately when urged to do so – don’t try and hold it.
- Relax and give yourself time to let things happen naturally.
- Get off the toilet as soon as you are done.
Hemorrhoids are classified into internal and external types. Internal hemorrhoids reside far inside the rectum that you can’t see or feel them. They don’t usually hurt because there are few pain-sensing nerves in the rectum. The external types can be small to large nodules that are visible to the eye and can be felt when touched.
Several factors can increase risk for hemorrhoids, like being overweight and obese and even pregnancy and labor. Definitely call your doctor if rectal bleeding occurs, stools become more narrow (width of a pencil), inability to pass stools, and stools become black or tarry.