Hemorrhoids

What are they?

Hemorrhoids (varicose veins of the anus) are the embossed mucous membrane consisting of vascular plexus, located in the anal canal. The mechanism of their formation is the same as in the case of varicose veins no matter their location. The long-term increased pressure in the veins causes a stretching and deformation of their walls.

Blood is collected in the dilated blood vessels, where it bulges out through a thin layer of mucous membrane, forming painful nodules. Their presence prevents the proper functioning of the final part of the digestive tract. The often results in discomfort which inhibits the normal functioning.

Who suffers from them

Hemorrhoids are one of the most common, but also most embarrassing ailments. It is estimated that up to 30 percent of adults suffer from hemorrhoids. People leading a sedentary lifestyle, pregnant women and people above 50 years of age are the most vulnerable.

Causes

There are many causes of hemorrhoids. Most common of them are:

  • frequent constipation caused by a diet low in fiber,
  • sedentary lifestyle, lack of physical activity that would stimulate peristalsis,
  • work in a squatting position,
  • hereditary susceptibility,
  • improper diet (fat and devoid of fiber),
  • incorrect functioning of the digestive system caused by inflammation of fungal or parasitic background,
  • pregnancy (40% of women suffer from hemorrhoids after giving birth),
  • obesity.

Stages of development

There are four stages of the disease:

  1. Small varicose veins appear; they cause no issues. At this stage, small instances of bleeding can be observed.
  2. Bigger nodules appear; they cause pain and bleeding. These nodules fall out during bowel movements and slide back in on their own.
  3. Varicose veins fall out and stay outside, no longer sliding back in on their own. They can be put back in the anal canal, however. Falling out occurs not only during bowel movements, but also during exercise.
  4. Hemorrhoids fall out and it is not possible to place them back into the anal canal. At this stage, apart from the pre-existing symptoms, an issue with holding the stool can occur.

Symptoms

The first visible symptom of the disease is the bleeding from the anus during a bowel movements. Bleeding occurs when the limp walls of the swollen hemorrhoids cannot withstand the pressure. Other symptoms include:

  • burning and itching,
  • pain around the anus,
  • feeling of incomplete defecation,
  • exudate, mucus in the anus.

In the advanced stage, sharp pain and protrusion of the hemorrhoids occur during bowel movements.