What are Hemorrhoids?
The term hemorrhoids refers to a condition in which the veins around the anus or lower rectum are swollen and inflamed. Hemorrhoids may result from straining to move stool. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, aging, chronic constipation or diarrhea, and anal intercourse. Hemorrhoids are either inside the anus -internal -or under the skin around the anus-external.
Many anorectal problems, including fissures, fistulae, abscesses, or irritation and itching, also called pruritus ani, have similar symptoms and are incorrectly referred to as hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids usually are not dangerous or life threatening. In most cases, hemorrhoidal symptoms will go away within a few days.
What is treatment?
Medical treatment of hemorrhoids is aimed initially at relieving symptoms. Measures to reduce symptoms include
- tub baths several times a day in plain, warm water for about 10 minutes .
- Application of hemorrhoidal cream or suppository to the affected area for limited time
Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In addition, doctors may suggest a bulk stool softner or fiber supplement such as Psyllium (Metamucil) or Methylcellulose (Citrucel).