Hemorrhoids are protrusions of the lining of the intestine, just in front of the anus (poop hole).

  • Hemorrhoids are a bulge on the inside of the anus.
  • Hemorrhoids can sometimes cause blood loss in the stool.
  • Hemorrhoids are caused by high pressure around the anus, for example by pressing.
  • Provide soft stools.
    • Drink 1.5-2 liters per day.
    • Get plenty of exercises, half an hour a day or more.
    • Eat high-fiber: whole wheat bread, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, beans, peas, lentils, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Go to the doctor if you experience a lot of pain or swelling.

What is blood loss from the anus?

You usually notice bleeding from the anus while sitting on the toilet. For example, there is blood on the toilet paper. Sometimes there is blood on the stool, or it is in the stool. You can also lose blood (and blood clots) without a bowel movement. The stool sometimes contains not only blood but also mucus.

Every year, one in five people sometimes has blood in their stools. So it is common.

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are dilations of blood vessels around the anus (poop hole). They are often compared to varicose veins, the veins are also dilated. Hemorrhoids can occur on the inside (inside) or outside (outside) of the anus. There is a network of spongy blood vessels around the anus. When they are full of blood, they form a closing ring (swelling body). Together with the sphincter muscle of the anus, this swelling body ensures proper closure of the anus, so that stools cannot just leave the body.

What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can itch, hurt or cause a burning sensation. Hemorrhoids can also lead to unintended loss of mucus, some blood, or stools. Sometimes such an extended swelling body sinks out (internal hemorrhoid); this can happen especially at or after relieving (pressing). This can give a feeling of pressure as if there is still a need for stools. You can also feel it with your fingers. External hemorrhoids are dilations of the veins on the outside of the anus. They can often be felt like a smooth lump next to the anus.

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Other symptoms of bleeding from the anus

In addition to blood loss from the anus, there are often other symptoms.

With hemorrhoids and cracks you can also suffer from itching, burning and pain.

Inflammation of the bowel can be accompanied by:

  • stomach ache;
  • mucus in the stool;
  • fever;
  • less appetite
  • to lose weight;
  • feeling sick;
  • tiredness.

Colon cancer can cause the following complaints:

  • less appetite
  • to lose weight;
  • stomach ache;
  • feeling sick;
  • tiredness
  • changes in stools (constipation or diarrhea)
  • sometimes anemia due to blood loss.

Hemorrhoids, how do they arise?

Hemorrhoids almost always occur due to high pressure around the anus. This pressure can be the result of hard and/or prolonged pressing, for example with difficult stools or during labor. But chronic coughing can also be a cause.

Is it serious and what can you expect?

Although hemorrhoids can be very annoying, they are harmless. Hemorrhoids can disappear on their own. Occasionally an inflammation occurs. A blood clot can also occur in a varicose vein. Both inflammation and a clot can be very painful. In the event of serious or persistent complaints, your doctor can refer you to a specialist. There are various treatment options. By placing an elastic band around hemorrhoid, it can disappear. A substance can also be injected, causing hemorrhoids to shrink.

When to the doctor?

Many people are a bit ashamed of this topic. Your doctor will not be surprised about the hemorrhoids, it is very common. If you find blood and/or mucus in or near the stool, it is always wise to contact your general practice for more certainty. Even if you feel a bulge and are not sure whether this is hemorrhoid, you should have a look at it. If you feel a swelling coming up in a short time that also hurts a lot, this may indicate inflammation. Usually, the pain is so severe that you have already decided to contact your doctor.

See also, Transient ischemic attack (TIA)

What can you do about it yourself?

If you have itching or irritation, do not use toilet paper, but a damp cloth or wet washcloth. The (Indian) habit of rinsing with water is also very good. You can carefully push bulging bulges out again. In case of pain or itching, you can use ointment or suppositories, for sale at a pharmacy or drugstore. Note that it contains lidocaine, hydrocortisone, or zinc. Other ingredients are not effective. 2x a day a soaking tub provides relief from hemorrhoids complaints.

  • Have regular bowel movements and soft stools. Then you have to press less and you have less chance of complaints.
    • Drink 1.5-2 liters per day.
    • Get plenty of exercises; half an hour a day or more.
    • Use fiber-rich foods. Brown bread, bran, vegetables, and fruits contain a lot of fiber. Those fibers attract moisture and keep the stool soft.
    • Go straight to the toilet if you feel an urge; stopping makes the stool hard. Pressing hard is not good, the stool has to ‘pass’ slowly.
  • In case of irritation or itching around the anus, it is better not to use rough toilet paper, but a wet cloth and then pat the anus dry. Do not use moist toilet paper that contains alcohol or perfume.
  • Sometimes the pain can diminish if you gently push in any protrusions that sag.

General advice and precautions

The most important thing is to ensure regular bowel movements and soft stools. You do this by:

  • Fiber-rich diet – Fibers remain in the stool, attract moisture, and therefore create a soft mass. They can be found in brown bread, brown rice, legumes, vegetables (including lettuce), fruits, and bran
  • Drinking a lot If you drink too little, the body removes moisture from the stools, and a dry and therefore hard mass remains. Even taking fibers does not work then.
  • Regular exercise Sports have a beneficial effect on a stool. Going to school or going to work by bike and taking the stairs instead of the elevator saves a lot without it taking a lot of time.

The use of laxatives does not work, and can even have the opposite effect. Go to the toilet as soon as you feel an urge because stopping makes the stools hard. And take the time, because almost leads to pressing.

Medicines for hemorrhoids

For hemorrhoids there are various medicines available at the drugstore or pharmacy. These can help to alleviate the complaints. There is no evidence that the drugs will clear the hemorrhoids earlier. The following remedies can relieve your hemorrhoid symptoms:

  • vaselineceto macrogol cream, zinc sulfate vaseline cream, or zinc oxide suppositories for itching and irritation (all 2 times a day and after each time you have had a bowel movement)
  • lidocaine vaseline cream for pain or burning itching (2x a day and after each time you have had a bowel movement, for up to 4 weeks),
  • Lidocaine zinc sulfate cream (2x a day and after each time you have had a bowel movement, for up to 4 weeks),

How further with hemorrhoids?

Do the hemorrhoids cause severe or persistent complaints? Then sometimes a rubber band ligation can reduce your complaints.
With a rubber band ligation, a very small elastic band is placed around hemorrhoid on the inside of the anus. That elastic band ensures that hemorrhoids can no longer sink down. This way, hemorrhoid no longer causes complaints. After a few days, hemorrhoid dies and you simply defecate the rubber band again.

Usually, the surgeon does this in the hospital. Do you have a lot of hemorrhoids? Then it may be necessary to repeat the procedure several times.

After the procedure, you may still feel the urge to defecate for a few days. Try not to go to the toilet too often during that time.

After the procedure, you may also have temporary complaints of blood loss from the anus, pain in the anus, or difficulty urinating.

Are you taking blood-thinning medications? Then discuss whether you should stop it before the rubber band ligation.

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