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.
Complaints (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 as a smooth lump next to the anus.
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 the specialist. There are various treatment options. By placing an elastic band around the hemorrhoid, it can disappear. A substance can also be injected, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink.
When to the doctor?
Many people are a bit ashamed of this topic. Your doctor will not be surprised, 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 a 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 an inflammation. Usually the pain is so severe that you have already decided to contact your doctor.
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 complaints.
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 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.