Major types of hemorrhoids are external and internal. These types of hemorrhoids may get worse into prolapsed, thrombrose and strangulated.
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. Also called piles, most types of hemorrhoids often itch and can causes considerable pain in the rectum and may also bleed. These symptoms usually occur after having a bowel movement, especially after passing a hard stool. Bleeding over a long period of time may cause anemia. Hemorrhoids are also linked with habitual constipation and with pregnancy. There also contributory factors like prolonged sitting, mental stress, age and inadequate intake of fiber. The treatment for hemorrhoid includes soothing and relaxing measures such as keep the stool soft, hot sitz bath and following a high-fiber diet. Medications like suppositories and astringent ointments as well as surgery, hemorrhoid banding procedure, sclerotherapy and also acupuncture for hemorrhoids are included in the many treatment options.
External Hemorrhoids are located near the anal opening which is covered by sensitive skin. A person suffering from external hemorrhoids can feel a hard, sensitive lump that may bleeds when torn. This is caused by swollen external hemorrhoidal veins. They can be very painful especially when blood clots are formed. Oftentimes, the swollen veins are itchy and may bleed easily because of straining, rubbing and irritation from defecation.
When too much pressure is applied on the internal hemorrhoidal veins usually during a stool movement, it can result in internal hemorrhoids. Unlike external hemorrhoid, where a lump can be seen at the anal opening, internal hemorrhoids cannot be seen, but itchiness or bright-red blood when going to the toilet after having a bowel movement can be a tell-tale sign. Pain is not as common with internal hemorrhoids, unless an infection occurs or a blood clot forms.
A prolapsed Hemorrhoid is where an internal hemorrhoid has come through the anal opening. Prolapsed Hemorrhoids usually protrude from the anus and cause discomfort such as bleeding, pain, a feeling of incomplete defecation and itching. The severity of prolapsed hemorrhoids goes through different stages or grades. Medically they are classified as follows:
- No prolapse
- If the internal hemorrhoids pop-out from the anus during defecation but spontaneously pull back in.
- If they are pushed out and require the patient to manually push them back.
- When the internal hemorrhoids is out and cannot be pushed back, either by itself or manually, into the anal canal.
When blood no longer flows through the vein due to a blood clot, it often causes severe pain which is called a thrombosed hemorrhoid. Pain results when the clot and surrounding edema cause rapid swelling of skin which may lasts weeks depending on the severity. Because of the nature of the this type hemorrhoid, difficulty producing bowel movements and maintaining hygiene are common, which can in time further aggravate the condition.
A strangulated hemorrhoid is an internal hemorrhoid that has prolapsed through the anus sufficiently to stop the blood flow through the vein. Thrombosis will likely follow and these can be dangerous so medical advice should be sought as soon as possible.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy and after birth
Any of the types of Hemorrhoids above may occur during pregnancy when additional strains are placed on the body. Particular attention should be placed on diet, good sanitation and toilet technique during pregnancy and after birth in conjunction with your medical specialist.
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