Hemorrhoids, also sometimes referred to as piles, are an inflammation in the veins both in the anal canal and right at the opening. Incidence of hemorrhoids increases as we get older, but there are other potential causes as well. Chronic constipation, diarrhea, pregnancy, anal sex, and genetic factors may all lead to hemorrhoids. About half of all people living in the US will get a hemorrhoid at some time in their life. For the vast majority of people, the condition will not be serious, but for a small few the problem can be quite painful and may end up requiring surgery.
For people with internal hemorrhoids, bright red blood on the stools or in the toilet bowl while passing stools is a clear indicator of hemorrhoids, this type of hemorrhoid may not have the other symptoms typically associated with hemorrhoids such as pain and itching. External hemorrhoids may have the full array of symptoms including bleeding, and external hemorrhoids may even be seen or felt as a small bump at the anal opening.
Most patients with only minor cases of hemorrhoids can get significant hemorrhoid relief by reducing the constipation and straining associated with no getting enough fiber. It’s this straining that not only can lead to hemorrhoids but hard stools can also further irritate already existing hemorrhoids and make them worse. All hemorrhoids sufferers will need to improve their diet, but once hemorrhoids start to bleed a lot or become very painful, it may be necessary to try more advanced hemroid treatment options like the rubber band ligation, stapled hemorrhoidectomy, infrared coagulation or hemorrhoidectomy.
If you do notice bleeding while using the bathroom or other symptoms usually associated with hemorrhoids make sure to discuss it with a hemorrhoids doctor in order to rule out other colorectal diseases such as colon cancer. It’s also never too late to start improving your diet to help control flare ups and get on the path to better colon health.