Seeing bright red blood on the toilet paper after you have been may give you quite a fright. However this may very well be a sign that you have hemorrhoids and there is no need to worry. Another name for hemorrhoids is piles and these are not dangerous and in most cases disappear on their own accord. Some people find these very uncomfortable and so you will be relieved to know that there are treatments out there that can help you. This article looks at the latest evidence and reviews methods that you can use to treat this common and annoying condition.
What are they?
They are blood vessels that occur naturally in the back passage and anus that have become swollen and can be tender. There is much thought that they are caused when the small blood vessels in the lining of your back passage become swollen with blood and increase in width. Very severe can appear on the outside of the anus and in some cases you will be able to push these back in. Hemorrhoids can appear when you strain on the toilet and women can get them when they are pregnant.
Hemorrhoids that are small will probably not cause you any discomfort, however when they get larger they can be irritating, painful, and itchy. It is common for those who suffer from hemorrhoids to notice bright red blood on the toilet paper when they wipe their bottom. In some cases you may also notice that there is some blood in the toilet bowl. You should visit your doctor if you have any bleeding from the back passage, as it is possible that this may be caused by a more serious disease. If you notice that the blood is mixed in with your stools then you should see your doctor right away. If you need to go to the toilet less or more often, or are losing weight for no apparent reason then you should also visit your doctor. Your doctor will be able to examine you and order more tests if necessary. In most cases people find that hemorrhoids do not bother them once they know what they are.
Some of the things that you can do for yourself include eating a diet that is high in fiber (vegetables, fruit, and wholemeal bread). You could try a fiber supplement if this does not appear to be working. Two options are ispaghula husk and methylcellulose. You should also try drinking lots of water, as this will soften your stools. You must go to the toilet as soon as the need arises, this is important as waiting can result in harder stools that aggravate the hemorrhoids. You should not sit on the toilet bowel for longer than what you need to and try not to strain in order to pass a stool.
There are many ointments and creams that you can use in order to soothe the itching or pain. Some of these contain a steroid and others contain a local anesthetic. In many cases a warm bath ma be very relieving.
There is another form of treatment known as banding and this aims to cut of the vessels blood supply so that they drop off. This is most commonly used for hemorrhoids that are of moderate severity. This is usually done in hospital, is not painful and only takes a couple of minutes. Banding has fewer side effects than surgery, however things that may go wrong include pain, bleeding, and difficulty with urination.
Injections are often used in an attempt to shrink hemorrhoids of mild or moderate severity. In this treatment method the doctor will inject a chemical into the vein that is swollen. This causes the vein to collapse into itself and it will then drop off over the next 7 to 10 days. Injections do not work as well as banding, however they can cause fewer side effects.
Surgery is the best option for more severe hemorrhoids and involves a visit to the hospital. However the process only takes a few hours and the hemorrhoids are cut away with scissors or with a scalpel. There will be a small wound left over and this will either be closed with sutures or left to heal on its own accord depending upon how bad it is. These operations work very well, however you can get bleeding and have difficulty passing urine. There is a new form of surgery that uses a circular stapling device to remove a small ring of the tissue in your back passage. The idea here is that the hemorrhoids are lifted higher to where they are less likely to cause you problems. This operation is confined to the inside of your anus and does not involve the sensitive skin on the outside of the anus. This must be performed by a surgeon specially trained as it is can cause severe side effects if not done correctly. There is another new form of surgery that uses an infrared device to burn the hemorrhoids away.
Hemorrhoids may come and go; however if they are bothering you then you should get them seen too. Always remember that they can even come back after treatment.