The physiological structures cushioning the anal passage so as to aid the exit of fecal matter are referred to as hemorrhoids. Consisting of blood vessels and tissue they make way for the passage of fecal waste. On inflammation or swelling hemorrhoids enlarge to attain the pathological condition also known as 'piles'.

Types of Hemorrhoids

  • External Hemorrhoids located at the penultimate end or exit of the anal passage, becomes painfully swollen and itchy on acquiring the conditions of piles. The veins surrounding the farthest end of anal canal become varicose or swollen in nature, prone to developing into clot.
  • Internal Hemorrhoids which find their location inside the rectum are usually painless in nature. Hemorrhoids anatomically located in the internal folds of the anal passage may give way to bleeding and take prolapsed form on inflammation.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

  • Irregular tendencies of bowel movements may give rise to the painfully inflamed conditions of piles or hemorrhoids.
  • Both constipation and diarrhea can contribute to the painful pathological conditions of hemorrhoids.
  • As far as constipated bowel movements are concerned, straining and increased pressure on the cushioning blood vessels give rise to the painfully swelling conditions of hemorrhoids.
  • Besides these pregnancy and child birth also contribute to the formation of piles by way of increased pressure on the guarding blood vessels.
  • Hereditary factors and that of aging are also related to piles.
  • Increase of body weight and immobility involving prolonged sitting positions may also be attributed to the formation of hemorrhoids.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

  • Hemorrhoids which occur externally usually exist as inflamed lump around the extreme end of the anal canal.
  • Besides being extremely painful, they are also itchy by nature.
  • While the ones located internally may make way for bleeding. Occurrences of stool smeared with blood are the typical symptoms of internal hemorrhoids.
  • Internal ones may also protrude or overhang through the rectal passage.
  • Internal ones which are usually non painful by nature, become extremely painful on acquiring a thrombotic condition.

Hemorrhoids Diagnoses

  • Usually the visual diagnoses of hemorrhoids are made through protscopy aiding the visual study of the rectal passage.
  • By way of rectal examination, presence of tumors, abscess and polyps in addition to that of piles are determined.
  • Before the use of an anoscope or a protoscope; a routine visual examination serves to confirm the presence of external and prolapsed hemorrhoids.

Treatment For Hemorrhoids

  • Usually allopathic treatment for hemorrhoids revolves around the prescription of anti inflammatory drugs.
  • In extreme cases of prolapse and thrombosis surgical measures are also undertaken.
  • A process known as 'stapled hemorrhoidectomy' which entails partial removal and restructuring the inflamed tissues is also one of the painless surgical options.
  • 'Sclerotherapy' whereby the inflamed veins are forced to collapse and shrink with the use of phenol like sclerosing agent is also resorted to.
  • Cauterisation whereby the painful lump existent in the shape of a hemorrhoid is burnt with techniques such as 'electrocautery', 'laser' and 'cryosurgery' is also made use of in order to get rid of hemorrhoids.
  • By way of another mode of treatment known as 'rubber band ligation' rubber bands are attached to internal piles so that the formation may wither away within a period of week.

Self Care and Natural Treatment for Hemorrhoids

  • While surgical interference may be thought of as the last resort, there are other dietary and self care regimen whereby one can control the inflammatory conditions and bleeding.
  • Sufficient consumption of fiber leading to the cleansing of bowel is essential with regard to care and control of piles and hemorrhoids.
  • Besides going for balanced meals with lots of insistence on fruits, yellow and green vegetables, keeping the physiological system well hydrated with sufficient amount of water also serves to control the painful effects of piles.
  • Adequate consumption of water and fluids in forms of fruits and vegetable juices will ensure the softening of stool, thereby aiding to control straining and pressure on the anal veins.
  • Controlling irregularities in bowel movements with regular passage of fecal waste are also necessary so that constipation leading to piles and hemorrhoids does not take place.
  • Sometimes vitamin supplements and herbal capsules contribute wonderfully to systematize the bowel movements.
  • Herbal formula encapsulating the natural goodness of figwort, butcher's broom and chestnut are effective for controlling piles.
  • In case one is afflicted with external or internal hemorrhoids, ensuring cleanliness to the affected anal area is of paramount importance.
  • Cleanliness can be ensured with gentle washing of the affected area with soaps based on anti bacterial soap.
  • Amongst all topical applications used and recommended, the one based on the herbal extracts of aloe vera is safe as well as soothing.
  • While resorting to any form of topical application including that of aloe, care should be taken to apply the same with anti septic gauze or cotton pad.