This is a guide to what causes external hemorrhoids and how you can deal with them.
What Causes External Hemorrhoids and The Risk Groups for External Hemorrhoids
Those who are overweight, including those who are pregnant, may be at a greater risk of suffering from hemorrhoids as you are placing an increased amount of pressure on the lower part of your body. In addition to this, some people may be genetically pre-disposed to suffering from the condition.
In other cases, it may be because you are either sitting around too much or standing too much. If you are straining during bowel movements e.g. you are suffering from constipation, then your risk of suffering from external hemorrhoids is going to shoot up even further.
In some cases, it may be down to a poor diet. For example; if you are not getting enough dietary fiber into your diet, then it is likely that you will need to strain a lot more when you are passing a stool as the stool will be harder. In addition to this, if you are consuming something which makes your stool incredibly loose, or you are suffering from a condition which can give you diarrhea, then again you are at risk of suffering from hemorrhoids. However, there may also be medical issues which cause the hemorrhoids.
Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids
The main symptom that you are dealing with external hemorrhoids is if you start to notice a swelling around the anus. Small lumps around the entrance to it. If you experience this, then we suggest that you schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible as they will be able to provide you with advice on how it can be treated going forward.
Other symptoms may include:
- Itching around the anus.
- Pain in the anus. This may be a constant pain, or it may be when you pass a stool.
- Blood in your stool
- Blood when you wipe after passing a stool.
Remember; hemorrhoids are not, for the most part, a serious condition. All the symptoms above will likely indicate that you have hemorrhoids. However, it is also worth pointing out that some of the symptoms detailed on this page may also be related to more serious conditions. This is why it is so important that you do talk to a doctor as soon as you can. Hemorrhoids should be treated quickly. Those other serious conditions should be treated even quicker.
How is the diagnosis carried out?
External hemorrhoids are going to be easy to spot. Your doctor can take a peek at your rectum and instantly tell whether you are suffering from external hemorrhoids. However, they may also need to determine which stage of hemorrhoids you are dealing with.
If the doctor thinks that there is a medical condition in your anus which may have an impact on your hemorrhoids, then they may carry out a further examination e.g. through a proctoscopy or a colonoscopy. This is going to be rare, however. Read more about diagnosis here.
Treating External Hemorrhoids
The way in which the external hemorrhoids are treated will be dependent on their severity. In many cases, the first goal will be to reduce the swelling of the hemorrhoids. In most cases, the doctor will suggest that you use an ice pack for this. Using an ice pack will provide you with a massive amount of relief the second it is applied. In other cases, they may suggest that you use specific hemorrhoid creams. You should try to stay as natural as possible when choosing your ointment.
If the hemorrhoids are the result of your lifestyle choices e.g. you are not consuming the correct diet, then the doctor may suggest that you make changes. In some cases, it will involve eating more high-fiber foods and exercising regularly. The exercise is incredibly important as it will help to keep your system ‘ticking over’.
The last thing a doctor wants is to recommend surgery for you. However, if you have stage 4 hemorrhoids or there seems to be little impact on your hemorrhoids using other methods, then they are going to have little choice but to recommend it. There are various treatment options available here. This includes:
- Physical removal of the hemorrhoids. This is called a hemorrhoidectomy.
- The burning of the hemorrhoid tissue. There are several methods that can be used here. This includes lasers and infrared.
- Rubber band litigation. Basically, the hemorrhoids are going to be ‘strangled’ by rubber bands. For many people, this is one of the most effective forms of treatment.
Sadly, in some cases, the external hemorrhoids are going to be persistent. This means that they may disappear, but they will return. The doctor will consider why this is happening and provide you with treatment options to try and stop it from occurring in the future. Remember, though. Hemorrhoids are a common condition and most people will be completely treated.