Hemorrhoids are permanently thrombosed veins of the rectum. They are caused when too much pressure is exerted during bowl movements or when trying to withhold stools. Because they are common, they are nothing to be embarrassed about and they are not a serious medical condition. They can often be treated and managed without surgical intervention or prescription medication.
As a mechanical complication of a biological process, external hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and messy. Hemorrhoids can occur internally or externally. Internal hemorrhoids form inside the rectum and cannot be seen; the most common symptom is a feeling of urgency and bright red blood in the stool. If internal rectal or colonic bleeding is suspected, a licensed physician should be consulted to determine the underlying cause.
External hemorrhoids are visible and palpable outside the rectum. They appear as localized swelling around the opening of the anus which can often be quite painful. Blood on toilet tissue that is directly from abrasion to external hemorrhoids is usually obvious and not necessarily a cause for professional medical intervention. These hemorrhoids can be treated by the sufferer.
The main cause of external hemorrhoids is due to straining the rectal muscles to expel stool during a bowel movement. The most common cause is that a person’s diet is low in fiber. A high fiber/low residue diet can prevent acute exacerbation of external hemorrhoids, decreasing episodes of swelling and the associated pain and inconvenience. This means a person suffering from external hemorrhoids should consume 35 grams of fiber per day, eating plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, while eating less fat and animal protein. A well balanced diet contains fat and protein but people with external hemorrhoids should focus their intake on plant-based foods rather than animal products. For many people, switching their menus to include more plant-based foods eventually relieves their symptoms as their bowel habits become more regular and their stools are more well formed and solid, allowing easier passage.
While it may not be pleasant to discuss, direct digital manipulation is a common practice in reducing acute inflammation. External hemorrhoidal inflammation usually occurs directly after a straining bowel movement. The hemorrhoids swell due to the increased blood flow and pressure to the rectal area during the process. By applying direct external pressure with one’s hand to an acutely thrombosed hemorrhoid, a person can reduce the swelling so that the involved vein returns to its original state before the trauma occurred. External hemorrhoids are also called piles or tags because, once formed, they rarely permanently go away. By applying pressure, a person can return the vein to the shape it had before and have the comfort he or she had before the bowel movement.