Haemorrhoids – Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus that can cause discomfort and pain. They are a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide and can occur at any age, but they can be treated by a colorectal surgeon or your doctor. Here, we will discuss the causes of this condition, haemorrhoids symptoms, haemorrhoid treatment options, and ways that you can prevent them.

Causes of Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids can be caused by various factors, including:

  • Straining during bowel movements: Frequent straining during bowel movements due to constipation or diarrhea can increase the pressure on the veins in the rectum and anus, leading to the development of haemorrhoids.
  • Pregnancy: Haemorrhoids are common during pregnancy due to the increased pressure on the blood vessels in the pelvic area, as well as hormonal changes that can cause the veins to swell.
  • Obesity: Excess body weight can put additional pressure on the veins in the rectum and anus, increasing the risk of haemorrhoids.
  • Sedentary lifestyle: Sitting for prolonged periods of time, especially on hard surfaces, can put pressure on the veins in the anal area and contribute to the development of haemorrhoids.
  • Age: The risk of developing haemorrhoids increases with age, as the tissues in the rectum and anus become weaker and more susceptible to swelling and inflammation.
  • Heredity: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to develop haemorrhoids, as the condition can run in families.

Haemorrhoids symptoms

The most common haemorrhoids symptoms include:

  • Rectal bleeding: Bright red blood on the toilet paper, in the toilet bowl, or on the surface of the stool can be a sign of haemorrhoids. However, it is important to note that rectal bleeding can also be caused by other conditions, such as anal fissures, so it is important to consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.
  • Pain or discomfort: Haemorrhoids can cause pain, itching, and discomfort in the anal area, especially during bowel movements or prolonged sitting.
  • Swelling or lumps: Haemorrhoids can cause swelling or lumps around the anus, which may be felt as soft, tender masses.
  • Mucus discharge: Haemorrhoids can cause increased mucus production in the anal area, leading to a discharge that can cause irritation and discomfort.

Haemorrhoid treatment options

Treatment for haemorrhoids includes:

  • Lifestyle changes: Such as increasing fibber intake, staying hydrated, avoiding straining during bowel movements, and incorporating regular physical activity.
  • Medication: Over-the-counter creams, ointments, and suppositories containing ingredients such as hydrocortisone or witch hazel can help reduce symptoms.  Oral pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen may be used to alleviate pain.
  • Sitz baths: This is where the anal area is soaked in warm water, which is an easy haemorrhoids treatment that provides relief.
  • Haemorrhoid surgery: In some cases, medical procedures such as rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or hemorrhoidectomy may be performed by a colorectal surgeon for more severe cases.

Visit your doctor or colorectal surgeon in Melbourne for relief

Are you suffering from haemorrhoids symptoms? It is important to consult a healthcare provider like a doctor or colorectal surgeon for proper diagnosis and haemorrhoid treatment.