Hemorrhoids are a complex of vessels located at the lower part of colon. There are two types of hemorrhoids, the external one which are located in the anus and the inner one that exist in the lower part of the large intestine, called rectum. The term hemorrhoids results from the Greek words “blood” and “flow”. Their main role in normal conditions is to offer a proper and controlled defecation while also protect other local tissues from injury during the passage of stools.
Hemorrhoids comprise mucous, blood vessels and veins which form a complex known as hemorrhoidal plexus. When veins and blood vessels are swollen and inflamed mainly due to venous congestion, then this is called “hemorrhoids”. Hemorrhoids may be located either internally or externally.
Although the reasons that someone create hemorrhoids are not always clear, common causative factors are:
• Poor blood circulation
• Increased intra-abdominal pressure (pregnancy, chronic cough)
• Constipation or prolonged stay of stools in the rectum
• Sedentary life or prolonged standing
• Weight lifting
• Diet low in fiber
• Incomplete hygiene of the anus area
• Anxiety and reduced physical activity
Symptoms and diagnosis
Hemorrhoids cause a number of undesired symptoms which degrade the quality of life. The most common are:
• Bleeding usually during bowel movements
• Pain, discomfort and heaviness in the anus
• Irritation and itching
• Mucus secretion and leakage of feces
• Swelling of the anal sphincter
As chronic bleeding may cause some degree of iron deficiency (anemia), people who notice such kind of symptoms may report them to their gastroenterologist and make the sooner a colonoscopy. Diagnosis of hemorrhoids is made visually with regard to anal region or through palpation/colonoscopy internally.
Hemorrhoids are not a dangerous situation, however, because there is an increased risk of thrombosis, they should be treated properly and in time in order not to worsen. Common ways of treatment are:
• Improvement of risk factors (diet and exercise)
• Increase of fiber and water intake
• Avoid lifting weight
• Don’t use dry paper toilet
• Apply lukewarm water
• Keep the anal area clean
If the above do not improve the problem and symptoms are still painful and severe, then taking medication either orally or in form of cream or suppositories may be necessary. In severe cases, when conservative measures are not enough, ligation or surgery is the next stage of treatment.
Creams and supplements that ameliorate blood circulation usually offer improvement of symptoms. Among herbs that have been found to be helpful are horse chestnut, bilberry, ginkgo biloba. Beneficial is the use of antioxidants such as polyphenols and bioflavonoids that offer also anti-inflammatory actions. Supplements with diosmin and esperidin are also very helpful. Creams containing extracts of Calendula, Horse chestnut, Hamamelis, Paeonia and Helichrysum are useful for the relief of symptoms is topical application because they have painkilling and healing properties.
In our store you can find supplements and creams for hemorrhoids.