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Hemorrhoids 101
Hemorrhoids personal stories, plus causes, symptoms and treatment

cause of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are commonly caused by the sufferer straining to go to the toilet. The added strain on the anus and rectum causes stress on the veins in the area, which then become hemorrhoids.

Constipation and hemorrhoids often go hand in hand because constipation can result in hard stools, which are more difficult to pass and cause more straining. You may also be reluctant to go to the toilet when you feel the urge because you are worried about the pain which occurs when the stool passes by the hemorrhoids.

Low fiber diets can sometimes be to blame, as the lack of fiber makes it harder for the digestive system to propel the food through the intestines, contributing to constipation. Too long spent sitting on the toilet (whether you're reading the newspaper or not) can also add to the problem. On the other hand, diarrhea is also implicated as a possible cause of hemorrhoids.

As well as the amount of time spent sitting on the toilet, the actual design of modern toilets may also contribute to your problems. Most Western toilets do not allow us to use the proper 'squatting' position which our ancestors used - simply squatting down on the floor with knees bent.

The squatting position allows the bowel to empty fully and causes less strain on the anal veins, therefore making it less likely that hemorrhoids will develop.

Hemorrhoids can appear in pregnancy because of the additional pressure of the baby, plus hormonal changes. Childbirth itself can also cause hemorrhoids to appear.

Older people can be more prone to hemorrhoids, as can people who are very overweight (obese).

 

Diagnosis

It is always important to receive a proper diagnosis from your doctor rather than relying on self-diagnosis. Bleeding from the rectum can be a symptoms of a number of different disorders and digestive problems, and so a definite diagnosis is important.

Your doctor will probably look at your anus to see if there are any swollen blood vessels present. They may also insert a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum to see if they can feel any swelling within the rectum.

If closer inspection of the rectum is needed then the doctor may use a scope (a hollow tube with a light attached) to look for internal hemorrhoids.

Also, if any other gastrointestinal disorders may be causing your problems, you may be sent for a sigmoidoscopy (an examination of the rectum and lower colon) or a colonoscopy (examination of the entire colon).

 

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