Men's Articles

Hemorrhoids


Depending on their location, hemorrhoids fall into two categories: external and internal. External hemorrhoids are located near the opening of the anus and come in two varieties - thrombosed hemorrhoids, located within the anal canal, and cutaneous hemorrhoids, which are located outside the anus.

Internal hemorrhoids occur when the cushions of the rectum become engorged with blood and extend out of the rectum into the anal canal. Hemorrhoids cause the skin to stretch and irritate the nerves, leading to pain, itching, swelling, and even bleeding. The leading cause of hemorrhoids is improper diet.

Diets low in soluble fiber often lead to hard and abrasive stools which are difficult to pass. The strain then increases pressure in the surrounding blood vessels, causing hemorrhoids. Other factors that may induce or aggravate hemorrhoids are obesity, loose bowels, physical exertion, pregnancy, prolonged standing or sitting, severe coughing or sneezing, and anal infections.

Medications available at the drug store can't cure hemorrhoids, but they can help relieve the discomfort. Anesthetic creams and ointments help to control itching and burning, but should be used sparingly. External pain relievers block out pain and itching and provide a cool, soothing feeling.

Protectant creams control itching by reducing outside irritation. Sitz baths and warm, moist compresses can help relieve the discomfort. Hydrocortisone cream reduces inflammation and blood flow to the hemorrhoidal area and helps reduce itching. A proper diet will help to prevent most hemorrhoids from forming.

Natural dietary fiber rich foods, including most fruits and vegetables, supply plenty of soluble fiber to ease passage through the digestive tract. Fiber supplements can also be taken to maintain the recommended daily intake of 25 grams. It is also important to drink plenty of water, particularly with a high fiber diet. Respond to bowel movements promptly without excessive straining or delay.

It is important to consult your physician or pharmacist before using any over-the-counter drugs or treatments. They will be able to advise you on proper usage and can warn you of possible side effects and contraindications.

 

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