When the veins surrounding the anus and the lower rectum becomes inflamed and swollen, this condition is known as hemorrhoids. Several groups of veins are located around the anus and rectum and these are referred to as internal and external hemorrhoidal veins. The existence of external hemorrhoids usually occurs due to high amount of pressure exerted into the external hemorrhoidal veins.
The Risk Factors
Various factors can cause increased pressure into the external hemorrhoidal veins and these include the following:
- Straining when moving bowels or poor bowel habits, such as sitting on the toilet for an extended period.
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Process of aging
- Excessive consumption of fatty foods and low amount of fiber in the diet
- Anal intercourse
Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless while external hemorrhoids can be very painful most of the time. For individuals with external hemorrhoids, some of the common symptoms include anal itching and bleeding. These symptoms can be due to straining, cleaning and rubbing within the anus. Draining of mucus can also be itchy. Other symptoms of external hemorrhoids can also include the formation of a hard lump within the area of the anus that may result to the formation of blood clots. This condition, on the other hand, is known as thrombosed external hemorrhoids. However, keep in mind that not all individuals afflicted with external hemorrhoids can experience the same symptoms.
Diagnosis of the Condition
To be able to diagnose an external hemorrhoid condition, the physician may start by asking a few questions related to the patient’s medical history and this will be followed by a physical examination. In some cases, the physician may require the patient to undergo several testing as well. A thorough evaluation will be conducted along with proper hemorrhoids diagnosis. This will be done, especially in cases when there is bleeding in the rectum or in case blood is present in the stool. Bleeding can also be due to digestive problems, such as rectal cancer or colon cancer, which is why proper medical diagnosis is necessary.
Home Remedies for the Condition
During the initial stage of external hemorrhoids, the condition can be alleviated using natural home remedies as hemorrhoids treatment. These home remedies can help ease the pain without any side effects. The options for this purpose include the following:
- One extremely beneficial remedy is the use of warm water therapy. This is helpful in reducing the swelling on the anal region. Simply fill a tub with lukewarm water, sit on it and allow the external hemorrhoids to be exposed to it for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
- Another effective remedy for the condition is ice pack therapy. All you need is to add some ice cubes to a cloth and apply it gently on the anal area for at least five to ten minutes. Do this until your condition is relieved.
- Soothing creams, stool softeners or lubricants can be purchased over-the-counter and these can be applied on the anal region to help minimize the pain and irritation, especially when passing stools.
- Triphala is a mixture of herbs that is helpful in curing bowel and stomach problems. Triphala is beneficial, as it can maintain normal bowel movements and is helpful in relieving constipation.
- Aloe vera can be used directly to the anal area. This can serve as an herbal pain reliever that can help soothe the burning sensation due to external hemorrhoids.
- Consuming high amount of fiber in a diet can also help soften the stool, prevent constipation and straining during bowel movements. High fiber food products include green vegetables, flax seeds and whole grains. All these are rich in fiber and are beneficial against external hemorrhoids. These foods can help reduce the irritation due to the condition.
Aside from these remedies, it is also necessary to consume lots of water to soften the stools. Take note that hardened stools can bring more pain and discomfort.
Preventing External Hemorrhoids
Instead of having to cure an external hemorrhoids and itching condition, it would be best to learn how to prevent the condition and stop it from occurring in the future. Some of the best preventive measures that you can follow are the following:
- Keep the stools soft to be able to pass them easily, thus reducing straining and pressure on the anus and rectum and preventing the development of external hemorrhoids.
- Make sure to empty bowels as soon as you feel the urge.
In addition to this, it is also necessary to do regular walking exercises to speed up metabolism and enhance the process of digestion. Increasing fiber on the diet is also helpful against straining and hardened stools. However, in case there is bleeding hemorrhoids or the condition is causing severe pain and discomfort and if it is causing you to bleed, even when you are not passing stools, it would be advisable to consult your physician for proper diagnosis and treatment of the condition.