External Hemorrhoids

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External hemorrhoids are the most painful and irritating type of physical problem any human can have in the rectum and anus area.
(Maybe that's where the phrase came from, "a real pain in the butt...
") I don't know if that's a fact or not, but external hemorrhoids are just that! Internal hemorrhoids are bad enough, but when they protrude "outside" your anus, they really become painful.
If an external hemorrhoid prolapses ("to fall out of place'") to the outside, you can see it and feel it.
Blood clots sometimes form within prolapsed external hemorrhoids, and are an extremely painful condition called a "thrombosis.
" Thrombosed Hemorrhoids: If this type of hemorrhoid becomes thrombosed, it can look rather frightening, turning purple or blue, and can even bleed.
Even though they look scary, they're usually not serious, but can be very painful.
They will usually repair themselves in a couple of weeks.
If the pain is unbearable, your doctor can surgically remove the thrombosed hemorrhoid, which will stop the pain, but may cause additional pain and recovery time.
Too many people who decide to have surgery, later regret they ever had it done.
In fact, about 88% say they wish they never would have had it done.
Anytime we experience "anal bleeding" and pain of any kind, it's alarming and should be evaluated, but even though it can indicate a life threatening condition like colorectal cancer, it's usually not any more serious than hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are the # 1 cause of anal bleeding, but a clear diagnosis from your doctor may bring you some peace of mind.
Did you know that everyone has hemorrhoids? They are the "pillow-like clusters of veins" that lie just beneath the mucous membranes of the lowest part of the rectum and anus.
The condition develops when those veins become swollen and distended, similar to varicose veins in the legs.
Internal hemorrhoids occur in the lower rectum and external hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the anus.
External hemorrhoids are the most uncomfortable because the "overlying" skin becomes irritated and erodes.
If a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid, the pain can be severe very quickly.
You might feel or see a lump around your anus.
The clot usually dissolves, leaving excess skin, which may itch or become irritated.
Most people don't understand that external hemorrhoids can be avoided by lifestyle choices and disciplines.
Diet has a very important role in causing and preventing hemorrhoids.
People who consistently eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to get hemorrhoids, but those who have a diet high in processed foods are at higher risk.
A "low fiber diet" or inadequate fluid intake can cause constipation, which can contribute to hemorrhoids in two ways: It causes straining on the toilet and it also aggravates the hemorrhoids by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins by putting pressure on the rectum and anus.
Most hemorrhoid symptoms improve with simple measures you can do at home.
Get more fiber: Add more fiber to your diet from food.
Add more fluid to your diet.
Fiber softens stools and makes them easier to pass.
This will reduce the pressure when you pass a stool.
High fiber foods include whole-grain foods, fresh fruit, broccoli, beans, wheat and oat bran.
Increasing fiber may cause some bloating or gas.
Start slowly, and gradually increase your fiber intake.
Also, increase your fluid intake.
Some forms of fiber are better than others.
Wheat bran is harsh and I recommend using psyllium rather than wheat bran.
Exercise: Moderate aerobic exercise, like a simple walk for 30 minutes a day, can help stimulate bowel function.
Take time and relax: When you feel the urge, go to the bathroom immediately.
Don't wait for a more convenient time.
Your stool can back up, leading to increased pressure and straining when you finally do go.
Try and schedule a set time each day, to sit on the toilet.
If you can establish regular bowel habits, you will avoid external hemorrhoids.
Sitz: A sitz bath is a warm water bath which can relieve the itching, irritation, and spasms of the sphincter muscle (circular muscle that normally maintains constriction).
Some sitz tubs fit over a toilet seat, or you can sit in a regular bathtub with a few inches of warm water.
Use a 20-minute sitz bath after each bowel movement, two or three times a day.
Gently pat the anal area dry afterward; do not rub or wipe hard.
Topical relief: Drug store external hemorrhoids cream can temporarily soothe pain somewhat.
Creams and suppositories containing hydrocortisone can also be effective, but should not be used for more than a week at a time.
They can cause the skin to atrophy (decrease the muscle mass.
) Witch hazel wipes are a more natural treatment and are soothing, with no harmful effects.
An ice pack placed on the anal area for a few minutes can also help reduce pain and swelling.
Sit on a cushion rather than a hard surface.
This will help reduce the swelling of existing hemorrhoids and help prevent the formation of new ones.
Treat a blood clot: When external hemorrhoids form a blood clot, the pain can be excruciating.
If it lasts longer than two days, apply home treatments while you wait for it to go away.
If the clot is more recent, the hemorrhoid can be surgically removed or the clot withdrawn from the vein in a minor office procedure performed by a surgeon.
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