What are the Causes and Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?

There are several factors that can cause or lead to hemorrhoids. The common factors which can lead to hemorrhoids include irregular bowel habits such as constipation (and sometimes diarrhea), low fiber diet (which cause constipation), exercise, increased intraabdominal pressure (during pregnancy or prolonged straining during defecation most commonly due to constipation), absence of valve in veins of rectum and anal canal, aging and genetic factors. There are also other factors which can lead to development of hemorrhoids due to increase of venous pressure in the rectal veins such as obesity and sitting ideally for long duration.

During pregnancy the intraabdominal pressure increases due to growing fetus. There are also effects of hormones during pregnancy which cause the rectal veins to enlarge and aid development of hemorrhoids. In general most of the cases of hemorrhoids due to pregnancy resolve after delivery and rarely, if ever need surgical and other treatment for hemorrhoids.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids:

The symptoms of hemorrhoids depend on the type to great extent. Hemorrhoids are generally benign and do not cause life threatening medical problem, but they cause give lots of trouble to the individual. Many of the symptoms of hemorrhoids are similar to symptoms of fissures, fistulae, abscesses, or irritation and itching and may be misdiagnosed. Many of the patients of hemorrhoids are asymptomatic or suffer from only minor symptoms such as itching, irritation and mild occasional painless bleeding, but for many patients it may become troublesome.

The symptoms of external hemorrhoids include painful swelling and lump around anus, which may bleed. There is also itching around anus.

The symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include painless bleeding occasionally (most common symptom), which many patients may ignore. The stool may be covered with blood and toilet paper may be soiled with fresh blood. If hemorrhoid is grade-II, III or IV, the internal hemorrhoid may protrude through the anus outside the anus become irritated and painful and may bleed.

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