Hemorrhoids, Why Are They Growing?
Hemorrhoids typically appear as lumps around the anus which often become painful during bowel movements. Many times they result from straining due to chronic constipation or hard stools. The rectal veins cannot withstand this pressure for long periods without giving way. They frequently recur after each flare-up subsides until proper treatment is administered.
Other names for hemorrhoids are piles, hemorrhoidal disease, or “PHD.” You cannot catch them from another person or from touching an object. The theory is that they may be caused by straining to have a bowel movement, pregnancy, and aging.
If you gain weight quickly, it can affect your piles. Some studies show that people who spend a lot of time on the toilet tend to get them more often than people who don’t sit as long. Sitting in the bathroom can also cause piles because it increases the pressure in your abdomen.
What are hemorrhoid symptoms?
People who have them may notice any of these symptoms:
– swelling near your anus
– pain around your anus, which may be severe or mild
– itching around your anus
– bright red blood on the toilet tissue or in the toilet bowl when you wipe yourself after a bowel movement (this happens only with piles that are bleeding)
Other conditions can look like hemorrhoids sometimes, including fissures (tears in the skin near the anus), pruritis ani (itching around the anus), and anal abscesses (collections of pus near or inside the anus).
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
There are three kinds of piles, named after their location in the anal canal: internal piles are next to the hemorrhoid cushions. The hemorrhoid cushions are located above the dentate line, where your pelvic floor ends and your anus begins.
These symptoms can develop when you have a bowel movement when hard stool pushes on rectal tissue. These symptoms come with other problems like itching and irritation inside the anus or rectum. You may also have pain while sitting or standing for an extended period. External piles form beneath the skin around the anus.
They usually don’t hurt until they get thrombosed (this means that blood fills the pile and makes it swell). This symptom may include pain, itching, and the pile turning red with blood. If you stretch your anal sphincter or strain to have a bowel movement, they can form inside the anus.
The cause of piles is not known, but here are some factors that can contribute:
– Genetics — People with family members with piles seem more likely to get them themselves.
– Pregnancy — Pregnant women tend to get them because of the extra pressure from the baby on their veins. It usually goes away after birth but can come back later in life. To help prevent during pregnancy, it may help to eat more fiber and stand up while urinating or having a bowel movement.
– Diet — Eating lots of red meat or foods with a high sugar content has been linked.
– Lack of Exercise — Being sedentary for long periods makes them more likely.
– Straining to Poop — You can get piles by pushing too hard when you have a bowel movement. If you are constipated, try drinking lots of water, eating fiber, and exercising until you poop because straining can be dangerous.
Can hemorrhoids grow?
Symptoms like pain and itching do not usually mean they are growing. However, they can keep growing and increase in size when they become thrombosed or when you stretch your anal sphincter too much.
The scientific name for this is “prolapse.” Prolapsed piles may turn red with blood and likely will cause intense pain because the hemorrhoid has turned to a lower nerve level. This can also happen when you stand up after sitting for long periods.
How do you shrink hemorrhoids?
Talk to your doctor if they increase in size or symptoms like pain and itching get worse. If they are painful, you can try sitting in a warm bath with Epsom salt. Do not do this too often because it may irritate your piles or rectum.
Some people have succeeded using topical creams containing a hemorrhoidal medication, such as a local anesthetic cream to numb the area, or a cream that contains medications typically used for high blood pressure. If these treatments do not work, you may want to discuss other options with your doctor.
What are hemorrhoid treatments?
If your piles are substantial, a surgery called hemorrhoidectomy may be an option. However, hemorrhoidectomy carries risks like an infection and anal stricture — a narrowing of the anus that makes it difficult to pass stools. More serious treatment may involve banding.
Piles can grow, enlarge and worsen if you do not treat them. Other treatments include:
– Taking over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
– Sitting in a tub of hot water with Epsom salt to relieve swelling and itching
– Applying topical creams containing a medication
Your doctor can offer more serious treatments such as banding or surgery.
They can get worse if they are not treated. If they are large, a surgery called hemorrhoidectomy may be an option. Taking ibuprofen or acetaminophen may help with pain and itching, while sitting in a tub of hot water with Epsom salt can help reduce swelling and relieve itching. You can also apply topical medications.
If they become thrombosed, talk to your doctor about treatments. Shrinking piles is key to relieving symptoms, so speak to your doctor immediately if you have more severe symptoms like bleeding or enlargement.
Ask your doctor about HemWell, an FDA-approved, pain-free treatment that’s permanent. If your provider doesn’t offer HemWell, we can assist you in finding one that does. Please visit our website to learn more about this life-changing treatment. Learn more about hemorrhoids.