Hemorrhoids are veins which are abnormally swollen and which appear in the rectum and the anus. If you can imagine, they are rather like the varicose veins visible on some people's legs. Sometimes the hemorrhoids are internal, sometimes external and sometimes they bleed.
If the hemorrhoid originates at the top or rectal side of the anal canal, it is referred to as an internal hemorrhoid. If it originates at the lower end of the anal canal near the anus, it is referred to as an external hemorrhoid. The difference between internal and external hemorrhoids is made on the basis of whether the hemorrhoid originates above or below the dentate line which is name given to the division between the part inside (the rectum) and the part outside (the anus).
Hemorroids can occur when there is considerable pressure on the veins in the pelvis and the anal canal. This can be brought on by:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Anal intercourse
This article will shed some light on internal hemorrhoids and the signs and symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include:
- Itching or irritation in the anal region
- A mucus-like covering to the stool
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements when small amounts of bright red blood could be visible on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl
- Swelling around the anus
- Pain or discomfort in the anal area
- Leakage of feces
- A lump near the anus, which may be sensitive or painful
However, some internal hemorrhoids are located so deep into the rectum that you might not even be aware of their presence because any symptoms are so mild. The problem with internal hemorrhoids arises when they start to swell so that they bulge and protrude from the anus. The anal muscle tissues squeeze them, causing considerable pain. We call these prolapsed hemorrhoids. They usually recede into the rectum on their own but if they do not, they can be gently pushed back into place but sometimes they reach a stage where they cannot even be pushed back. These would then be considered severe hemorrhoids.
It is important to treat internal hemorrhoids as soon as you become aware of their presence. And a natural treatment along with some lifestyle changes will be helpful here. You can help the treatment along by:
- Having a warm bath infused with witch hazel or enjoying a long soak by adding 20 drops each of lavender and juniper essential oils to the bath, making sure the bathwater is mixed well by hand to ensure the oils are well dispersed.
- Cleaning the anal area by using the softest toilet paper possible (fragrant-and-color-free) and then using moistened pads soaked in witch hazel.
- Holding a compress soaked in strong, cold black tea against the affected area for a few minutes whenever needed.
In the past, hemorrhoid sufferers had to rely on popular brand-name ointments to relieve their pain and suffering. However, increased awareness of our health has caused many to take a second look at the labels and all the chemicals being used. A natural remedy such as an essential oils product, used in conjunction with a change in diet and lifestyle - so that the main causes of hemorrhoids, namely constipation and straining to pass a bowel movement, disappear – is a safer and more gentle way to go.
However, if internal hemorrhoids are neglected, they may become chronic or severe so that a more drastic form of treatment is needed. Internal hemorrhoids treatment will largely depend on the extent or degree of the condition. Other forms of treatment include:
- Rubber band ligation
- Infrared coagulation
- Laser treatment