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Hemorrhoids, or locally known as “Buasir”, are swollen veins in the lowest part of your anus and rectum.
Sometimes excessive pressure or too much stretching of the walls of these blood vessels causes the veins to bulge and get irritated, especially when you defecate.
It may be caused by a number of factors, for example, straining during bowel movements especially from chronic constipation, or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy.
Hemorrhoids are quite common and it can be unpleasant and painful, but it is easily preventable as well as treated.
Basically, hemorrhoids can be classified based on its location:
You usually can’t see or feel these type of hemorrhoids as it lays inside the lining of the rectum and rarely causes discomfort.
Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless but straining or irritation when passing stool can damage a hemorrhoid's surface and cause it to bleed, which may be the only sign of them.
External hemorrhoids are located underneath the skin surrounding the anus and are therefore visible.
Because there are more pain-sensing nerves in this part of the body, they are normally more painful.
They can be felt when they swell and may cause symptoms such as:
Itching or irritation in the anal area
Pain and discomfort in the same area
Bleeding with a bowel movement
Swelling in the anal region
If an external hemorrhoid prolapse to the outside (usually in the course of passing a stool), you can see and feel it.
Symptoms can be pretty unpleasant or alarming, but they are usually not a cause for concern.
But sometimes blood clot (thrombus) can form in an external hemorrhoid, turning it purple of blue. This is called thrombosis. It can result in swelling, severe pain or itchiness and could bleed. When the clot dissolves, you may still have a bit of skin left over, which could get irritated.
Since 1985, physicians use a grading system based on the degree of prolapse to categorize hemorrhoids along four stages:
First-degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that bleed, but do not prolapse. They are only slightly enlarged, but they do not protrude outside the anus.
Second- degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that prolapse and retract on their own (spontaneous reduction). They come out of the anus when defecating but will return back inside the body.
Third-degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that prolapse upon bearing down and must be pushed in by a finger (manually).
Fourth-degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that prolapse and cannot be pushed back in the anal canal (inability to be manually reduced). Fourth-degree hemorrhoids also include hemorrhoids that formed blood clots (thrombosis).
By knowing about the condition as well as the types and stages of hemorrhoids, proper treatment can be obtained and implemented.
Seek emergency care if you experience large amounts of rectal bleeding, lightheadedness, dizziness or faintness.
As hemorrhoids generally get worse over time, doctors suggest that they should be treated as soon as they appear.
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Davis, C. (2019). How to Get Rid of Hemorrhoids: Types, Causes and Treatments. [online] MedicineNet. Available at: https://www.medicinenet.com/hemorrhoids_pictures_slideshow/article.htm.
Mayo Clinic. (2018). Hemorrhoids - Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/symptoms-causes/syc-20360268.
University of Illinois-Chicago, S. (2017). Hemorrhoids: Causes, treatments, and prevention. [online] Medical News Today. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/73938.php.
Hemorrhoids Treatment Guide. (2015). 4 Types and Stages of Hemorrhoids | Hemorrhoids Treatment Guide. [online] Available at: http://howtogetridofhemorrhoidsfastathome.com/4-types-and-stages-of-hemorrhoids/.
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