The anus, in human bodies, is that part of the gastrointestinal tract that aids in the outward passage of fecal matter, which is nothing but bodily waste material, or the end product of successful digestion. At the terminal end of the anal passage are present several sensitive nerve endings, blood vessels, and tiny glands. When either of these gets irritated and inflamed, it could become a cause for great discomfort and pain.
Hemorrhoids are swelling of blood vessels situated in the anal passage. This usually does not cause much pain when occurring inside the anal passage. Only in a situation where the hemorrhoid protrudes or prolapses outside and become thrombosed, will pain and discomfort be perceived. There is also a possibility for them to bleed, when tears occur in the swollen vessels or they become ruptured.
Almost all cases of hemorrhoids are associated with an episode of constipation. The other causes are –
– Excess abdominal pressure as in the case of pregnancy and obesity
– Sitting or standing for long hours
– Straining to pass bowels
– Lumps felt around the anal opening in the case of external hemorrhoids
– Itching, burning sensation and pain
– Painful bowel movements
– Bright red blood seen on stools passed, or on the toilet paper
Hemorrhoids can develop, as stated earlier, internally as well as externally. Internal hemorrhoids can prolapse outward through the anal opening, which usually happens while moving bowels. These can generally be pushed back into the rectum manually, or sometimes they may spontaneously retreat back. However, in cases where the hemorrhoids cannot be gently pushed back, then a physician must be consulted. If not, the hemorrhoid can become trapped within the anal canal, become strangulated with a decrease in blood supply and slow death of tissues, making it gangrenous and infected. If this occurs, then the infection can enter the blood stream, which is considered to be a more serious condition.
Treating Infected Hemorrhoids
Prompt treatment of infected hemorrhoids is suggested. A visit to a medical practitioner should be done stat. A mental list of symptoms perceived should be prepared, for this will play an important role in deciding whether the patient will need to be referred to a specialist or not.
A series of tests will be performed to diagnose the sufferer’s condition. A thorough visual examination will suffice to determine the severity of the external hemorrhoids. In case it is an internal development, a digital rectal examination followed by an anoscopy or a colonoscopy will assist in identifying the extent of the infection that has set in.
Once the condition is diagnosed well, then depending on the severity of the condition, prescription medicines to treat the infection and creams, ointments or suppositories may be prescribed to help deal with the inflammation and pain that may accompany the infection.
In case the infection is very severe, then certain procedures may have to be carried out to get rid of the hemorrhoids. It could either be injecting the blood vessels with a chemical solution to shrink the hemorrhoids; burn the hemorrhoid tissues using laser beams or infrared light, that will leave behind scar tissues and gradually stop blood flow to the hemorrhoids; or place a rubber band at the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off blood supply and cause it to shrivel and fall off eventually.
In case a more immediate solution is required, then removing the hemorrhoids via surgery will have to be carried out.
Treatment for infected hemorrhoids should be sought as soon as possible.