For the most part, hemorrhoids cause discomfort and some pain, which most people can deal with one way or another. However, bleeding hemorrhoids often cause more concern or alarm to people, and a decision needs to be made when to see a doctor or hemorrhoid specialist.
The causes of hemorrhoids are generally well-known. This is usually a combination of a low-fibre diet and an overly sedentary lifestyle which, in turn, leads to chronic constipation, one of the key causes of the ailment. But it’s really when a person starts suffering from bleeding hemorrhoids or has blood in their stool that the causes need to be further investigated.
Unfortunately, the ageing process also plays a part in having hemorrhoids, and it is estimated that around 75% of the population in their 50s and older suffer from hemorrhoids, with a fair proportion of such sufferers having bleeding hemorrhoids.
So, let’s have a closer look at some of the causes of bleeding hemorrhoids and associated symptoms, such as blood in stools.
What exactly are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are a condition which occurs when veins in the rectum and anus area become swollen and inflamed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, such as straining to force a bowel movement, obesity, keeping your bowel open for a long time when using the toilet, being pregnant, having diarrhea or lifting overly heavy objects.
Once veins have become swollen, inside the rectum or outside the anus, they are prone to causing irritation, pain, anal itching and rectal bleeding. Not surprisingly, it is bleeding hemorrhoids which disturb most people, mainly due to the uncertainty of the cause.
What causes hemorrhoids to bleed?
When the veins in and around the anus swell and become irritated, it’s not uncommon for them to bleed. Most people who have bleeding hemorrhoids have a combination of symptoms such as:
- painless rectal bleeding with bright red blood exiting the anus when a stool is passed;
- itchiness and some pain around the anal area;
- small tags of the skin or skin tissue bulging or popping out from the anus;
- minor leakage of feces not long after passing stools.
Bleeding hemorrhoids can be associated with internal or external hemorrhoids, with external hemorrhoids bleeding from excessive straining or pressure placed on the rectum or anal cavity; it is this pressure which may cause hemorrhoids to bleed.
Hemorrhoids inside the back passage, or rectum, are, as you might expect, called internal hemorrhoids. For most of the time such hemorrhoids are painless, but sometimes cause bleeding at the time of passing stool or motions.
Treatment for bleeding hemorrhoids
- Sitz bath
A sitz bath is an immediate treatment option for bleeding hemorrhoids. Simply fill a bath or tub with warm water and sit in the water, making sure the water covers your anal area. Soak for 15-20 minutes, and then dry off your bottom and perineal area with a soft towel.
A sitz bath is the recommended treatment for a bleeding or burst hemorrhoid, as it soothes and cleanses the affected area. Having such a bath also stimulates blood flow, speeding up overall healing.
- Proprietary hemorrhoid ointments
Once bleeding from the burst hemorrhoid has ceased, there are a number of different hemorrhoid ointment options which can be applied to obtain relief. Such ointments contain ingredients which can block or reduce the pain associated with bleeding hemorrhoids and include substances that soothe and protect the affected area from further irritation during bowel movements.
Some ointments contain a local anesthetic that numbs the area to which it is applied, providing relief from symptoms, plus complementary ingredients to reduce swelling and protect damaged skin.
- Enhanced intake of water
Dehydration is one of the main causes of constipation, so increasing the amount of water consumed daily helps improve the quality of bowel movements. With greater water intake, food waste keeps moving quickly through the intestines rather than soaking up water from the waste material, thereby avoiding solid stools that can cause bleeding hemorrhoids.
It’s wise to drink whenever you feel thirsty and keep up your water intake throughout the day.
- Dietary improvement
Passing a hard stool or straining due to constipation are common causes of bursts or bleeding hemorrhoids. Therefore, eating a diet high in fibre is both a preventative measure and a treatment when hemorrhoids bleed. High-fibre diets soften stools and make them easier to pass, which will help a burst hemorrhoid heal rather than remain irritated.
- Seeing a doctor for hemorrhoids which bleed
The temptation is to immediately go and see a doctor if there is blood around the anus or passed with the stool. But, as mentioned, there are several self-treatments available.
However, whilst self-treatment for small hemorrhoids may resolve the problems within a few days, larger hemorrhoids may last much longer. It’s then really up to the individual to decide when/if to visit a doctor with bleeding hemorrhoids.
However, most hemorrhoid sufferers go to see a doctor for assessment and treatment if any of the following symptoms are present:
- the pain or bleeding is severe;
- the bleeding hemorrhoids do not respond to self-treatment after about one week’s treatment and/or keep returning;
- regular leakage of feces from the anus before or after a move.
A doctor may perform or arrange a physical examination which might include the following:
- a rectal examination, using a finger to check inside your rectum;
- an anoscopy, where a lighted scope is inserted into your rectum to examine the back passage/anal canal;
- colonoscopy, where a long flexible tube with a tiny camera is inserted into your rectum to examine the entire colon.
NA Hemorrhoids Clinic is a specialist hemorrhoid clinic
Self-help in the treatment of hemorrhoids is to be commended, but, in any event, it’s always wise to seek specialist advice, and perhaps more so in the event of bleeding hemorrhoids or blood in or around your stool.
NA Hemorrhoids Clinic, which has been in business for over 15 years, and is a specialist in treating hemorrhoids, can help relieve the discomfort and distress that bleeding hemorrhoids can bring.
Amongst other things, in addition to modern diagnostic techniques, the Clinic uses widely acclaimed traditional Chinese medicine methods, including a herbal ointment called “Ba Zhi San.” This is combined with other naturopathic methods to treat hemorrhoids effectively.
So, why not contact us now and let us help you diagnose the causes of your bleeding hemorrhoids and/or get over the issues associated with them?