The word “hemorrhoids” comes from the Latin words for blood or pus. A person with hemorrhoidal disease (HD) may experience pain when urinating, defecating, or passing stool. HD causes painful swelling of the veins in your groin area. The condition can cause itching and burning sensations along with severe discomfort and bleeding after bowel movements. HD affects both men and women equally.
Hemorrhoids are caused by inflammation of the veins in your groin area. These veins supply blood to various organs such as the heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, intestines and skin. When these veins become inflamed they can bleed easily resulting in pain and discomfort while having bowel movements or urinating. They can also block the flow of urine causing it to back up into other parts of your body causing even more discomfort and bleeding.
Some people have no symptoms at all and others experience mild discomfort. Some people experience chronic pain that lasts for years. There are many different types of HD, but most commonly they include:
Bacterial Vaginosis (Bloody Stool) – BV is caused by bacteria growing in the small intestine. Symptoms may include abdominal cramps, bloating, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea and constipation. You may also develop bloody stools which contain blood or pus.
Diverticulitis (Bleeding) – Diverticulitis is an inflammation or infection of small pouches in the large intestine. These pouches or sacs can become infected or inflamed. The risk factors for diverticulitis are enlarged veins in the lower end of the large intestine. The larger the veins become, the higher the risk of diverticulitis becomes.
When diverticulitis occurs an individual may experience pain in the lower left side of their stomach. They may also develop fever, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.
Colitis (Bleeding) – Colitis is a long-term inflammation or infection of the large intestine and rectum. There are two types of colitis: Ulcerative Colitis and Collagenous Colitis. Ulcerative Colitis causes sores or ulcers in the lining of the large intestine and rectum. These sores result in mucus, pus and blood passing in your stool.
One of the most common symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis is diarrhea mixed with blood. Collagenous Colitis is a milder type of colitis that does not form sores or ulcers and usually produces normal stools or diarrhea.
Fissures (Bleeding) – A fissure is a small tear or crack in the lining of the rectum. The tear may be very small making it difficult to detect. Fissures can occur as a result of passing hard stools or due to other factors such as pregnancy, obesity, antibiotics, aging and diarrhea. A fissure may cause pain, soreness or discomfort when you have a bowel movement.
A fissure may also cause mucus, pus or blood to appear in your stool.
Proctitis (Bleeding) – Proctitis is an inflammation or infection of the rectum and the first few inches of the large intestine. An individual with this condition may experience pain, soreness or discomfort in the rectal area. They may also experience mucus, pus or blood in their stool.
Ulcer (Bleeding) – An ulcer is a sore that forms on the lining of your large intestine. The sore may be open or closed and may result in mucus, pus or blood appearing in your stool. Ulcers are caused by various factors such as a low immune system, stress, certain foods and diseases.
There are many different types of HD and they can be caused by either infection or injury. There is no cure for HD and treatment is focused on relieving the specific symptoms experienced by the individual. Treatment varies depending on the type of HD a person suffers from.
Treatment options may include: antibiotics, surgery to remove the damaged part of the large intestine, blood transfusions, a diet low in fat and high in fiber and drugs to reduce stomach acid among others.
You can reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids by practicing healthy habits such as drinking enough water, maintaining a diet low in fat and high in fiber, losing weight if you are overweight and not sitting or standing for long periods of time. You can also use over-the-counter creams to soothe the symptoms of internal or external hemorrhoids.
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases provides information on hemorrhoids, including risk factors, symptoms, causes, tests and treatments.
Sources & references used in this article:
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