Hemorrhoids correspond to all the veins located in the rectum area. When these veins are affected and become swollen, this is known as a hemorrhoidal crisis. While in some cases a hemorrhoidal crisis can be very painful, the majority of cases are benign and require only mild treatment.
Definition: What are Hemorrhoids?
In layman's terms, hemorrhoids is a condition that affects the vessels located around the anal area. This condition should be called a "hemorrhoidal crisis" as the term hemorrhoids refers to all veins in this area.
There are two types of hemorrhoids: the internal and the external. The latter are located between the skin of the anus and the sphincter, whereas the internal hemorrhoids are located under the mucosa of the anal canal. Both types of hemorrhoids can be affected.
Hemorrhoidal crises are common in both men and women, and most often affect people between the ages of 40 and 65 years old. More than 50% of people will one day suffer a hemorrhoidal crisis.
Causes and Factors of a Hemorrhoidal Crisis
In women, hemorrhoids often appear during pregnancy, childbirth, and - for some - during premenstrual periods.
Several other factors can contribute to the onset of a hemorrhoidal crisis, be it in men or women. This includes constipation, transit disorders, prolonged sitting on the toilet seat, alcohol, coffee, spicy dishes, some sports (such as weight lifting), a sedentary lifestyle, and being overweight.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
A hemorrhoidal crisis is manifested through a sensation of discomfort or heaviness, with or without pain or itching. The presence of blood on toilet paper after defecating is often a sign. Hemorrhoids can be triggered when a person sits on a bicycle seat or during other types of physical exercise.
When internal hemorrhoids descend into the orifice of the anus, this is called a prolapse. Symptoms of this manifests itself through oozing and burning. In rare cases, a blood clot may form inside a blood clot. If this happens, a very painful blueish tumefaction can appear suddenly at the entrance of the anus.
How to Treat Hemorrhoids
In the majority of patients, a hemorrhoidal crisis disappears on its own, without treatment, after one or two weeks. If symptoms are very painful and constantly reappear, medication may be prescribed by a doctor. This can be laxatives to fight against constipation, analgesics, anti-inflammatories, or even venotonic, which can reduce swelling of the blood vessels.
If drug treatment is not effective, a doctor can perform an endoscopic treatment that consists of retensioning the support tissue of the vessels. It is a treatment performed in consultation without anesthesia.
Surgical treatment may be proposed if other treatments fail. This operation requires general anesthesia and hospitalization, and healing will take 4 to 6 weeks.