Hemorrhoids and its causes

The term hemorrhoid refers to a condition in which the veins around the anus or lower rectum are swollen. When they become inflamed, hemorrhoids can itch, bleed, and cause pain. A hemorrhoid condition tends to get worse over the years.

Hemorrhoids have plagued mankind since time immemorial.  Hemorrhoids caused Napoleon to sit side-saddle and sent President Jimmy Carter to the operating room.  Over two-thirds of all healthy people reporting for physical examinations have hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids are very common both in men and women.
• Internal hemorrhoids occur higher up in the anal  canal and therefore not visible. In mild cases bleeding is the most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids, and often the only symptom.

• External hemorrhoids are visible as they occur out¬side the anus.  They appear blue. Usually they do not produce any symptoms.  When they get inflamed, they become red and painful.

• Internal hemorrhoids come out through the anal opening when patients strains strongly to move the bowels. This is called prolapsed internal hemorrhoid. It is often difficult to ease back the prolapsed hemorrhoids into the rectum.

• When a blood clot forms inside an external hemorrhoid, it becomes occluded or thrombosed. This thrombosed external hemorrhoid can be felt as a firm, tender mass about the size of a pea in the anal area.  It often produces severe pain.


• Low-fibre diets. This cause hard stools, which require straining to pass stools. This increased pressure causes engorgement of the hemorrhoids,
by interfering with venous return.

• Prolonged sitting on a toilet (e.g. reading in the toilet).  This is believed to cause problem in the blood circulation in the area around the anus (perianal area), resulting in enlarged hemorrhoids.

• Ageing: This causes weakening of the supporting structures of the rectum and anal canal, which facilitates prolapse of the hemorrhoids. Weakening of support structures can occur as early as the third decade of life especially in people who do not exercise.

•  Pregnancy. The pressure of the foetus in the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes, causes the hemorrhoid vessels to enlarge.

Hemorrhoids which develop during pregnancy disappear after delivery.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.