Why Do Hemorrhoids Bleed?
Hemorrhoids, which is also commonly referred to as piles, is a painful condition that affects the veins located in the rectal and anal area. Fortunately, there are various treatments available to alleviate the painful symptoms of this medical condition. One of the most uncomfortable symptoms of hemorrhoids is bleeding and understanding what causes it can help in getting proper treatment and learning how to prevent it.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are caused by enlarged veins in the anal and rectal area. When your veins become inflamed, irritated and swollen, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, burning sensations, rectal bleeding and tenderness. There are two types of hemorrhoids, internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids are often painless and cannot be seen. External hemorrhoids may cause pain and itchiness due to the presence of nerves in the skin.
What Causes Hemorrhoids to Bleed?
Bleeding can occur when the veins around your anus become strained and begin to bulge and swell. This is usually caused by straining to have a bowel movement or to lift heavy objects. The bulging veins may rupture and bleed, and you may notice bright red blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet bowl.
Risk Factors of Bleeding Hemorrhoids
There are certain factors that may increase your risk of developing bleeding hemorrhoids, such as:
- Constipation – when the stools are hard and dry, straining on the toilet will often cause the swollen veins to burst and bleed.
- Pregnancy – due to hormonal changes and the extra weight of the baby, some women may experience hemorrhoids during this time.
- Diarrhea – frequent bowel movements caused by diarrhea can cause external hemorrhoids to burst and bleed.
- Age – as the body gets older, the veins lose muscle tone which makes it easier for them to swell, bulge and rupture.
- Obesity – being overweight increases the strain on the veins leading to a higher risk of developing bleeding hemorrhoids.
Preventing Bleeding Hemorrhoids
There are various ways to prevent bleeding hemorrhoids, such as:
- Eat a High-Fiber Diet – Fiber is known to help soften the stools, making them easier to pass and reducing the strain on the veins.
- Drink Lots of Water and Fluids – Staying hydrated is essential to ensure that your stools are soft.
- Exercise Regularly – Regular exercise is known to improve muscle tone, which may reduce the risk of bleeding piles.
- Use a Squatting Position for Bowel Movements – The squatting position is known to help straighten the rectal canal, allowing for easier evacuation and reducing the strain on the veins.
If you suspect that you are suffering from bleeding hemorrhoids, it is best to consult with your doctor to discuss treatment options. There are various remedies that can provide relief from the symptoms, such as topical creams, lifestyle changes and surgery.
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