Problems in the anal canal and the rectum are some of the most common health complaints associated with the human digestive system. However, owing to some social norms, many people are often embarrassed to seek help for anal problems. Hemorrhoids and anal fissures are the most pervasive of these health problems according to doctors.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins found in the rectum and anal canal. Hemorrhoidal veins are mostly found in the lower section of the anus and rectum. It is worth noting that while many people have dilated or swollen blood vessels in the anal canal, not all of them develop symptoms of hemorrhoids. Medical experts estimate that nearly everyone in two adults aged fifty and above have hemorrhoids.
Types of hemorrhoids
There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids are dilated veins near the anal opening. They can be felt as lumps or bumps near the anal opening. As the name suggests, internal hemorrhoids are found much deeper in the anal canal. While they are usually found in the rectum, sometimes internal hemorrhoids do enlarge and protrude (known as prolapsing) out of the anus. Both internal and external hemorrhoids can appear without any discernible symptoms.
The most common symptoms of external hemorrhoids are itching, pain, and bleeding. As for internal hemorrhoids, the most common symptom is rectal bleeding, almost always painless, which manifests itself in the form of blood in the stool.
There is a variety of causes for hemorrhoids. However, the most common is straining when having a bowel movement as is the case when one suffers from constipation. They can also occur when one has a condition or situation that leads to increased pressure in and around the abdominal region such as under pregnancy or when someone lifts heavy weights.
There is no systematic approach to prevent hemorrhoids from occurring. However, you can resolve the pain and discomfiture by avoiding strenuous activities as well as preventing constipation by taking plenty of fluids and increasing the fiber content in your diet.
An anal fissure is a tear in the anal canal’s lining and is one of the more common anal problems diagnosed in American hospitals. The most common cause of anal fissures is the passage of a hard bowel movement. Anal fissures are almost always painful especially with the passage of bowel movement. Bleeding can also occur especially when the fissure is new and raw. Since the most common cause of anal fissures is hard bowel movement, the most effective way to prevent the problem is to keep your stool soft and bulky. Using fiber supplements is the most effective approach to do this.
Another great way to avoid anal problems is to use mild soap and other products that you use to clean this part of your body. If you want to lighten the skin in the region, you should use only a safe anal bleaching cream.