Hemorrhoids, a shameful problem

A shameful problem? Pain, itching, burning and bleeding around the anus may be a symptom of hemorrhoidal disease. It is considered one of the diseases of civilization.
Problems with hemorrhoids (also called piles) are pervasive. This disease affects around 50-60% of the population.
The most common reasons for that situation are:
  • prolonged sitting
  • diet
  • anatomic conditions
  • pregnancy and recently given birth

Hemorrhoids are vascular structures filled with blood. Interestingly, hemorrhoidal tissue is tissue physiologically present in the anal canal. It consists of a connective tissue, smooth and blood vessels. All these structures, together with the anal sphincter are responsible for control of gas or stool.

Problems with hemorrhoids occur when the flow through the blood vessels is impaired, resulting in swelling of the arterio-venous connections, and sometimes emphasis hemorrhoidal tissue outside the anal canal. Hemorrhoids can cause pain and inflammation. Additionally the surface of hemorrhoid can be damaged during a bowel movement and cause it to bleed.

As long as there are no specific symptoms, the hemorrhoids are not requiring a special treatment. Hemorrhoids can co-exist with other diseases of the final section of the digestive tract, therefore any bleeding from the anal canal should be consulted by the doctor, because for example a rectal cancer is giving similar symptoms.

Each patient having stools with blood and mucus, abdominal discomfort, any unexplained changes in bowel habits and in whose family suffered from colon cancer or rectal cancer, should be examined endoscopically. A visit at the doctor must not be delayed ! All patients over the age 40 should be examined by colonoscopy, the younger persons by sigmoidoscopy (diagnostic examination limited only to the left part of the colon).

Piotr Kosik