What is Hemroids?

We can start by distinguishing between hemroids the condition, and hemroids as a disease. As a condition, hemroids refer to small swellings that develop in the anus and lower part of the rectum as a result of blood clogging the veins within the rectum.

Some of these swellings can develop just outside the opening to the anus and can easily be seen upon examination of that area. Otherwise, the main area of attack by hemroids is usually inside the anus or rectum and they only become visible externally at a later stage in their development cycle.Hemroids the disease is therefore characterised by the presence of swellings (the actual hemroids) and other symptoms in the anal area – both inside and outside.

What are the other symptoms of hemroids?

• Presence of blood in the stool.

• Feeling of obstruction caused by swollen veins in the anus.

• Protruding lumps hanging from the anus.

• Itching and inflammation around the anus.

What causes hemroids to develop?

The occurrence of hemroids is very much a result of poor eating habits and diet. We can therefore almost say that hemroids is a disease of lifestyle, because eating habits, etc, are determined by an individual’s lifestyle.

A poor diet, especially that lacking in fibre, green vegetables, fruits and enough water and juices often leads to constipation – the reduction in volume and hardening of stool. Constipation, especially in its chronic stages, is probably the single most prevalent cause of hemroids. Small, hard stools are difficult to excrete and a lot of pressure is applied in the process. This strain and the scarring that the hard, dry stools cause on the walls of the anus lay the groundwork for hemroids to eventually take over. It is therefore important that we balance our diets properly and consume enough fibre-rich foods such as cereals, beans, peas, green vegetables and fruits, and of course take in enough fluids. These will ensure that sufficient volumes of stool are produced to cater for regular and easy bowel movement.

The nature of modern life is another factor that has fuelled the increase in the number of people suffering from constipation and consequently hemroids. The busy schedules and haste that characterise the lives of today’s working class have left no time for good meals, physical exercises and relaxation. Little wonder then that our digestive systems have become jammed with junk foods and other unhealthy products and the end result is constipation and hemroids.

Other causes of hemroids

• Obesity or overweight: Hemroids is common in over-weight people or obesity patients because these people have to put more pressure on pelvic veins while passing stool.

• Lack of physical exercise and body movement: Prolonged sitting in one place causes heat to build up in the anal area, and this can lead to swelling of the veins which we know is one of the contributing factors to hemroids development.

• Hard labour and lifting heavy loads: This puts pressure on veins and tissues. This sudden extra pressure causes some burning sensation during bowel movement and results into Hemroids.

• Pregnancy: Chances of getting hemroids are greater during pregnancy and delivery as extra pressure is exerted to push the baby out of the womb and this pressure tampers with the bowel tissues.