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Hemorrhoids are the swollen veins and blood vessels that are found inside or outside the anal sphincter. Hemorrhoids can be of two types, internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids cannot be seen or felt and hence are painless. On the other hand, external hemorrhoids can be felt and are very painful.

Causes and Symptoms
Excessive straining while passing stools is the most important reasons for external hemorrhoids. Similarly, having a high fat and low fiber diet, obesity, pregnancy, chronic constipation, diarrhea, and cirrhosis are the other prominent causes. Symptoms like swelling near the anus, bleeding after bowel movement, pain, irritation and burning sensation near the anus are observed when suffering from this disorder. The swelling can be soft or hard, which may not be present all the time, but, is felt only after having a bowel movement.

Treatment
There are several surgical painless treatments available for treating hemorrhoids. The rubber band ligation is one of the most widely used procedure to treat external hemorrhoids. In this procedure, a rubber band is placed at the base of the hemorrhoid to stop the blood flow in the vein. When the blood flow stops, the affected vein dries up and falls off. Laser treatment is also used to get rid of external hemorrhoids. The electric current in the laser helps in cutting off the blood supply to the affected vein. Hemorrhoidectomy is also a common surgical procedure used to tie and cut hemorrhoids. Another treatment is injecting medicines in the mucous membranes. It shrinks the affected blood vessels and hence, deflates the hemorrhoids. Infrared photocoagulation is yet another technique of treating hemorrhoids.

Natural Remedies
Sometimes hemorrhoids are not very severe and can be treated by simple home remedies. The following home remedies will be helpful in relieving symptoms of external hemorrhoids in minor cases.
  • Having a sitz bath or a simple bath in a bathtub with lukewarm water can be helpful.
  • You can apply ointments, hemorrhoidal creams, petroleum jelly to soothe the burning sensation and itchiness.
  • Ice packs are also beneficial in soothing the symptoms of external hemorrhoids.
  • Over-the-counter painkillers can also be taken to get relief from the pain.
  • Laxatives should be taken in order to soften the stools and consequently reduce the excess strain required during bowel movement.
Prevention
Apart from all the above mentioned treatment methods, there are also certain preventive measures that help in avoiding the occurrence or re-occurrence of it. Your diet plays an important role in causing any disease or disorder. It is also true with hemorrhoids. You should drink adequate water, have a balanced diet and also eat adequate quantity of fiber to overcome these problems. Sedentary lifestyle is also one of the culprits in causing digestive problems, therefore, one must try to avoid it. On the other hand, regular exercise and active lifestyle goes in the long way in the prevention of internal as well as external hemorrhoids.

You need not worry if you observe any symptoms. You should consult the doctor immediately and undertake treatments to overcome the discomfort.

Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be substituted for doctor's advice.