Thrombosed Hemorrhoids are external hemorrhoids that have either ruptured, or ruptured and developed a blood-clot. In the most severe cases they can become strangulated and cause extreme pain. Typically, an individual with a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid will report a large mass of extremely sensitive tissue protruding from the anus. Because of the nature of the hemorrhoid’s dimensions, difficulty producing bowel movements and maintaining hygiene are common, which can in time further aggravate the condition. In the most severe cases, in which both thrombosis and strangulation have occurred, a doctor’s care is almost invariably recommended. The pain induced by a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid is the result of the hemorrhoid’s tissue composition. There are two distinct kinds of nerves found in the anus: what are known as visceral nerves, which reside on top of what is called the dentate line, and somatic nerves, which are found below the dentate line. Somatic nerves conduct pain impulses, while visceral nerves conduct a sensation of pressure or fullness. It is for this reason that internal hemorrhoids , which reside below the dentate line, are typically painless, while external hemorrhoids , of which a Thrombosed Hemorrhoid is a severe example, are often highly excitable and very painful.
Thrombosed Hemorrhoids are amenable to variety of treatments, some of which are home-based remedies, some of which are surgical procedures that require being under a physician’s care. Amongst the most commonly prescribed home treatments are daily sitz baths, the use of stool-softeners, making alterations to dietary habits and bowel habits, in addition to either increasing one’s psychical activities or creating an exercise regime. Sitz baths allow one to practice more comprehensive anal hygiene, and the warm water will soothe the inflamed site and reduce some of the symptoms of pain and swelling. In cases where strangulation has occurred, and thrombosis is pronounced (therefore making it difficult to sit), it is recommended to try squatting in warm water several times a day for up to twenty minutes at a time. Stool softeners are frequently suggested because they will help to ensure that less straining occurs during bowel movements, which is to be avoided if possible. In addition to using stool-softeners, eating foods that are high in grain and fiber, including bran, can provide relief by making it less stressful to produce a bowel movement. It is also highly recommended one consume enough water to remain adequately hydrated, which aids digestion and can alleviate symptoms of constipation. Thrombosed Hemorrhoid symptoms also respond to interventions such as ice, which can be applied to the anus and will restrict the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. Ice is especially effective because the cold retards the blood flow to the hemorrhoid and as a result will produce numbness in the inflamed region and provide relief from the pain. To apply the ice, wrap the ice-pack in a cloth towel, wait several minutes, and then apply directly to the anal opening. Increasing one’s daily physical activity, even by walking for ten, twenty, or thirty minutes, can also be a factor in the reduction of hemorrhoidal symptoms because of the increase in one’s metabolism.
Thrombosed Hemorrhoids can also be treated with various surgical procedures. Discussing with one’s physician which treatment is appropriate is essential to making an informed decision. The most commonly performed procedures are Rubber Band Ligation , which involves tying one to two rubber bands around the base of the hemorrhoid to restrict its blood supply, causing it to fall off in approximately seven to ten days. Sclerotherapy involves injecting a hardening agent into the hemorrhoid, which produces similar results as Rubber Band Ligation by employing a different modality of treatment: in this case, blood flow to the infected site is restricted by way of the chemical agent, rather than manually restricting it with the rubber band. Regardless, the objective remains the same, which is to starve the hemorrhoid of its necessary blood supply. Both Rubber Band Ligation and Sclerotherapy are known as fixative procedures. As a last resort, in the most severe cases, a Hemorroidectomy can be performed, a surgical procedure in which the hemorrhoid is completely removed, or excised. The procedure is invasive and frequently requires a stay in the hospital, in addition to requiring substantial time for recovery, during which it is common to experience extreme discomfort. Whatever course of action one chooses, it is important to bare in mind that prevention is paramount, whether one is recovering from treatment, attempting to lessen a condition’s severity to better one’s treatment options, or attempting to prevent developing hemorrhoids altogether.
Thrombosed Hemorrhoids can be prevented in a variety of ways, all of which require specific lifestyle changes and modifications to one’s diet. As discussed, modifications to one’s diet include drinking more fluids and consuming foods with higher fiber content, such as fruits, vegetables, and cereals. Practicing better posture to alleviate undo pressure on the pelvic region is also frequently cited as a means of reducing hemorrhoidal symptoms, as is exercising and making alterations to one’s bowel habits. Poor muscle tone is commonly linked to the development of hemorrhoids, which is why exercising can be beneficial to one’s success treating hemorrhoidal symptoms in addition to reducing the risk of developing them in the first place. Lessening the time spent on the toilet and not straining while making bowel movements are also cited as means to reduce frequency of flare-ups and reduction of symptoms. Individuals suffering from hemorrhoids are also frequently advised to refrain from using laxatives , and to not eat foods that might cause diarrhea . Clothing, too, has been associated with reduction in hemorrhoidal symptoms; wearing loose-fitting clothes and under-garments can contribute to easing symptoms such as pain, irritation and swelling. For pregnant women , who frequently develop hemorrhoids because of the pressure exerted onto the rectum and pelvic region by the fetus, what is referred to as Kegel exercises can be practiced to assist with strengthening muscle tone in the rectal area to alleviate hemorrhoidal symptoms, in addition to helping the body to retard their development. All of the foregoing is to suggest that to some degree an individual has an impact on the trajectory of their overall health. And while Thrombosed Hemorrhoids are considered to be some of the most severe cases, often requiring care under a doctor, it is still necessary for one to be proactive in their lifestyle choices to help prevent them from occurring. Education and prevention are amongst the most basic and readily available means to ensuring the best possible care in the presence of Thrombosed Hemorrhoids.
David Gilbert received his BA from U.C.L.A . He is currently doing graduate work in psychology at California Graduate Institute, in Los Angeles, CA. Throughout his career in the mental health field he has worked clinically with several populations, and also contributed to academic works whose topics address both health and mental health issues.
© Hemorrhoid Information Center