Hemorrhoids are one of the most common ailments known to man. The majority of the worlds population will suffer from hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. By the time a person is fifty they will have a sixty five percent chance of developing some form of hemorrhoids. The older we are, the more likely the chance of getting hemorrhoids.
Who gets hemorrhoids ?
Millions of people get hemorrhoids and suffer silently instead of taking the necessary steps to see a doctor because they feel embarrassed. For whatever reason our society has conditioned most of us to feel this way, which is unfortunate.
Pregnant women are prone to getting hemorrhoids because of the added pressure of the developing baby and hormonal changes in their bodies. The stress of childbirth contributes to hemorrhoids forming, but usually in this case, hemorrhoids will clear up after the postpartum period. To get more information on how to make your life easier while your near future bundle of joy is developing read both the H.I.C. article: Relieving Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy.
Truck drivers also seem prone to getting hemorrhoids because of the long periods of time they have to sit while driving.
Children and teenagers get hemorrhoids more today than ever because of poor eating habits (fast food) and a lack of exercise.
What are hemorrhoids ?
Napoleon Bonaparte had hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are really “varicose veins" in the rectum and anus. Hemorrhoids have probably been around in human beings since we started walking on two legs, because four-legged creatures don’t seem to get them.With walking in the upright position, our species added more pressure to the pelvic area.This additional stress on veins causes them to enlarge and with bowel movements passing through the rectum, the conditions are ripe for the delicate tissue of the veins to be scraped and begin to bleed.If the condition worsens, the veins can protrude from the rectum and add untold misery to your life. Almost everyone has internal hemorrhoids, but they don’t cause major problems in some people. They remain blissfully unaware of having them. But many people at sometime in their life will develop a problem with hemorrhoids that will require some for of treatment.Fifty percent of the population over the age of sixty are dealing with troublesome hemorrhoids. But it is not just a condition that affects older people; anyone can develop hemorrhoids at any time in their life.Even in the early stages, hemorrhoids can be irritating and can sharply curtail your lifestyle.
Famous People that have hemorrhoids.
If you suffer from hemorrhoids, you are in the company of some famous people. Napoleon Bonaparte was said to have had hemorrhoids, and some historians have actually debated whether he lost the Battle of Waterloo because he was unable to sit on his horse during the battle to lead his army.In 1978, President Jimmy Carter had to leave a party at the White House because of hemorrhoidal pain.The pain was so severe that he was incapacitated and could no longer perform his duties.He had surgery soon afterward, and returned to the Oval Office.George Brett, a third baseman for the Kansas City Royals, missed part of the World Series in 1980 because of hemorrhoids.Minor surgery was performed, so he could return quickly to the game the next day.
How do hemorrhoids form ?
Jimmy Carter, hemorrhoid sufferer
To further investigate how and where hemorrhoids form, let’s examine the human body’s internal plumbing. The anal canal is about two inches long and is never cleaned out like every other opening in our bodies; e.g., the mouth, nose and ears. The waste matter passing through the anal canal leaves a lot of residue, which putrefies and causes burning, terrible itching, bleeding, etc. Hard stool can cause swelling, fissures and other injuries to the soft lining of the anal canal and irritate the hemorrhoidal veins which protrude into the canal.Veins in the rectum pull blood away from the tissue to send back to the heart, and they expand (dilate) during defecation when the area swells to force out the stool. When a person is constipated, they often strain at passing a bowel movement.This constant straining can interfere with the normal functioning of the veins. The veins can become permanently swollen, causing pain, itching and bleeding. The swollen blood vessels or capillaries can rupture, causing bleeding. This is a problem with pregnant women, because, during pregnancy, the developing fetus puts pressure on the veins of the lower abdomen. Inside the anus are many blood vessels that act like inflatable cushions, forming a tight seal that helps prevent stool, gas, and mucus from leaking from your rectum. If one or more of these vessels becomes inflamed or drops out of its normal position on the rectal wall it becomes a hemorrhoid.
Types of Hemorrhoids
There are two types of hemorrhoids, internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids remain in the rectum while external hemorrhoids can prolapse or originate outside the anus at the end of the anal canal.Prolapse is the term used for hemorrhoids that start internally but descend outside of the anus. The external or prolapsed are considered the more painful variety of hemorrhoids. One of the reasons for this is that the skin around the anus many nerve ending and is extremely sensitive.