Let’s see what hemorrhoids are and how, from a normal condition, dysfunctions of the anal canal can occur.
Perhaps not everyone knows that hemorrhoids are a natural formation present in the anal canal. In practice, these are soft pads made of fabric that help maintain continence and expulsion of the rectal contents.
As a rule, the presence of hemorrhoids is absolutely not felt, however, in cases of swelling or irritation, it can be annoying. This condition is associated with symptoms such as burning, itching, bleeding or, in the worst case, prolapse.
We can say, however, that the term hemorrhoids indicates both the venous structures and the dysfunctions that affect them. But to be more precise, to refer to the pathology, we should say hemorrhoidal disease and, depending on the severity, four stages of dysfunction can be distinguished . Here are what they are, how they manifest themselves and what the treatments and risks are.
What are hemorrhoids
As we have anticipated, hemorrhoids, or hemorrhoidal pathology, are an abnormal condition of the veins of the rectal tract, to which dysfunction and inflammation are linked. In other words, hemorrhoids can slip out of their natural housing .
In most cases this occurs due to the failure of the rectal mucosa which, in the most serious situations, can produce a blood clot that amplifies pain and discomfort . The dysfunction we are talking about can affect both the internal and external veins, located precisely around the anus.
In any case, we are talking about a very common disorder that almost all people over 50 have suffered from. Normally, however, the causes of hemorrhoids are many and can be traced to factors such as family predisposition, constipation, sedentary lifestyle , excessive efforts, pregnancy or standing upright for too long.
All these causes can lead to a failure of the structures inside the anus, with a consequent exposure of the veins to the outside . This leads to very pronounced inflammations or swellings and, in severe cases, to breakage and friction during defecation.
Internal and external hemorrhoids: the types that exist
There are four stages in all, it was said. The first, which has internal and non-prolapsed hemorrhoids, the second with prolapsed hemorrhoids but which can be reduced. The third stage also sees the veins prolapse, but it is necessary to intervene with a manual reduction .
Finally, the fourth and most serious stage, in which hemorrhoids are in constant prolapse . But let’s try to understand in detail what hemorrhoids are and what symptoms they have to understand if you suffer from this dysfunction.
Hemorrhoids: symptoms and diagnosis
The symptoms most closely associated with hemorrhoids, and which occur in most cases, are pain during defecation , more or less substantial blood loss due to capillary rupture.
Itching and swelling sensations are also indicative of inflammation of the veins around the anus, as well as the presence of external bodies to the touch or small leaks of stool.
Hemorrhoids: the risks
Only in rare cases, or however when the discomfort lasts a long time, can there be complications such as anemia , in the case of blood loss, or serious tissue damage. In this case we speak of strangulated hemorrhoid, or part of the tissue that enters a sort of gangrene.
In any case, even if hemorrhoids can be extremely annoying, only in exceptional cases are there real health risks , even if they can be treated . Precisely for this reason it is important to understand if this dysfunction derives from other more serious pathologies such as colon cancer.
In general, we can say that the diagnosis of hemorrhoidal dysfunction is performed by a specialist by measuring the type of prolapse or by using tools that facilitate the visit.