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Hemorrhoids can be treated by following methods described below:
Local Anesthetics: Usage of local anesthetics helps relieve pain, burning, and itching sensation by numbing the nerve endings temporarily, but must be limited to the perianal area and lower anal canal to avoid allergic reactions such as internal burning and itching. Some of the local anesthetics include:
Vasoconstrictors: As the name indicates, these chemicals constrict the blood vessels and reduce swelling. These chemicals also help in reducing pain and itching due to their mild anesthetic affect. Some of the vasoconstrictors include:
Protectants: These are used to prevent irritation, itching, pain and burning of the perianal area by forming a physical barrier on the skin. Some of the protectants are:
Astringents: These cause coagulation or clumping of proteins in the cells pertaining to perianal skin of the anal canal leading to dryness of the skin resulting in relief from burning, itching and pain. Some of the astringents include:
Antiseptics: Antiseptics actively curb the growth of bacteria and other organisms. Antiseptics include:
Keratolytics: Keratolytics are chemicals that lead to disintegration of outer layers of skin or other tissues allowing medications to penetrate deeper into tissues. The two approved keratolytics are:
Analgesics: Analgesics relieve pain, itching and burning sensation on nerves. Some of the examples of analgesics are as follows:
Corticosteroids: Only weak corticosteroids should be used to relieve itching and reduce inflammation since their chronic use results in permanent damage to the skin.
II. Non-operative procedures for internal hemorrhoids
Infrared Photocoagulation: In this procedure, an infrared light is used to coagulate the dilated veins of the hemorrhoid causing the hemorrhoids to shrink.
Laser Coagulation: This procedure involves application of electric current emitted by an electrode probe to the hemorrhoids triggering a chemical reaction leading to cessation of blood supply to the hemorrhoids and shrinking of the inflamed tissue (6)
III. Surgical Procedures
Hemorrhoidectomy: In this procedure, internal and external hemorrhoids are cut off and the wounds left may be sutured (stitched) or left open. Hemorrhoidectomy is generally performed on patients suffering from third- or fourth- degree hemorrhoids (2).
Some of the preventive methods for hemmorhoids include:
High Fiber Foods: Consumption of high fiber diet such as whole-grain breads, cereals, raw vegetables, raw and dried fruits, and beans softens the stool and increases its bulk lessening the strain that can cause hemorrhoids. Low or no fiber foods such as ice cream, soft drinks, cheese, white bread and red meat must be avoided.
Liquids consumption: Fruit juices and 8-10 glasses of water must be consumed daily. Liquids containing caffeine such as coffee and tea or alcohol must be avoided, since they cause dehydration leading to constipation.
Stool softeners: Sprinkling of bran or psyllium on foods or stirring it into fruit juices can be helpful as stool softeners. Laxatives must be avoided since they may cause diarrhea.
Fiber supplements: Products such as Metamucil and Citrucel and about eight glasses of water help keep stools soft and regular.
Exercise: Regular exercise with high fiber diet helps loose excess weight and promotes smooth, regular bowel movements. Standing and sitting for long periods can increase the pressure on the anal veins.
Urge: A person must immediately go to the toilet as soon as there is an urge, since waiting could lead to passage of the bowel movement and urge. This could lead to drying and hardening of the stool.
Avoid Straining: Straining to pass the stools must be avoided and things should happen naturally (9) & (10).
Article by Kona Vishnu, MS
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