These occur when there is increased pressure on the veins of the anus and rectum causing them to swell similar to what happens with varicose veins on the legs. It happens more often when a person is straining to pass stool, during pregnancy and childbirth, or it may be genetic.
Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum where they cannot be seen. They are usually painless and can bleed from time to time. If they become enlarged they can collapse and descend so that they partially protrude outside the anus, in which case the name changes to prolapsed hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids are located at the lower end of the anal canal and are likely to become inflamed. When they do they turn blue and purple and are tender to the touch. Because of the number of nerves in the anus, these can be very painful.
There is a link between hemorrhoids and lack of dietary fibre, thus they are best treated at home with increased fibre intake, detoxification, and soothing treatment for pain and itching. Only in rare cases is surgery necessary to remove them.
Causes: these include hypothyroidism, food allergies, portal hypertension and poor liver function, constipation and straining, pregnancy and childbirth, lifting heavy objects, inactivity – especially standing or sitting for extended periods, and poor anal hygiene.
Treatment: supplement the diet with green vegetable juices which provide fibre and improve liver functions. Aloe vera juice is healing and soothing for the entire digestive tract, and psyllium is good for reducing pain and bleeding associated with hemorrhoids.
Prevention: if you are constipated do not strain when sitting on the toilet. Try to relax and breathe deeply. Also, do not use laxatives as you can become dependent on them.