Healthy Living

What Is a Prolapsed Hemorrhoid?

What is a Prolapsed Hemorrhoid?

Key Takeaways

  • Constipation is among the most common causes of hemorrhoids.
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that move out of the rectum and outside the anus.
  • Lots of fiber and water in your diet can help prevent the formation of hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids can either be internal or external depending on their location. If they develop in the rectum, then they are internal, and if they develop in the anus, they are called as external hemorrhoids. However, internal hemorrhoids can enlarge and move out of the rectum and outside the anus. They are called as prolapsed hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids can also prolapse and hang outside the anus. Hence, prolapsed hemorrhoids are hemorrhoids that have grown and slipped down from their position of development.

Prolapsed hemorrhoids are usually painful since they are located in the anus and even outside of the anus. The anal region has many pain-sensing nerves, which makes the presence of hemorrhoids very painful.

Prolapsed internal hemorrhoids

For internal hemorrhoids, prolapse occurs from the second stage (grade 2), where the hemorrhoids enlarge and move out of the rectum. However, in this stage, the hemorrhoids can still be pushed back into the rectum. Actually, the hemorrhoids can move back into the rectum naturally.

In the third stage of internal hemorrhoids (grade 3), the prolapsed internal hemorrhoids cannot naturally go back into the rectum. For this reason, the affected individual can manually push the hemorrhoids back into the rectum instead.

The final stage of internal hemorrhoids is grade 4. In this stage, the hemorrhoids are still prolapsed and very painful. They cannot be pushed back into the rectum. Other medical procedures such as injections could be necessary at this point.

Prolapsed external hemorrhoids

Unlike internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids are located in the anus, which means that the patient will experience pain from the very start of the problem. Prolapse later occurs. When it does occur, the patient will experience even more pain since the hemorrhoids will suffer when the anal sphincter muscles contract.

Prolapsed hemorrhoids may require the attention of a doctor. It can be treated by surgery, through a procedure known as hemorrhoidectomy. It involves the complete removal of hemorrhoids from the body. Alternatively, a patient can be injected with a solution. This solution is injected directly on the prolapsed hemorrhoid to let it wither and die.

One can also get rid of the prolapsed hemorrhoid through a rubber band ligation. The procedure involves tying off hemorrhoids using a rubber band to cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoids. Rubber band ligations can only be performed by a medical practitioner. Another option would be to burn the hemorrhoids using infrared lights, laser beams, or electrical coagulation.

What causes hemorrhoids?

1) Pregnancy

The hormone called progesterone tends to increase in pregnant women. This hormone can relax the smooth muscles all over the body as well as the digestive tract, which why food passes more slowly in the intestines, leading to constipation. Constipation can cause pregnant women to strain while seating on the toilet, which can then lead to the formation of hemorrhoids.

2) Age

As people age, the tissue that supports the hemorrhoids weakens and can detach itself from the anal walls. That is why many older patients suffer from hemorrhoids, and would require care and prolonged treatment to alleviate the symptoms of pain and discomfort.

3) Overweight

People who are considerably overweight are also at risk of developing hemorrhoids. If you fall in this category, then the chances of you developing hemorrhoids will increase. So try to reduce some of that weight, and opt for a better meal plan--one that can actually help speed up your metabolism to reduce weight.

4) Lack of fiber content in diet

A poor diet with no fiber can result in constipation. A healthy diet is often the key to avoiding hemorrhoids. Make sure that you are eating the right food. Consult your doctor and devise a meal plan wherein you can get all the required nutrients and proteins along with dietary fiber. 

5) Straining

Most of the time, straining is associated with constipation or passing hard stools. Straining can cause too much pressure on the veins to expel the stool out of the rectum leading to the formation of hemorrhoids.

Symptoms of prolapsed hemorrhoids

The following are symptoms that might indicate the presence of hemorrhoids:

  • Itchy anal area 
  • Pain in the anus
  • Blood in stool
  • The presence of lumps in the anal region 

If you have one or more of these symptoms, you should go for a medical examination to determine whether or not you have hemorrhoids. It is important to inform your doctor of any symptoms you may be having. Remember that the treatment for hemorrhoids needs to start early. 

It is also important to let the doctor know if anyone in your family has a history of colon diseases. If you are over 50 years old, inform the doctor know when you had your last colonoscopy. If you have never had a colonoscopy, you will be advised to take one. The symptoms may vary from person-to-person and are also determined by the severity of your condition. Note down if you see blood in your stool during bowel movements.

If you notice any of these symptoms, consult a doctor immediately. In the early stages, hemorrhoids rarely require any kind of treatment.

However, if the condition persists, then you can opt for home remedies other than OTC medications. Make sure that you inform your doctor regarding other remedies or medications that you are about to take. Your doctor can prescribe an alternative medicine if the current ones are not that effective in alleviating the symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Prevention

To prevent the development of hemorrhoids, it is necessary to include lots of fiber and water in your daily diet. Both fiber and water will improve your digestion and soften your stools, thereby preventing constipation. Constipation is among the most common causes of hemorrhoids. In addition, make sure to maintain good posture all the time.

Exercise is also very important because the muscles around your lower pelvic regions should be strengthened. Have a regular routine of stretching exercises, as it will improve the flow of blood in the lower part of your body. Stretching exercises are especially important if your daily life involves long hours of sitting or standing.

Make sure that you eat right and don't forget to make nutrient-dense superfoods as a regular feature on your breakfast table. You can never go wrong with a healthy balanced diet coupled with exercise. Kegel exercises are designed to help you exercise your pelvic area. You should also be able to do a few stretches and lunges. Make these exercises a regular part of your fitness routine as well.

Treatment of hemorrhoids can also be done at home. Home remedies include sitting in warm water, using certain herbs, eating foods rich in fiber, and taking lots of water every day.

Treatment

Your doctor may initially advise you to try out a few hemorrhoid creams and ointments to help alleviate the painful symptoms of hemorrhoids. Make sure that you are not allergic to any of these ointments. You can try out the blot test to see if a mere dab of the application results in any blisters or rashes. If it does not, then you should be able to use the ointment safely. Apart from this, your doctor may also recommend that you get a few recommended painkillers to help offset the pain.

However, if your condition still has not improved, then perhaps it is time to start exploring other options. The following are a few procedures that can help treat your condition:

1) External hemorrhoid thrombectomy

This procedure is performed when there is a blood clot forming on your hemorrhoids. The doctor would remove the blood clot to enable blood vessel repair. The process is quite simple and should not last for a longer time.

2) Rubber band ligation

If your condition has not improved at all, then your doctor would recommend a rubber band ligation. A rubber band ligation mainly involves tying off the ends of your hemorrhoids to restrict blood flow. The procedure should result in your hemorrhoids drying up and falling off.

While there are alternative treatments for hemorrhoids, the rubber band ligation method is the most effective of all. However, it should be pointed out that when your hemorrhoids are tied using a rubber band, you may experience sudden bouts of pain that usually disappear after a short while.

3) Injection

In this method, the affected region is injected with a chemical solution formulated to reduce hemorrhoids. While this method may not be as effective as the rubber band ligation, it is still quite successful when it comes to shrinking the hemorrhoids.

4) Infrared coagulation therapy

Hemorrhoids can also be treated using infrared coagulation therapy. It involves coagulating the blood in the vein above the hemorrhoid to make it shrink and recede. You may experience slight burning, pain, and discomfort while the process is being carried out. However, pain should disappear once the procedure is done.

5) Surgery

Doctors may also recommend surgery as a last resort if none of the other methods work in treating your hemorrhoids. The procedure is quite simple enough and should not take a long time to complete. Once the doctor has surgically excised the hemorrhoids, the procedure is done.

Hemorrhoids can also cause other health complications if they are left untreated. Just remember to eat healthily and drink lots of water to improve your digestion and bowel movements. Moreover, consult your doctor at the earliest to help you deal with your hemorrhoids better.