Hemorrhoids: what are they and what can you do about them? | NOW

Every week Edwin de Vaal (47), general practitioner in Nijmegen, answers a frequently asked or suspicious question from his practice. This week, that’s an embarrassing topic for many people: what are hemorrhoids and what can you do about them?

What is a hemorrhoid?

“A hemorrhoid is a bulge of a blood vessel on the inside of the anus. Right in front of the sphincter muscle that holds back the stool at the end of the intestine is a kind of spongy body that prevents moisture and mucus from getting into the anus, for example due to a Pregnancy, heavy pressure, heavy lifting, obesity, or constipation can swell the blood vessels in this spongy body and eventually turn into a varicose vein. “

How do you notice you have a hemorrhoid?

“A hemorrhoid on the inside can cause bright red, fresh blood loss from your stool. You will notice this when you wipe your buttocks. Sometimes a hemorrhoid can be on the outside of your anus. You feel a bump or a bump. This may also be painful or itchy. Usually this is because the blood flow in that hemorrhoid has deteriorated. “

Do you need to take it to the doctor?

“Not always. First, take a mirror to see what the bump looks like. Sometimes it’s a red bump. You can gently push it back past the sphincter muscle with a little petroleum jelly on your finger. Then the blood begins to flow again and the pain and pain go away Hemorrhoids. In some cases, it will come out the next time you have a bowel movement. Then you can push it back. “

“If you think doing this with your bare finger is disgusting, you can put a sandwich bag around your finger anyway. I think it’s wise anyway if people every now and then with a mirror on their ‘bum’ I notice that people often have no idea what it looks like there, so they don’t know if something is changing there. “

When do you need to see a doctor?

“Most people find it very embarrassing to see a doctor with a hemorrhoid or other problems in this area. General practitioners know this. But don’t worry, general practitioners don’t think it’s weird or dirty. It’s our job. Too much). Pain and swelling, and of course if you have blood in your stool, I would definitely consult the doctor’s assistant. Especially blood in your stool shouldn’t be. “

“Sometimes the hemorrhoid has turned into a dark blue marble that is very painful. It usually has a clot. If you can’t push it back easily because of the pain, talk to your doctor. He can carefully try to get the hemorrhoid back For you. You may push or remove the clot by cutting open the hemorrhoids under anesthesia. “

“Internal hemorrhoids are usually treated by a specialist doctor: the proctologist. These days, it is very easy to do it with a small rubber band.”

Does Hemorrhoid Ointment Work?

“No. Ointment briefly relieves the itching or pain, but does not solve the problem.”

What can you do to prevent hemorrhoids?

“Make your stool soft. Drink 1.5 liters of fluids a day. Water, juices, coffee, and tea, it all counts. Make sure you exercise and eat plenty of fiber too. These are in whole grains, brown rice, beans , Peas, included. Lentils, fruits and vegetables. “

“And please go to the bathroom if you have to. Some people just dare poop in their own toilet at home and stop elsewhere. Conquer your embarrassment. Moving your poop will make your poop hard again, so you’ll have to push more later . That increases the risk of hemorrhoids. “