What Is HD?
Normal Anatomy of the Anal Canal
Contrary to popular belief, hemorrhoids themselves are not a problem – until they become symptomatic – when someone refers to “hemorrhoids”. A hemorrhoid,
or anal cushion, is a natural and helpful part of the anatomy of the rectum that consists of a group of veins lining the walls of anorectal canal. There are three groups of hemorrhoids in the rectum: the right posterior, right anterior, and left lateral groups. Hemorrhoids in their normal physiological state help maintain bowel continence and control the regular passage of stool.
However, increased pressure in the veins, the hemorrhoidal tissue becomes engorged. This increased pressure in the veins weakens the muscle and connective tissue in the hemorrhoids, which causes them to distend. This distention, if it is enough to cause symptoms, becomes known as Hemorrhoidal Disease, or HD. They are commonly simply referred to as hemorrhoids, though they are more accurately considered inflamed or swollen hemorrhoids.
On our site, we have compiled information about Hemorrhoidal Disease and other perianal conditions to provide you with the information you need to determine if you need treatment and what options are available to you. Topics covered include:
Internal vs. External Hemorrhoids
The amount of distention in the hemorrhoid determines how much it protrudes from its position in the anorectal canal. In cases of slight to moderate distention, the hemorrhoid remains primarily inside the rectum above the dentate line—where there are no pain nerve fibers. This is known as an internal hemorrhoid, and its symptoms primarily consist of painless bleeding during bowel movements.
If the origin of the distention in the hemorrhoid is below this dentate line, where pain fibers are present, then the condition is considered an external hemorrhoid. An external hemorrhoid is often painful, irritated, or itchy, and can be a significant annoyance to a person. This type of hemorrhoid can develop a clot called a thrombosed hemorrhoid. This results in severe pain and requires urgent treatment.
A third type of hemorrhoid is known as a mixed hemorrhoid. As the name implies, mixed hemorrhoids form both above and below the dentate line and include symptoms of both.
Causes of Hemorrhoidal Disease
The ultimate cause of any form of Hemorrhoidal Disease is extended periods increased pressure in the anal cushions. There are many conditions that lead to this increased pressure, however. Any amount or type of straining can lead to an inflamed hemorrhoid. Some of the major contributors to troublesome hemorrhoids include:
- Strenuous or extended physical activity
- Heavy lifting, including working out / weightlifting
- Pregnancy / labor strains
- Frequent constipation or diarrhea
- Low-fiber diets
- Poor bowel habits
- Extended periods of sitting
Prevention is often a matter of carefully regulating physical activity and practicing sound habits regarding nutrition and bowel habits. Take frequent breaks between short sessions of exercise, eat fiber-rich foods or take a supplement, and avoid waiting long periods of time after you get the urge to go to the bathroom. These practices will help keep you free of Hemorrhoidal Disease under most circumstances.
If you have started experiencing symptoms of HD, however, there are options available to you for quick and easy treatment.
Traditionally, treatment of HD was handled with invasive surgical procedures that require anesthesia and preparatory procedures. Thanks to advances in technology, however, treatment can now be undergone in a matter of minutes with no surgery, anesthesia, or preparation. This advance in technology is known as Ultroid®, which Dr. David Shapiro helped to develop and now the newer and more effective HET procedure.
At HTCF, we are fully equipped to use a combination of advanced technology and traditional practices to ensure your quick and easy relief. Since Dr, Shapiro is a surgeon, he can address external hemorrhoids as well in an outpatient setting. He is experienced in treating all types of hemorrhoidal disease. Contact us today to determine what treatment option is right for you.
Tampa Area Hemorrhoid Specialists | Hemorrhoid Treatment Center of Florida
Overcoming the troubles of HD doesn’t have to interfere with your life. The physicians here at the Hemorrhoid Treatment Center of Florida are compassionate, professional experts in the medical field who have years of experience treating patients. Contact us today at (727) 351-8755 to schedule a free consultation and begin the process of recovery.