Myths & Facts: Things You Need To Know About Hemorrhoids
People tend to avoid talking about piles to avoid being ridiculed with insensitive jokes about their rear end going so far as trying home remedies rather than consulting a doctor. Fortunately, piles are usually mild in most cases and can be treated at home with over-the-counter medication like hemorrhoid wipes, gels, lotions, suppositories, etc. But the internet is filled with many myths about this condition that can worsen the problem if followed. It’s important to consult a medical professional (particularly a gastroenterologist) to clarify your doubts and get the best treatment. But if you are still feeling shy to talk about this disease, here are some myths and facts you may find helpful:
Myth: Only Old People Get Piles
Fact: While it’s common among old people and the risk of it increases after crossing fifty years of age, it can affect people of any age. While not common, it can affect children younger than twelve years of age as well.
Myth: Hemorrhoids Cause Colorectal Cancer
Fact: There is no correlation between hemorrhoids and colorectal cancer. Cancer is caused by cancer cells while hemorrhoids are caused by pressure on the veins in the rectum, anus or both that cause them to swell. This myth comes from the fact that the two diseases have very similar symptoms like blood in the stool, pain in the rectal region, etc. This can cause patients to mistake cancer for this disease. To avoid this, it’s best to consult an expert when you notice the symptoms.
Myth: It’s Rare
Fact: It’s a very common disease that affects a large portion of the population worldwide at some point in their lifetime. About three-quarters of the US population suffers from it. This is thanks to the increasing amount of time that Americans spend sitting which creates pressure on the veins.
Myth: Surgery Cures It Permanently
Fact: No treatment can claim to cure this problem permanently. Patients report the reemergence of swollen blood vessels 12 months after surgery. This is because piles are caused by lifestyle choices like the food you eat and the amount of time you spend sitting.
Myth: Piles Always Return
Fact: Just because it can return doesn’t mean it will return. By changing your lifestyle for the better with fiber-rich diet, plenty of water and an active lifestyle, you can reduce the chances of it happening again. In many cases, it’s caused by a temporary situation like childbirth, pregnancy or straining during bowel movements.
Myth: It Always Bleeds
Fact: It doesn’t always cause bleeding. In many cases, you may notice some and not all the symptoms depending on how severe it is. If you do notice some bleeding, call a doctor.
Myth: People With Fiber-Rich Diet Don’t Suffer Hemorrhoids
Fact: While a fiber-rich diet helps prevent the disease by improving your bowel movement, it does not guarantee you will never suffer from it. Other factors like the amount of time you sit, heavy lifting and straining when passing stool can cause it. Along with fibers, you also need to drink plenty of water because fibers cause the stool to harden which can cause more strain.
Myth: It’s Incurable
Fact: There are many cures for it. In many cases, it’s so mild that OTC medication can help you heal after a week. But if OTC doesn’t work or if your symptoms get worse, see an expert ASAP. You should also consult the pharmacist if you have allergies or health problems.
Myth: Spicy Food Causes It
Fact: Spicy food doesn’t cause it. But food with low or no fiber can make you susceptible to it.
Myth: Cold Surfaces Cause It
Fact: Sitting on cold surfaces do not cause the blood vessels in your rectum or anus to swell. In fact, you can use cold compresses or ice packs to reduce swelling and pain to some extent.
These are just some facts behind the myths that are floating on the internet. Before you order some hemorrhoid wipes, lotions, gels, etc. it’s best if you consult a doctor.
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