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Hemorrhoids: Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists advises early treatment
Hemorrhoids or hemorrhoidal ailments - a topic that is not welcome, although around 50 percent of the population over 30 years of age is affected - men are more likely than women. However, complaints are kept silent. "Early treatment is important so that the hemorrhoidal disease does not get worse," advises Dr. Richard Klämbt, President of the Bremen Chamber of Pharmacists. If you notice slight complaints, you can get advice in the pharmacy. There are preparations with different active ingredients available as part of the self-medication.
Everyone has hemorrhoids. It is a vascular pad made of arteries and veins, which together with the inner and outer sphincter provide fine sealing of the intestine. In the first place, it is not basically a disease. From a medical point of view, a hemorrhoidal disease only occurs when symptoms such as itching, bleeding during bowel movements, pain, pressure and foreign body sensation due to enlarged hemorrhoids occur.
Four complaint levels
Usually, the hemorrhoids function like an erectile tissue by relaxing the sphincter during bowel movements and the blood flowing back out of the hemorrhoidal pad. The blood vessels can widen and the elasticity decrease for various reasons, so that blood builds up in the vessels and the pad enlarges knottily. The most important cause of enlarged hemorrhoids is excessive pressing or repressing during bowel movements, for example with chronic constipation. However, being overweight, predominantly sedentary work, a congenital weakness of the connective tissue or pregnancy can also promote a possible suffering. Enlarged hemorrhoids often go unnoticed, but in many cases the first typical symptoms can also occur.
"The complaints are divided into four stages," explains Klämbt. And even at the first signs, false shame is inappropriate: "Once the pain is there, it does not simply go away on its own. The sooner the cause is clarified by the doctor, the less problematic and effective the treatment," said the President of the Chamber. The first signs are usually bright red drops of blood on the toilet paper. Due to the enlarged vascular cushions, it can also happen that the fine seal of the intestine no longer works smoothly and mucus and feces can escape. The irritated skin itches, wets and burns. In later stages, a foreign body sensation often occurs due to the increasing size of the hemorrhoids.
Four stages of hemorrhoidal disease:
Stage 1: The hemorrhoids are slightly enlarged and narrow the intestinal exit. Nothing can be seen from the outside, but the doctor can see the magnification with an anal mirror.
Stage 2: The hemorrhoids have already expanded so much that they emerge when the chair is pressed out. Then they slide back into the intestine independently.
Level 3: The hemorrhoids are already so large that they come out of the anus when you press them, exercise hard or run for a long time. They do not withdraw on their own, you have to help them manually with your finger.
Level 4: The hemorrhoids are enlarged so much that they push the entire inner lining of the anus outwards. Nothing can be done manually either. The medical term for this stage is fixed anal prolapse or prolapse.
Further treatment options
As a first measure, it is recommended for all those affected to pay attention to a balanced and high-fiber diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Adequate hydration and regular exercise also promote intestinal activity and have a positive effect on bowel movements. If the patient notices the first signs, they can be temporarily treated well with creams, ointments or suppositories. "For itching and pain, local anesthetics with the active ingredients lidocaine or quinisocaine are the first choice," says Klämbt. Preparations with witch hazel have anti-inflammatory, astringent and hemostatic effects, bismuth salts promote wound healing and alleviate the symptoms.
Alternatively or in addition, the systemic intake of aescin or rutosides, which are also used for venous complaints, can be tried.
“Furthermore, hygiene is an important point. The irritated anal area should best be cleaned after the bowel movement with soft toilet paper and additionally damp, fragrance-free cloths, ”advises the pharmacist. Caring ingredients such as jojoba wax can also be used. However, all these tips are only suitable for people with mild complaints. “For everyone else, only the doctor is the right contact. During the examination, the doctor determines the severity of the disease very precisely and knows which form of therapy - whether purely medicinally or surgically - is the right one. ”In the case of severe forms, local application with glucocorticoids is indicated. (opm)