What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are veins in the wall of anus and lower rectum which are swollen and inflamed. The hemorrhoids are called internal when they are located inside the rectum, above the junction between the rectum and the anus. External Hemorrhoids are located in the anus, below this junction.
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The swollen veins, if large enough, may get twisted. Internal hemorrhoids usually don’t cause discomfort, but may get pushed through the anal opening on straining. This is called a prolapsed hemorrhoid and is extremely painful. Straining or diarrhea can cause irritation of the surface of a hemorrhoid and lead to bleeding. External hemorrhoids present as swelling or a lump around the anus. If blood pools in the swelling, there can be clot formation, leading to what is called a thrombosed external hemorrhoid, which is very painful.
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Causes of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are caused by many factors that cause increased pressure in the lower rectum. Such factors include:
1. Constipation and associated straining during bowel movements.
2. Habitually sitting for prolonged periods on the toilet
3. Chronic diarrhea or constipation
4. Obesity leading to increased pressure in the rectal area
5. Pregnancy – increased pressure in the rectal area and constipation
6. Some studies show that forceful anal intercourse can lead to hemorrhoids
7. Low-fiber diet
8. Hemorrhoids occur more with increasing age as the supporting tissues of the rectal area become lax and the weak veins are more likely to stretch and swell up.
Can Hemorrhoids be confused with Yeast Infection?
Hemorrhoids and yeast infection are both common conditions. There is an association between the two, and there are some shared symptoms.
Hemorrhoids usually cause painless bleeding during bowel movements. You may notice blood streaks in the toilet paper. There may be a lump in the anal region, which may be tender. There may be itching and discomfort which can be very disturbing. Sometime one may have leakage of stools.
In yeast infection of the gastrointestinal tract and the perianal area, there may be itching, discomfort, and redness in the anal region. Rubbing with a toilet paper may aggravate both hemorrhoids and local yeast infection and lead to inflamed skin and bleeding.
What is the link between Hemorrhoids and Yeast Infection?
A causative role of yeast in hemorrhoids has not been shown by research studies. Nevertheless, there is a frequent association between the two which is reported by many people and seen in the practice of alternate, natural and complementary medicine. The possible causes may be:
1. Constipation is a frequent complaint in yeast syndrome, or chronic systemic candida infection. Constipation is an important cause of hemorrhoids, and hence this triad is often common in yeast infection.
2. Bowel irregularity and diarrhea is also common in yeast infection and contributes to hemorrhoids.
3. Many people who are predisposed to yeast infection take a low fiber diet, which contributes to both the yeast infection and the hemorrhoids.
4. Obesity is also related to yeast overgrowth and an important contributory factor to hemorrhoids.
5. Stress and anxiety are often seen in chronic yeast infection and hemorrhoids.
6. Other lifestyle factors that contribute to both yeast infection and hemorrhoids are improper diet and inadequate intake of water.
Often a person may suffer from myriad symptoms including hemorrhoids and after years of unsuccessful treatments, the cause may be traced to yeast overgrowth.
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Therefore, although yeast infection directly does not cause hemorrhoids, it can contribute to the development of hemorrhoids due to the intestinal dysbiosis and consequences thereof.