Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins located in the lower part of the rectum and the anus. The veins become swollen due to increased pressure within them, usually from constipation or profuse diarrhea, and during pregnancy because of the pressure of the enlarged uterus.
Internal hemorrhoids are located in the inside lining of the rectum and cannot be felt. They are usually painless and make their presence known because blood is seen with a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids can prolapse or protrude through the anus.
External hemorrhoids are located underneath the skin that surrounds the anus. They can be felt when they swell and may cause itching, pain, or bleeding with a bowel movement. A thrombosed external hemorrhoid occurs when blood within the vein clots, and may cause significant pain.
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Etiology and Pathogenesis
Detailed discuss on was recorded in the traditional medical literature. In Su Wen. Sheng Qi Tong Tian Lun (Treatise on Communication of Vitality with Heaven, Plain Questions) it states: ” Too much food intake causes injury and flaccidity of vessels, leading to hemorrhoid.” This is the initial theory of varicosity. It was held that the disease cause was related to integrated internal factors and local external factors.
Integrated Internal Factors
They include disharmony of Yin and Yang, Deficiency in the Zang-organs and Fu-organs, consumption of qi and blood, extreme excitation of emotions and genetic factors.
Local External Factors
1. Interactions of pathogenic dampness, heat, wind and dryness.
2. Injury of pathogenic heat, hemorrhage due to blood-heat, and accumulation of pathogenic heat.
3. Food Influence: Over-intake of roast, fatty, raw, cold, pungent and hot food, or drinking of too much alcohol, or improper food intake.
4. Profession and Life Style: Long-time sitting and standing walking a long way with heavy load or indulgence in sexual activity.
5. Others: Persisted constipation or diarrhea, child delivery, etc.
The above causes were recognized as the etiology of hemorrhoids by the ancient practitioners. Hemorrhoids only occur in human beings because man is n animal of erect standing. Modern medicine usually thinks that hemorrhoids are caused by the increase of the venous internal pressure of the venous plexus and the decrease of the resistance of the venous walls. But through a profound study of hemorrhoids, different ideas have been put forward. Besides the theory of varicose vein, there is added the theory of vessel hyperplasia and that of mucosa slide.
Compiled by : Harry Chen