Hemorrhoids are a common problem that afflicts half of adults over the age of 50. It is a problem that is often embarrassing to confide to our doctors and anyone else for that matter. The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is rectal bleeding. Since bleeding can also be a symptom of other more serious disorders (such as colon cancer), it is important to get an accurate diagnosis.
What is a hemorrhoid? A hemorrhoid is a downwardly displaced anal cushion - collections of blood vessels, smooth muscle fibers, and elastic connective tissue.
What causes hemorrhoids? Anal cushions normally work to support the anal canal and lining during defecation. Straining during bowel movements and pregnancy can cause the supporting tissue to deteriorate resulting in hemorrhoids.
How to treat hemorrhoids? Treatment depends on the severity and persistence of the hemorrhoid. In severe cases, rubber band ligation or surgery may be required. The important thing is to get diagnosed ASAP and begin treatment right away before the problem requires a more invasive approach.
Treatment using TCM
In Chinese medicine, we approach the treatment of hemorrhoids in a number of different ways:
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