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Hemorrhoids: Dilated (enlarged) veins in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the rectum, usually caused by untreated constipation but occasionally associated with chronic diarrhea. Symptoms start with bleeding after defecation. If untreated, hemorrhoids can worsen, protruding from the anus. Treatment involves changing the diet to prevent constipation and avoid further irritation, the use of topical medication, and sometimes surgery also known as piles.
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Scope and Importance:
Hemorrhoids are cushions of tissue composed of blood vessels and smooth muscle. Hemorrhoids may aid in the process of having a bowel movement. Everyone has hemorrhoids. Many people do not have symptoms from them. Treatment is indicated only when symptoms occur. When the smooth muscle within the hemorrhoids breaks down, the hemorrhoids can be exposed to the sheer forces in the anal canal. This may result in bright red bleeding, prolapse of hemorrhoids out the anus, discomfort and pruritus (itching). It is important to know that there may be other explanations for anorectal itching and these symptoms may persist after surgical removal of the hemorrhoids. It is also important to know that symptoms attributed to hemorrhoids may be caused by other benign anorectal diseases, as well as benign or malignant tumors. Depending on your presentation, your doctor may suggest that you undergo a colonoscopy to further investigate this. Symptoms of bleeding and prolapse are typical of internal hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids (those at the level of the anal opening) can swell or form blood clots within them and cause pain. Many people have a combination of internal and external hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are defined as an abnormal enlargement of veins in the anal area. Hemorrhoids are inside the skin (internal) or under the skin around the anus (external). Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure in the veins of the anus. The most common cause is straining at bowel movements.
Hemorrhoids or piles are a common ailment among adults. More than half of men and women aged 50 years and older will develop hemorrhoid symptoms during their lifetime. Hemorrhoids are rare in children but now days several reports state the occurrence of hemorrhoids in children, and in elderly people. In United States three-quarter of individuals have hemorrhoids at some point in their lives, and about half of them over age 50 required treatment, and much smaller percentage approximately 4% seek medical treatment for the condition. Hospital based proctoscopy studies show prevalence rates of hemorrhoids with a symptomatic state in 86% of patient. According to The Merck Manual definition hemorrhoids is “Varicosities of the veins of the hemorrhoidal plexus, often complicated by inflammation, thrombosis, and bleeding”. But a recent definition of hemorrhoids is “Vascular cushions, consisting of thick submucosa containing both venous and arterial blood vessels.
The global demand for hemorrhoid medicine is not only large, but also growing, the world market for herbal remedies in 1999 was calculated to be worth US$ 19.4 billion, with Europe in the lead (US$ 6.7 billion), followed by Asia (US$ 5.1 billion), North America (US$ 4.0 billion), Japan (US$ 2.2 billion), and then the rest of the world (US$ 1.4 billion). Based on human studies ayurvedic medicinal plant uses were, classified as following according to the treatment categories (Fig.2), and for different gastrointestinal disease, 12 % of plants are used.
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