Do you know the difference between hernia and hemorrhoid ? Hernia and hemorrhoid are two different health conditions which are common in both men and women. This article will look at hernia vs hemorrhoid, causes, symptoms, diagnosis and many more of hernia vs hemorrhoid.
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall.
Many hernias occur in the abdomen between your chest and hips, but they can also appear in the upper thigh and groin areas.
Most hernias aren’t immediately life threatening, but they don’t go away on their own. Sometimes they can require surgery to prevent dangerous complications.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids , also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. Sometimes, the walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that the veins bulge and get irritated, especially when you poop. Hemorrhoids are one of the most common causes of rectal bleeding and they often go away on their own.
We’re all born with hemorrhoids, but at baseline, they don’t bother us. It’s only when they become swollen and enlarged that they produce irritating symptoms.
Causes of Hernia vs Hemorrhoid
Hernia and hemorrhoid are two different health conditions and thus, have different causes attributed to these problems. Below are causes of hernia vs hemorrhoid.
Causes of Hernia
Hernias are caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Depending on its cause, a hernia can develop quickly or over a long period of time.
Some common causes of muscle weakness or strain that can lead to a hernia include:
- a congenital condition, which occurs during development in the womb and is present from birth
- damage from an injury or surgery
- strenuous exercise or lifting heavy weights
- chronic coughing or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD)
- pregnancy, especially having multiple pregnancies
- constipation, which causes you to strain when having a bowel movement
- being overweight or having obesity
There are also certain risk factors that make you more likely to develop a hernia. They include:
- being born prematurely or having a low birth weight
- being older
- chronic cough (likely due to the repetitive increase in abdominal pressure)
- cystic fibrosis
- chronic constipation
- being overweight or having obesity
- smoking, which leads to the weakening of connective tissue
- a personal or family history of hernias
Causes of hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids occur when there’s too much pressure on the veins around your anus. Possible causes and risk factors include:
- straining during a bowel movement
- sitting for a long period of time, especially on the toilet
- having chronic constipation or diarrhea
- having a family history of hemorrhoids
- engaging in consistent heavy lifting or other activities that strain your body
- having obesity
- having anal sexual intercourse, which can irritate hemorrhoids
- being pregnant (an enlarged uterus presses on the vein in the colon, causing it to bulge)
- being over the age of 50
Symptoms of Hernia vs Hemorrhoid
Hernia vs Hemorrhoid cause largely different symptoms, so you may be able to tell which condition you have based on how you’re feeling.
Symptoms of Hernia
In many cases, a hernia is no more than a painless swelling that presents no problems and needs no immediate medical attention.
A hernia may, however, be the cause of discomfort and pain, with symptoms often becoming worse when standing, straining, or lifting heavy items. Most people who notice increasing swelling or soreness eventually see a doctor.
In some cases, a hernia needs immediate surgery, for instance, when part of the gut becomes obstructed or strangulated by an inguinal hernia.
Immediate medical attention should be sought if an inguinal hernia produces acute abdominal complaints such as:
- the bulge cannot be pushed back into the abdomen
The swelling, in these cases, is typically firm and tender and cannot be pushed back up into the abdomen.
A hiatal hernia can produce symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn, which is caused by stomach acid getting into the esophagus.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoid
Here are the symptoms of both internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids are so far inside your rectum that you can’t usually see or feel them. They don’t generally hurt because you have few pain-sensing nerves there. Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include:
- Blood on your poop, on toilet paper after you wipe, or in the toilet bowl
- Tissue that bulges outside your anal opening (prolapse). This may hurt, often when you poop. You might be able to see prolapsed hemorrhoids as moist bumps that are pinker than the surrounding area. These usually go back inside on their own. Even if they don’t, they can often be gently pushed back into place.
External hemorrhoids are under the skin around your anus, where there are many more pain-sensing nerves. Symptoms of external hemorrhoids include:
A blood clot can turn an external hemorrhoid purple or blue. This is called a thrombosis or a thrombosed hemorrhoid. You may notice symptoms like:
- Severe pain
Diagnosis of Hernia vs Hemorrhoid
There are different test options used to diagnose hernia and hemorrhoid. They are different medical conditions and require different diagnosis
How is a hernia diagnosed?
It is usually possible to see or feel a bulge in the area where a hernia has occurred by physical exam. As part of a male’s typical physical exam for inguinal hernias, the doctor feels the area around the testicles and groin while the patient is asked to cough. In some cases, soft-tissue imaging like a CT scan will accurately diagnose the condition.
A visual examination of your anus may be enough to diagnose hemorrhoids. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may do a different examination to check for any abnormalities within the anus.
This check is known as a digital rectal exam. During this exam, your doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum.
Depending on your risk factors for gastrointestinal disease, your doctor may order an additional test like an anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or colonoscopy.
Each of these tests involves your doctor using a small camera to diagnose any abnormalities in your anus, rectum, or colon.
An anoscopy examines the inside of your anus, a sigmoidoscopy examines the last 2 feet (50 centimeters) of your colon, and a colonoscopy explores the entire colon.
In these tests, a small fiber-optic camera fits into a small tube that’s inserted into your rectum. With this test, your doctor gets a clear view of the inside of your rectum so that they can examine the hemorrhoid up close.
Treatment of Hernia vs Hemorrhoid
The following are how to treat hernia and hemorrhoid differently.
Treatment options for hemorrhoids
You can have hemorrhoids treated at home or at a doctor’s office.
To minimize pain, soak in a warm tub of water for at least 10 minutes every day. You can also sit on a warm water bottle to relieve the pain of external hemorrhoids.
If the pain is unbearable, use an over-the-counter (OTC) medicated suppository, ointment, or cream to relieve the burning and itching. You can find hemorrhoid suppositories online or in stores.
If you’re constipated, you can also use an OTC fiber supplement to help soften your stool. Two common supplements of this type are psyllium and methylcellulose.
OTC topical treatments, such as hydrocortisone or hemorrhoid cream, can ease your discomfort from hemorrhoids. Witch hazel pads can offer hemorrhoid relief as well.
You can buy both hydrocortisone and hemorrhoid cream online.
Soaking your anus in a sitz bath for 10 to 15 minutes per day can also help.
Practice good hygiene by cleaning your anus with warm water during a shower or bath every day. But don’t use soap, as soap can aggravate hemorrhoids. Also avoid using dry or rough toilet paper when you wipe after a bowel movement.
Using a cold compress on your anus can help reduce hemorrhoid swelling. Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin can also alleviate the pain or discomfort.
If home treatments aren’t helping with your hemorrhoids, your doctor might recommend getting a rubber band ligation. This procedure involves the doctor cutting off circulation to the hemorrhoid by placing a rubber band around it.
This causes loss of circulation to the hemorrhoid, forcing it to shrink. This procedure should only be performed by a medical professional. Don’t try this by yourself.
If rubber band ligation isn’t an option in your case, your doctor may perform injection therapy, or sclerotherapy. In this procedure, your doctor injects a chemical into the blood vessel directly. This causes the hemorrhoid to reduce in size.
Treatment of Hernia
Hernias usually do not get better on their own, and surgery may be the only way to repair them. However, your doctor will recommend the best therapy to address your hernia, and may refer you to a surgeon. If the surgeon thinks it is necessary to repair your hernia, then the surgeon will tailor the method of repair that best meets your needs.
In the case of an umbilical hernia in a child, surgery may be recommended if the hernia is large or if it has not healed by the age of 4 to 5 years old. By this age, a child can usually avoid surgical complications.
If an adult has an umbilical hernia, surgery is usually recommended because the condition will not likely improve on its own and the risk of complications is higher.
One of three types of hernia surgery can be performed:
Open surgery, in which a cut is made into the body at the location of the hernia. The protruding tissue is set back in place and the weakened muscle wall is stitched back together. Sometimes a type of mesh is implanted in the area to provide extra support.
Laparoscopic surgery involves the same type of repairs. However, instead of a cut to the outside of the abdomen or groin, tiny incisions are made to allow for the insertion of surgical tools to complete the procedure.
Robotic hernia repair
Robotic hernia repair, like laparoscopic surgery, uses a laparoscope, and is performed with small incisions. With robotic surgery, the surgeon is seated at a console in the operating room, and handles the surgical instruments from the console. While robotic surgery can be used for some smaller hernias, or weak areas, it can now also be used to reconstruct the abdominal wall.
Each type of surgery has its advantages and disadvantages. The best approach will be decided by the patient’s surgeon.
Prevention of Hernia vs Hemorrhoid
They various different ways that can help a person to prevent the developing of hernia or hemorrhoid. Since hernia and hemorrhoid have different causes and it’ll require different ways of preventing both.
Prevention of Hernia
- Maintain ideal body weight by eating a healthy diet and exercising.
- Eat enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains to avoid constipation.
- Use correct form when lifting weights or heavy objects. Avoid lifting anything that is beyond your ability.
- See a doctor when you are ill with persistent coughs or sneezing.
- Don’t smoke, as the habit can lead to coughing that triggers a hernia.
Prevention of hemorrhoid
To prevent or avoid worsening hemorrhoids, avoid straining during a bowel movement. Also, try to increase your water intake. Drinking enough water can keep your stool from hardening.
Use the restroom as soon as you feel a bowel movement coming on to prevent hemorrhoids from developing. Exercise regularly to prevent becoming constipated, and avoid sitting for long periods, especially on hard surfaces like concrete or tile.
Consuming foods that are high in dietary fiber can minimize the risk of developing hemorrhoids in the future.
Good dietary fiber sources include:
- whole wheat
- brown rice
Dietary fiber helps create bulk in the intestines, which softens the stool, making it easier to pass.