Hemorrhoids and prostatitis are both inflammatory diseases common in men and may present similar symptoms. Can one lead to another? Maybe, but the chances are slim
To understand the possible relationship between the two conditions, it is important to know what they are, their causes or risk factors, symptoms, and ways to treat or manage them.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids or piles are a mass of swollen veins within and outside the anus. They can be painful, make sitting uncomfortable, and cause rectal bleeding.
Types Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are classified based on the region of the swelling and how they appear. The various type includes:
External hemorrhoids: These are swollen veins that form just outside the anus. They can be painful and give an itchy sensation.
Thrombosed hemorrhoids: When the blood in an external hemorrhoid clot, it becomes a thrombosed hemorrhoid.
Internal hemorrhoids: They can be found inside the rectum. They rarely cause pain but may result in bleeding.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids: When swollen veins extend from within to the outer portion of the anus, it is termed prolapsed.
Both internal and external hemorrhoids can prolapse if they are mismanaged or untreated.
Causes and Risk Factors for Hemorrhoids
Straining or exerting too much pressure on bowel movement leads to hemorrhoids 7 times out of 10.
Other risk factors may include:
- Being overweight
- Eating food with low fiber composition always
- Recurrent constipation or diarrhea.
- Lifting heavy objects regularly.
- Spend a lot of time on toilet seats.
Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids
Depending on how severe, hemorrhoids may present symptoms like:
- Blood in stool or toilet paper
- Itchy anus
- Lumps underneath the skin of your anus
- Rectal bleeding
How To Treat Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids usually resolve on their own, especially the less severe ones. However, if they present slight pain or bleeding, these home remedies can help:
- Getting over-the-counter pain relievers and applying them to the area causing pain.
- Increase your water intake
- Opt for meals with high fiber. Fiber supplements can also help.
- Sitz bath for 10 to 15 minutes daily until the pain or swelling eases.
- Take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen.
Procedural or Clinic-based Treatment
This is best for hemorrhoids with severe symptoms or those resistant to home treatments. Your doctor may advise any of these procedures:
- Rubber band ligation: A rubber band is used to seal the base of the hemorrhoid to stop the blood supply to it. The swollen veins eventually coagulate and shrink.
- Electrocoagulation: Involves the use of electric current to stop the blood flow to hemorrhoids.
- Infrared coagulation: Here, an infrared heat source is used to cut off blood supply to the lumps around the anus.
- Sclerotherapy: Chemical solutions like zinc chloride or polidocanol are introduced to the swollen veins to shrink them.
- Hemorrhoidectomy: This is the surgical removal of hemorrhoids. This procedure may be prone to combination but remains the most effective.
- Hemorrhoid stapling: The surgical removal of hemorrhoids via a stapling device.
How To Prevent Hemorrhoids
You can lower your risk of hemorrhoids as you get older by:
- Visiting the toilet whenever the body urges you to
- Not pushing too hard or sitting too long on toilet sits
- Exercising your body regularly
What is Prostatitis?
Prostatitis is not cancer, it is the inflammation of the prostate gland. This increase in size may also affect surrounding areas like the urethra.
Types Of Prostatitis
Chronic prostatitis: This is the most common type of prostatitis in men. It has no known cause and cure. However, its symptoms can be managed.
Acute bacterial prostatitis: This type is very rare and can affect men at any age. It comes with severe symptoms such as difficulty in peeing, fever, genital pain, lower back pain, and chills. It is important to get treatment immediately for this condition.
Chronic bacterial prostatitis: This type of infection is a bit uncommon and does not completely leave the body. Symptoms are similar to those of acute bacterial prostatitis but are less severe and last longer.
Asymptomatic inflammatory prostatitis: This type of prostatitis display no symptoms. It is mostly discovered when running diagnoses for other medical conditions.
What Causes Prostatitis?
Prostatitis is a bacterial infection from the rectum or infected urine. It is not a sexually transmitted infection, however, several STIs may result in prostatitis.
Can Hemorrhoids Cause Prostatitis?
Yes, they might influence each other. This is because the blood vessels, nerves, and lymph vessels of the prostate and anorectum have an interaction.
If pathogens spread through these blood and lymph vessels, hemorrhoids may lead to prostatitis. Nevertheless, it is not a very common scenario.
Other Risk Factors For Prostatitis
Factors that can increase your chances of prostatitis include:
- Abnormal urinary tract anatomy
- Bladder or urinary tract infections
- Swollen prostate
- Procedures that expose your urethra to catheter or scope
- Injury to anorectal region
Symptoms Of Prostatitis
- Recurrent urgency to urinate
- Burning sensation when peeing
- Painful urination
- Rectal pain or pressure
- Fever and chills (usually in an acute infection)
- Pain in the pelvis or lower back
- Urethra discharge during bowel movements
- Erectile dysfunction
Please note that other medical conditions may present these symptoms. Always consult your doctor first.
Treatment Options For Prostatitis
Doctors usually recommend treatment based on age, health history, type, and severity of your condition.
For chronic prostatitis, you may be advised to:
- Take antibiotics until infection symptoms are suppressed. Muscle relaxers may also be advised to help relax the muscles around the prostate and bladder, decrease inflammation, and soothe the pain.
- Undergo prostate massage to release the fluid pressure in the prostate.
- Have warm baths or a heating pad to help reduce discomfort.
For chronic bacterial prostatitis:
- Doctors usually recommend antibiotics to be taken for 4 to 12 weeks. If this does not work, you may need to reduce your dosage.
- Chronic bacterial prostatitis can be a bit stubborn. Nevertheless, you do not need to undergo surgery unless you experience difficulty emptying your bladder.
For Acute bacterial prostatitis:
- 2 to 4 weeks of antibiotic treatment may be advised. Do not for any reason reduce the dosage until you complete the cycle unless your doctor says otherwise.
- These antibiotics are expected to stop the growth of resistant bacteria. You may also need pain medications and have to stay in the hospital if your symptoms are severe.
Being hygienic, increasing your intake of fibrous food and water, spending less time in the toilet and exercising are practices that can treat or prevent hemorrhoids or prostatitis.
If your symptoms linger after treating with antibiotics, see your doctor immediately.