Hemorrhoids, also called hemroids, are a medical condition that is quite common. Hemroids affect both men and women, and it is estimated that half of the world’s population will have experienced hemorrhoids by the time they reach the age of 50.
Because hemroids are thought of as an aging condition and are more common in the elderly, most people are unaware that hemorrhoids can occur in young children as well. The condition is usually not serious, however, and generally goes away on its own. Still, if your child is complaining of itching and burning in the anal area, you should not discount hemorrhoids as a potential cause.
Causes of Hemorrhoids in Children
Hemroids in children are typically caused by constipation. Poor diet and exercise habits can cause the child’s stools to become dry and hard, thus making them difficult to pass. The result is that the child may strain to have a bowel movement while on the toilet. As in adults, this straining puts stress on the veins in the anus and rectum and hemroids may develop.
Treating Hemorrhoids in Children
Treating hemroids in children can be a challenge, since most hemorrhoids medications and treatments available today are geared toward adults. There are not many remedies on the market that are made specifically for hemroids in children, again because most people think of hemorrhoids as only happening to older people.
While adults may choose from a wide variety of hemorrhoidstreatments
and procedures such as medications, rubber band ligation and even surgery, in general, natural remedies are the safest route for treating hemroids in children. The most effective approach is to change the child’s diet and lifestyle habits. Since constipation is the biggest cause of hemroids in children, avoiding constipation is probably the most important thing you can do to prevent hemorrhoids.
Adding fiber and fluids to the child’s diet is the first step toward preventing constipation. Some foods that can help are items like juices and berries. Cranberry juice, juice from red currants and pomegranate juice are all good choices. So are fruits like oranges, bananas and papaya.
Exercise is another lifestyle habit that can be introduced into a child’s daily routine to help prevent constipation and potentially hemorrhoids. Exercise can improve a child’s overall health, as well as his or her bowel health.
If you child has developed hemroids, there are some measures that can be taken to ease his or her discomfort. Cool compresses can be applied to the inflamed hemorrhoidal tissue to provide relief from irritation. Warm baths can help to relax the anal area and provide soothing relief. As with hemorrhoids in adults, if symptoms persist or do not respond to treatment, you should consult your doctor for professional diagnosis and hemorrhoid treatment recommendations.
To reiterate, hemorrhoids, while not very common in children, can occur, so it is important to be vigilant for signs of the condition and treat it right away. As a precaution, any signs of constipation should be taken seriously and addressed immediately, so that the condition does not lead to hemorrhoids.