Causes And Risk Factors Of Hemorrhoids
You may be more likely to get hemorrhoids if other family members, like your parents, had them.
Pressure building up in your lower rectum can affect blood flow and make the veins there swell. That may happen from:
- Pushing during bowel movements
- Anal sex
People who stand or sit for long stretches of time are at greater risk, too.
You may get them when you have constipation or diarrhea that doesn’t clear up. Coughing, sneezing, and vomiting could make them worse.
How Do Foods Influence Hemorrhoids Diet
Diet is believed to have a big impact in causingand preventinghemorrhoids. People who consistently eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to get hemorrhoids, while those people who prefer a diet high in processed foods face a higher hemorrhoid risk.
A low-fiber diet can leave you constipated, which can contribute to hemorrhoids in two way. For one, it promotes straining on the toilet. It also aggravates the hemorrhoids by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins.
When Should You Call Your Doctor
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids may be a sign of other serious health problems. Colon or rectal cancer and other conditions have many of the same symptoms as hemorrhoids. Call your doctor if you have symptoms like these:
- Stools are black or tarry.
- A lump or bulge that is not tender and does not go away develops at the anal opening.
If you have hemorrhoids, call your doctor if:
- Moderate rectal pain lasts longer than 1 week after home treatment.
- Pain or swelling is severe.
- Tissue from inside the body bulges from the anus and does not return to normal after 3 to 7 days of home treatment.
- A lump inside the anus becomes bigger or more painful.
If rectal bleeding becomes heavy or changes colour , or if stools change size, shape, or colour , be sure to see your doctor.
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Home Treatment For Anal Fissures
In most cases, treatment of an anal fissure starts with home treatment. Because constipation and large hard stools are the usual cause of a fissure, softening your stool and preventing constipation are the first steps in-home treatment. Home treatment instructions may include:
- Add fiber to your diet by eating more fruit, vegetables and whole grains. Try to get about 30 grams of fiber each day.
- Increase the amount of water you drink every day.
- Use a fiber supplement like Metamucil as directed.
- Use an over-the-counter stool softener as directed.
- Sit in a warm tub for 10 to 20 minutes a few times during the day, especially after a bowel movement. This may relieve pain and increase healing.
If these home care treatments are not helping, your doctor may prescribe medications to take at home. These include medications to increase blood flow to your anal area and topical creams or ointments to relieve pain.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Hemorrhoids are incredibly common and can be successfully managed with the right treatments. If youre concerned you have hemorrhoids or if theyre not improving, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heiman in Tampa, FL, today.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications or treatments.
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Should I See A Doctor
Any anal bleeding should be properly evaluated. If you have anal bleeding that lasts for more than 10 minutes, its best to see a doctor to make sure that something else isnt causing your bleeding.
Not all bleeding is due to hemorrhoids, so its important to not self-diagnose. Sometimes, bleeding can be symptom of a more serious underlying condition, such as colorectal or anal cancer.
Make sure to tell them if you have any of the following symptoms in addition to bleeding:
- changes in stool consistency or color
- changes in bowel movement habits
- anal pain
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Symptoms Of Internal Hemorrhoids
Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids vary depending on their severity. Even as hemorrhoids worsen, you arent likely to experience pain due to the lack of nerve endings in the lower rectal area. Pain associated with hemorrhoids is typically caused by an associated condition, such as anal fissures or external hemorrhoids.
If you cant feel internal hemorrhoids, then how do you know theyre there?
In most cases, its because you begin to notice bleeding. You may see blood in your stool or notice it on the toilet paper when you wipe. Because this blood has a short path to travel outside the body, it should be bright red. You may not notice it right away if the bleeding is light.
While bleeding is the most common indicator of internal hemorrhoids, you may experience other symptoms if a hemorrhoid prolapses. This typically happens during a bowel movement, and in many cases, the tissue will go back in on its own. In other cases, you may have to push the tissue back in. In the case of Grade IV hemorrhoids, the tissue will remain prolapsed.
Its important to note that bleeding is also a common symptom of colorectal cancer, as well as internal hemorrhoids. Thats why we recommend you see a physician right away if you are experiencing any rectal bleeding, especially if it is accompanied by other suspect symptoms.
Only a qualified physician can accurately diagnose internal hemorrhoids.
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Hemorrhoid Medication: When Why And Which Ones To Use
A number of OTC creams, ointments, and pads that contain hydrocortisone or witch hazel are available to help relieve pain, swelling, and itching caused by hemorrhoids. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, doctors recommend using over-the-counter products for a week. If symptoms persist beyond a week, follow up with your doctor.
Creams and suppositories containing hydrocortisone can cause the skin to weaken and thin, so they should not be used for more than a week. If any of these creams cause a rash or dry skin around the area, contact your healthcare provider.
A fiber supplement, such as Metamucil , or a stool softener, such as Citrucel , can help prevent constipation.
Avoid laxatives, which can lead to diarrhea and worsen hemorrhoid symptoms.
Why Do Hemorrhoids Bleed
Even though internal, external, and thrombosed hemorrhoids are all slightly different, one of the commonalities between them is possible bleeding as a symptom. Bleeding can occur for a variety of reasons, but the main reason is due to straining during a bowel movement when swollen, inflamed hemorrhoids are subjected to excessive straining, the surface of the hemorrhoid can become damaged and start to bleed. This can also happen when a person is constipated and has dry, hard stools. Because of pressure from pooling blood, thrombosed hemorrhoids can actually burst and cause significant bleeding as well.
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Chamomile Oil For Reducing Hemorrhoid Pain And Inflammation
Chamomile oil is one of the best essential oil to relieve pain and inflammation, including hemorrhoid pain.
A 2014 report on many studies into the healing properties of chamomile essential oil found that it can be used to treat hemorrhoids. Topical preparations containing chamomile oil can reduce anal inflammation caused by hemorrhoids.10
Anal Fissures: Small Tears
Unusual bowel movements, including hard stools and diarrhea, can cause the tender lining of the anus to tear. These tears are called anal fissures. In addition to constipation and diarrhea, other risk factors for fissures include having inflammatory bowel disease, being overweight or being of an advanced age.
Anal fissures are painful. They especially hurt when passing stool, and the pain can last for hours afterward. It is often experienced as a throbbing sensation.
Fissures can also itch uncomfortably. Plus, you may notice blood when you wipe or spot blood in the toilet bowl.
To see a diagram of a fissure, watch the video “Anal Fissure–3D Medical Animation.”
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Medical Procedures For Hemorrhoids That Wont Go Away
If hemorrhoids don’t go away with home treatments, medical procedures may be necessary.
If you visit your doctor with painful external hemorrhoids those located around the outside of the anus that are visible from the outside your doctor may offer to excise them during the office visit. You will be given a shot with a local anesthetic to numb the area before the procedure.
Doctor’s office procedures for internal hemorrhoids those located inside the rectum may include:
Rubber Band Ligation This is the most commonly performed hemorrhoid procedure in the United States. In this procedure, which can be used for grades 1, 2, and 3 internal hemorrhoids , the doctor places a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid, which can be done when your doctor performs an anoscopy examination to better visualize the hemorrhoids. The rubber band cuts off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply.
The procedure typically causes the hemorrhoid to shrink and fall off within about a week, though several short visits to your doctor may be necessary to completely get rid of the hemorrhoid. Minor bleeding and a feeling of pressure may occur, but this can usually be alleviated with OTC pain relievers. This procedure is not associated with significant recovery time.
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How To Naturally Treat Bleeding Hemorrhoids
Home Remedies to Stop Bleeding Hemorrhoids Witch Hazel. Liquid extracts of the witch hazel plant can temporarily shrink hemorrhoids and relieve problematic symptoms, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Stay Clean. Mayo Clinic emphasizes the importance of cleanliness for healing hemorrhoids. Fiber Supplements. Sitz Bath. Over-the-Counter Treatments.
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How A Doctor Can Help
Doctors can recommend medical treatments and procedures that can reduce or get rid of hemorrhoids. Some of these procedures can be done right in a doctors office and involve very little discomfort.
- Medicated creams/ointments. If an OTC hemorrhoid cream isnt enough, doctors can prescribe stronger creams and ointments.
- Minimally-invasive procedures. There are some minimally-invasive procedures that a doctor can do in their office or in an ambulatory surgery center that typically doesnt require anesthesia or long recovery times. Some of these procedures include rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy injections, and laser/infrared coagulation treatments.
- Thrombectomy. For severe cases that develop blood clots and cause a lot of pain, your doctor can perform an external hemorrhoid thrombectomy to remove the hemorrhoid. Thrombectomies are most effective when performed no more than 72 hours after severe symptoms emerge.
- Surgery. There are several surgical options available when other treatments and procedures havent worked or if you have very large hemorrhoids. If youve struggled to find relief, talk to your doctor to learn if surgery is right for you.
Questions To Ask Your Doctor
- Why do I have hemorrhoids?
- Are there any lifestyle changes I can do that can relieve or prevent hemorrhoids?
- I saw blood on toilet paper. Is this serious?
- Are having hemorrhoids a sign of another health condition?
- Will I always have hemorrhoids?
- Is there medicine I can take for hemorrhoids? Are there side effects?
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How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last
How long hemorrhoids last will vary from person to person.
In general, small hemorrhoids can go away on their own in a few days. Larger hemorrhoids, particularly ones that cause a lot of pain, swelling, and itchiness, cant go away on their own and may require treatment from a doctor to heal. Pregnant patients may find that hemorrhoids only go away after they give birth.
Its possible for hemorrhoids to return after theyve been treated. A gastroenterologist can help recommend solutions if you find youre struggling with hemorrhoids that dont go away or keep coming back.
What Is The Medical Treatment For Rectal Bleeding
The treatment for rectal bleeding depends on the cause and source of the bleeding.
- Regardless of the source of bleeding, treatment of significant blood loss will begin by stabilizing the patients condition.
- Initially, medical professionals will provide oxygen to the patient and monitor the heart. An IV will be started to administer fluids and for a possible blood transfusion.
- Further treatment options will depend on the suspected source of bleeding. A general surgeon, gastroenterologist, or ulcerative colitis specialist will likely become involved in the treatment plan.
- Admission to the hospital is required when a marked amount of blood loss has occurred, if bleeding has not stopped, or if vital signs have not become normal.
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Modify Your Daily Activities
- Avoid prolonged sitting or standing. Take frequent short walks.
- If possible, avoid lifting heavy objects frequently. If you must lift heavy objects, always exhale as you lift the object. Don’t hold your breath when you lift.
- If you are pregnant, sleeping on your side will lower pressure on the blood vessels in your pelvis. This can help keep hemorrhoids from becoming bigger.
Taking A Sitz Bath In The Bathtub
If youre taking a sitz bath in the bathtub, the first step is to clean the tub.
A plastic sitz bath kit fits over the toilet. Rinse the bath kit with clean water before using it. Then, add very warm but not hot water along with any medications or solutions recommended by your doctor.
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What Medications And Other Products Treat Hemorrhoids
Medications are used to control symptoms by softening the stool, decreasing the inflammation of the hemorrhoids, and treating the pain. Stool softeners work by increasing the water and fat content within the stool allowing it to be passed more easily. Docusate sodium is the most often recommended drug in this class .
Inflammation can be controlled with over-the-counter creams or suppositories. Some brand ingredients include low dose topical anesthetics to help with symptoms. Others contain astringents that help shrink the swollen tissues. Both may contain low dose steroids to decrease inflammation. People with diabetes should check with their pharmacist or health care professional before using OTC hemorrhoid treatments. If the medication contains a vasoconstrictor it may elevate blood sugar levels if absorbed in large amounts. Prescription-strength lidocaine or hydrocortisone may be offered by the health care professional.
Grade 2 and 3 hemorrhoids are initially treated the same way, using techniques to destroy hemorrhoids. These include injecting the hemorrhoid vein to make it sclerose or harden, using rubber bands to choke off the blood supply and make the hemorrhoidal tissue shrivel, or other procedures that cause the mucosa to shrivel and die.
How To Cure Internal Hemorrhoids
For cure and avoidance of internal hemorrhoids, it is advised to increase the amount of water that a person drinks daily, because it helps to make the consistency of the stool a smoother and easier effect on the abscess, and it is also advised to exercise regularly and avoid sitting for long periods, especially on hard surfaces such as concrete or tiles, and it is also recommended to eat foods that It contains a high proportion of dietary fibers such as flour, pears, and carrots.
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Can Natural Home Remedies Treat And Prevent Hemorrhoids
Regardless of the size or swelling of a hemorrhoid, no treatment is required if symptoms do not exist. Prevention is perhaps the most effective treatment. Diet and adequate hydration are very important to maintain normal bowel movements. Hemorrhoid symptoms can occur with the passage of hard stool and constipation, as well as diarrhea and frequent bowel movements. People with constipation may require a high-fiber diet, adequate hydration, and stool softeners. Those with too frequent bowel movements may require antidiarrheal medications and diet adjustments. These preventive measures decrease the amount of straining that is required to have a bowel movement, thus decreasing the pressure within the blood vessels to prevent swelling. The internal hemorrhoid always stays protruded or prolapsed and is at risk for thrombosis or strangulation should the anal muscles go into spasm.
Grade 1 hemorrhoids are treated symptomatically. There can be some spasm of the anal muscles. Warm sitz baths, sitting in a warm tub for 20 minutes, two or three times a day may be helpful. Avoiding spicy food may also prevent anal itching. Over-the-counter medications may be helpful.