Hemorrhoid Treatment At Home
Hemorrhoid symptoms can be uncomfortable but there are several at-home remedies may help relieve the pain and discomfort. These include:
- Take a warm bath or sitz bath for 10 to 15 minutes after each bowel movement.
- Clean your anal area gently with warm water each day.
- Do not use alcohol-based or perfumed cleaning wipes around your anus. These cause drying and irritation.
- Moisten toilet tissue before using it to clean after a bowel movement.
- Apply cold compresses to your anus.
- Use stool softeners.
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers, including acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen or naproxen.
Are Bleeding Hemorrhoids Dangerous
For the most part, hemorrhoids are not dangerous. You may not even know you have them unless you see blood or feel a lump or stiffness around your anus.
However, do not take your hemorrhoids for granted, particularly if you have bleeding hemorrhoids. Not everything that causes blood in your stool is harmless, for example, colorectal cancer. You should see a hemorrhoid doctor or general practitioner as soon as possible.
Hemorrhoids do not cause cancer. However, cancer can cause many of the same symptoms as hemorrhoids, including bleeding.
How Do I Know If What I Have Is A Hemorrhoid Or Something Else
The way to be absolutely sure is to visit a gastroenterologist who can properly examine your condition. After all, its all too easy to confuse the symptoms of a hemorrhoid with that of an anal fissure or something more serious.
Overall, its worth remembering that the pain of a hemorrhoid is pretty much constant whereas the pain of an anal fissure is at its highest just after passing a stool . A hemorrhoid often involves a lot more swelling around the area. But to absolutely be certain, Id recommend getting it examined by a medical professional.
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Seek An Experienced Specialist
While you want a specialist who works with the most cutting-edge treatments, you also want someone who has the experience to know what will work based on the details of your specific case. According to the American Board of Surgery, this is not a general practitioner. General practitioners may only see a few cases a year, and general surgeons may only see a few hemorrhoidectomies, fistulotomies, and other similar procedures each year. Without regularly handling these conditions, the rate of misdiagnosis or improper treatment is much higher.
This again highlights the benefits of choosing a specialist, and one who has extensive colorectal surgical experience such as that required to obtain board certification. This experience improves the outcome every step of the way, from routine screenings, to prescribing the right medical treatments, to performing surgery when necessary.
Nonsurgical Treatment For Hemorrhoids
- Dietary planning. Your doctor may recommend that you include more water and high-fiber foods in your diet to promote good bowel habits, which can reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids.
- Medications. For mild cases of hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend treatment using creams, suppositories, ointments, or medicated pads.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids
Seeing blood in your toilet bowl after a bowel movement is no doubt alarming, but its one of the main symptoms of hemorrhoids. Other symptoms include:
- Bright red blood on toilet paper or in your stool after a bowel movement
- Itching in the anal area
- Pain in the anal area, especially when sitting
- Pain during bowel movements
- One or more hard, painful lumps around the anus
If you experience any of these hemorrhoid symptoms, avoid excess straining, rubbing, or cleaning around the anus, which can make irritation and itching worse, and can even lead to bleeding. In addition, try to pat the area dry instead of wiping it.
What Treatment Methods Are Used By Hemorrhoid Specialists
A visual examination by a primary care doctor is often enough to diagnose a simple case of hemorrhoids, which can then be treated by using:
- corticosteroid cream, which can help to reduce swelling and pain
- hemorrhoid cream containing lidocaine, which helps to reduce pain
- stool softeners designed to minimise straining and constipation
Other useful home treatments include:
- applying witch hazel with a cotton swab
- wearing cotton underwear
- avoiding perfumed and coloured toilet tissue
- avoiding scratching the area
- using a warm-water Sitz bath to relieve the symptoms
In more complex cases, these treatments may not be enough to cure the problem. Where surgery is a recommended option, it will usually involve one of these procedures:
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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. Dont 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.
When Is It Time To See Your Doctor
While most people think of hemorrhoids as a minor problem, they can be very painful, explains Dr. Buzas. Knowing when to treat conditions such as hemorrhoids on your own and when its better to seek help can help you avoid unnecessary complications.If youre experiencing any of the following situations related to your hemorrhoids, make an appointment to see your doctor:
- You experience rectal bleeding or see bright red blood on your toilet paper.
- You have pain and discomfort in your rectum or anus.
- Youve tried over-the-counter remedies for more than one week without relieving your symptoms.
- You have bowel movements that are maroon or dark like tar in color, which can be a sign of bleeding.
If your rectal bleeding wont stop and you feel dizzy or faint, you should consider it a medical emergency that warrants a trip to the emergency room.When you see your doctor for hemorrhoids, youll first discuss your symptoms. Be sure to answer any questions directly and honestly, to get the best diagnosis. Your doctor will then examine you for external hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhoids and other potential issues.
Getting your hemorrhoids checked out is no different than and as important as getting a routine colonoscopy, Pap test, mammogram or prostate exam, Dr. Buzas notes. Theres no reason to be reluctant or delay your care.
Talk to a general physician to understand which doctor you need for hemorrhoid management.
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Essential Orgs For Hemorrhoid Information
This site provides a comprehensive review of what hemorrhoids are, what causes them, and how to treat them. In cases when pain is severe and hemorrhoids aren’t healing with at-home treatment, in-office treatment by a healthcare provider is necessary. This can involve surgical and nonsurgical options.
The Mayo Clinic offers trusted guidance on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hemorrhoids. You can also find answers to specific questions about home remedies and hemorrhoid treatment during pregnancy.
Different Kinds Of Hemorrhoids Can Cause Similar Symptoms
When internal hemorrhoids do progress, they will often protrude outside the anus, becoming prolapsed hemorrhoids. You can read about prolapsed hemorrhoids in several of our blog posts: Prolapsed Internal Hemorrhoids, What is a Prolapsed Hemorrhoid, and Rectal Prolapse or Hemorrhoids?). An internal hemorrhoid that has reached this stage can cause some external hemorrhoid-like symptoms, such as itchiness and swelling. Since prolapsed hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids can cause similar symptoms, its sometimes difficult to know which is which without a doctors professional diagnosis. It is also not uncommon for both to be present at once.
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If Discomfort From Hemorrhoids Isnt Resolved Within A Week
When youve had persistent discomfort, pain, or itching for a week, its time to talk to a doctor. While some symptoms of hemorrhoids resolve on their own, others do not and can be treated by a doctor, so you dont have to live with the daily symptoms. Your doctor can recommend treatments that range from the conservative, like dietary and behavioral changes, or in-office procedures, such as rubber band ligation, to more invasive approaches like surgery.
What Training Does A Proctologist Have
To become a proctologist, you must first become a general surgeon. This includes 5 years of surgical residency after medical school. During their training, the general surgeons learn to perform different types of surgeries, such as hernia surgery, hemorrhoidal surgery, gallbladder surgery, breast surgery, and even vascular surgery. Thereafter, they do an extra year of specialized surgical training in surgeries on the colon, rectum, and anus to practice as a proctologist.
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How Do I Know My Condition Warrants A Doctor Visit
This is one of the most common questions patients with hemorrhoids ask before seeing a doctor.
While all the symptoms of hemorrhoids can be irritating and leave you in serious discomfort, there are some telltale signs that you need to seek the advice of a medical professional.
Here are the signs from hemorrhoids that let you know you need to see a doctor:
- The presence of any type of rectal bleeding While this is common amongst patients with hemorrhoids, there are some underlying conditions that can present with this symptom as well. Because these conditions are more severe, it is important to have your doctor diagnose your hemorrhoids properly to eliminate the idea that there is another condition causing the bleeding.
- Pain or discomfort that cant be ignored
- Persistence of your symptoms despite at-home remedies and over-the-counter treatments
- Black, maroon, or tarry looking stool, this can be a sign of rectal bleeding
What Do Hemorrhoids Look Like
What hemorrhoids look like depends on whether you have internal or external hemorrhoids and if they are prolapsed or thrombosed. Its not possible to see internal hemorrhoids because they are located on the inside of the rectum. They are very similar to varicose veins.
Internal hemorrhoids become visible only when they prolapse and protrude outside the anus. In this case, you will most likely feel a bump, which may or may not be tender. This bump is caused by the swollen veins that have been pushed out of the anal opening.
External hemorrhoids are much easier to diagnose because they are almost always clearly visible. The skin is usually tender, there is swelling and itching. The inflamed lump is often quite painful.
Sometimes you may notice a blue-ish, purple hue. This is often a sign you have thrombosed hemorrhoids. The blue-ish skin tone appears because of a blood clot that has formed inside the swollen blood vessel. These hemorrhoids take longer to clear up and you may need medications to speed up the healing process.
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Symptoms Of Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids can be felt as bulges at the anus, but they usually cause few of the symptoms that are typical of internal hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids can cause problems, however, when blood clots inside them. This is referred to as thrombosis. Thrombosis of such a hemorrhoid causes an anal lump that is
- very painful,
- tender, and
- often requires medical attention.
The thrombosed hemorrhoid may heal with scarring, and leave a tag of skin protruding in the anus. Occasionally, the tag is large, which can make anal hygiene difficult or irritate the anus. Even after such a hemorrhoid goes away, a residual skin tag may remain, and this may need to be surgically removed.
Eat A High Fiber Diet And Drink Plenty Of Fluids
Fiber is excellent for your health in many ways! Hemorrhoids are generally caused by strain on the blood vessels in the anus and rectum. Your first line of defense is to reduce the amount of pressure you put on your body while defecating. If youre not getting enough fiber in your diet, you may want to consider high-fiber supplements.
Fiber keeps your stool softas long as youre drinking enough water. If you are dehydrated, your lower intestine will remove the water it needs from your stool, leaving it compact and difficult to evacuate.
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Signs Its Time To Seek Care For Hemorrhoids
If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911 or seek care at an emergency room.
Hemorrhoids seem to have a stigma to them, but the truth is, we all have them. Its not uncommon for them to become inflamed and cause pain, itching, or bleeding. Many times, hemorrhoids go away on their own, but sometimes a trip to the doctor is necessary for faster relief, peace of mind, and tips to prevent them from coming back.
What Kind Of Doctor Do I Need To See For My Hemorrhoids
A number of medical practitioners and doctors are all experienced and qualified to manage your hemorrhoids.
You may speak to the following types of medical professionals or doctors for hemorrhoids:
- General Practicioner
- General Surgeon
For Pregnant mothers who are prone to experiencing hemorrhoids in their third trimester, a Gynecologist may be the best person to visit considering these hemorrhoids are most likely present due to the increased pressure of pregnancy on the rectal and anal muscles.
Hemorrhoids during pregnancy can be very difficult to deal with. If you are pregnant with hemorrhoids, worry not, our hemorrhoids during pregnancy guide will help you manage your hemorrhoids in the best possible way.
Depending on the treatment, surgery may or may not be required.
A Colorectal surgeon or Proctologist may be required in severe cases that require operating on your hemorrhoids.
Most of these procedures can be performed in the doctors office to help shrink or remove the hemorrhoids.
Laser hemorrhoid surgery is also an option for your hemorrhoids, and you will want to make sure you choose an experienced hemorrhoid doctor when opting for laser hemorrhoid surgery.
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Key Points To Remember
- Home treatments for work for most people: Eat more fiber, drink more fluids, use a stool softener, and use ointments to help your symptoms.
- When home treatments dont work on internal hemorrhoids, fixative procedures may help. These are treatments that involve cutting off the blood flow to the hemorrhoids using rubber bands, lasers, heat, or electrical currents. These procedures are usually less painful than surgery.
- You might consider surgery to remove hemorrhoids for internal hemorrhoids that bulge from the anus or external hemorrhoids that are causing symptoms and have not improved with home treatment.
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How Do You Know If You Have Hemorrhoids
The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are:
- Anal pain/painful bowel movements
- Swelling around the anus
However, these symptoms could also be a sign of something more serious, like anal cancer or polyps. Hemorrhoids also have many symptoms in common with anal fissures, which occur when the skin around the anus is torn. Anal fissures tend to be much more painful than hemorrhoids, however.
Even if youre fairly certain youre dealing with hemorrhoids, its still a good idea to go see a doctor to rule out any serious conditions, especially if youre over the age of 50.
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Hemorrhoids Treatment: Rubber Band Ligation
The principle of rubber band ligation is to encircle the base of the hemorrhoidal clump with a tight rubber band. The tissue cut off by the rubber band dies, and is replaced by an ulcer that heals with scarring.
A similar procedure was described in 460 BC by the Greek physician Hippocrates:
And hemorrhoids you may treat by transfixing them with a needle and tying them with very thick and woolen thread, for application, and do not foment until they drop off, and always leave one behind and when the patient recovers, let him be put on a course of Hellebore.
Rubber band ligation can be used with first-, second-, and third-degree hemorrhoids, and may be more effective than sclerotherapy. Symptoms frequently recur several years later, but usually can be treated with further ligation.
The most common complication of ligation is pain. However, bleeding one or two weeks after ligation or bacterial infection in the tissues surrounding the hemorrhoids may occur.
With These Treatments Hemorrhoid Symptoms Often Go Away Within A Week
Hemorrhoid surgery is safe and effective most of the time. If your doctor sees indications of a more complicated case of hemorrhoids or a more serious condition, they may refer you to a specialist like a gastroenterologist or a colon and rectal surgeon. During a traditional hemorrhoidectomy, a narrow incision is made around the hemorrhoids to cut out the swollen tissue. Learn the symptoms, causes, and treatments of hemorrhoids. Mary mcmahon individuals who experience recurrent hemorrhoids may find it useful to see a hemorrhoid specialist. He or she feels for anything unusual, such as growths. Additionally, you should meet with your doctor to discuss this bleeding. In most cases, your family doctor or primary care physician can help you manage hemorrhoids. You can discuss with a hemorrhoids specialist about your hemorrhoids related to severe conditions such as pain, clotting, and bleeding. If youve already popped a hemorrhoid, its important to take steps to reduce your risk of infection. General surgery 31 years experience colorectal surgeon: Removing the clot within the first 48 hours often gives the most relief, so request a timely appointment with your. Hemorrhoids are a very common problem.
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