When Exactly Is The Right Time To Do This
It is perfectly okay to head to your hemorrhoid doctor if you experience hemorrhoids irrespective of the extent of the pain and location of the hemorrhoid.
However, due to how common hemorrhoids are, many people will often elect to try some self-medications that are usually effective in controlling and treating the condition.
External hemorrhoids can very painful especially if they become thrombosed .
If your hemorrhoids do not shrink or relief you after a few applications with everyday solutions like Tuck pads or Witch hazel pads, it just might be time to go to see your doctor.
If you experience any type of rectal bleeding, and pass stool that look maroon in color, it is a sign of continued bleeding and a Doctor should be visited in this case also.
If you initially developed an internal hemorrhoid and the lump inside the anus enlarges or becomes more painful it is best to see a doctor.
You should also consult on your hemorrhoids when a tissue from inside the anal canal bulges out. This is called a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
If it does not return or you cannot push it back in manually, you should immediately see a doctor.
Hemorrhoid Treatment At Home
Hemorrhoid symptoms can be quite uncomfortable but there are several treatments you can do at home that may help relieve the pain and discomfort.
Take a warm bath or sitz bath for 10 to 15 minutes after each bowel movement.
Clean around your anal area gently each day with warm water.
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.
You may help prevent hemorrhoids from forming or from worsening with some lifestyle changes as well. They include:
Dont while moving your bowels.
Limit the amount of time sitting on the toilet.
Increase fiber in your diet. Fiber helps give stool bulk so it can be moved through your intestines, and it also helps water remain in the stool so it doesnt get too dry and difficult to pass.
Increase fluid intake. Drink 6 to 8 glasses of water and other liquids to help keep your stool soft.
Exercise regularly. This will help regulate and stimulate your bowels.
Apply topical ointments. Over-the-counter creams and suppositories can help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
Complications Of Rectal Prolapse
- Ulcers in the rectum. These can lead to bleeding.
- A prolapse that cant be pushed back into the rectum. Emergency treatment is necessary in this case because the blood supply to the prolapse will be cut off, resulting in pain.
- Damage to the muscles and nerves in the sphincter. These can worsen fecal incontinence.
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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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A Physical Exam Is Usually Done To Make A Hemorrhoids Diagnosis
Hemorrhoids may feel embarrassing to address, which is why many people try to diagnose themselves and avoid seeing a healthcare provider. However, its important to see a healthcare provider to get a proper diagnosis and treatment. Hemorrhoids can have symptoms similar to other, more serious conditions, and those should be ruled out before assuming symptoms are from hemorrhoid. In most cases, hemorrhoids can be easily diagnosed with a history and a physical exam.
If I Need Surgery To Remove Hemorrhoids What Are My Options
If your symptoms dont respond to more conservativetreatments, you have options.
Noninvasive options include:
- Electrocoagulation, a minimally invasive procedure that can treat multiple hemorrhoids at the same time. This is also called the HET procedure.
- Doppler-guided hemorrhoid arterial ligation, which uses a special attachment to pinpoint the hemorrhoidal vessels and cut off the blood supply. This procedure is performed under anesthesia.
- A hemorrhoidectomy may be necessary for very large internal and external hemorrhoids or those that are acutely inflamed or thrombosed, Dr. Zutshi says. It involves cutting out the hemorrhoid tissue, which can be painful, especially during recovery. But there are less painful options available.
- Hemorrhoid stapling, in which a surgeon uses a special stapler to cut off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. This kind of hemorrhoidectomy is thought to be less painful.
Which treatment is best will depend on yoursymptoms and your expectations, Dr. Zutshi says, and those should be discussedwith your doctor.
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Do You Really Have Hemorrhoids
Many people who experience pain, irritation or anything outof the ordinary in the anal region probably assume its a hemorrhoid. But dontgo reaching for the medicated cream or pads just yet. Manyother conditions could be the culprit, including anal fissure, analwarts, an infection, anal cancer in serious cases, or even just a cut.
Work with a doctor to rule out those things and determinewhat treatment you need.
How Do Doctors Treat Hemorrhoids
Doctors can treat hemorrhoids by prescribing medications or by performing minor surgery to major surgery. Here are several treatment options:
These usually contain an emollient . In addition, there may be an anesthetic and/or steroid . Prescription strength medications often work better than their over-the-counter cousins. But sometimes not so much.
An oral tablet called Vasculera comes with some prescription treatment kits and also helps reduce the size of hemorrhoids.
In this common treatment, the doctor applies miniature rubber bands to the internal hemorrhoids. This causes them to shrink up, stop bleeding and pull back inside. There are several different techniques for performing the procedure.
In one form, single bands are applied once a week for several weeks. This is done as an outpatient in the doctors office. Multiple bands can also be placed right after a colonoscopy or other endoscopic procedure while you are still sedated. This would be done in an outpatient surgery center or hospital procedure room. Bands can also be placed without another procedure.
Depending on the doctor and your individual situation, it could be with or without sedation. While rubber band ligation works for most patients, it doesnt work all the time. Also, there are some potential complications bleeding, pain and infection. Recovery can range from a day or 2 to 6 weeks.
The advantages include:
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Why Shouldnt I Pop A Hemorrhoid
Hemorrhoids, even when theyre large and outside of your anus, are very difficult to see yourself. As a result, theres no way to know what you are actually doing when attempting to pop one. This also makes it very easy to accidentally injure the delicate tissue surrounding your anal area. However, not all skin lesions around the anus are hemorrhoids. Its important to not self-diagnose. This can lead to a delay in the proper diagnosis and treatment of other conditions, like anal cancer.
In addition, your anal area is exposed to lots of bacteria from both bowel movements and the skin. An open wound in this area, including the type that would result from popping a hemorrhoid, is very vulnerable to infection.
Popping a hemorrhoid can also be extremely painful, both when you pop it and during the healing process.
What Is The Difference Between A Colon And Rectal Surgeon And A Gastroenterologist
Although there are some similarities between colon rectal surgery and gastroenterology, the differences are extremely important. In a nutshell, Surgeons do everything a Gastroenterologist does, but more. For example, a Surgeon will repair or correct your condition or symptoms whereas a Gastroenterologist must refer you to a surgeon. Lastly, Surgeons operate and Gastroenterologists do not although, surgery is a last-resort option and we instead prefer to defer to less invasive options.
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In Most Cases You Won’t Know They’re There But If Things Change Home Remedies Often Help
You received good news after your last colonoscopy: no cancer or precancerous polyps. But with the good news came with a surprise finding: though you don’t have symptoms, you do have diverticulosis and hemorrhoids. The news may be puzzling, but don’t worry. “Both conditions are common and usually don’t cause any problems,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital.
What Are The Risks Of Treatments For Hemorrhoids
Most nonsurgical treatments have few risks. Possible problems may include:
- Pain or discomfort. For some people, the pain may be so bad that they will not be able to do their normal activities for a day or so.
- Bleeding, which may require another doctor visit to treat.
- Temporary trouble urinating because of pain. If you are completely unable to urinate, you’ll need treatment.
- Infection or abscess.
Rubber band ligation appears to cause more pain than other types of nonsurgical procedures. Infrared photocoagulation usually causes fewer side effects.
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What If Ive Already Popped It
If youve already popped a hemorrhoid, its important to take steps to reduce your risk of infection. See your doctor as soon as possible so you can be properly evaluated and treated. They can make sure there are no complications. A sitz bath, which involves soaking the area in a few inches of warm water, may help with discomfort temporarily. Read how to do this.
After soaking for about 20 minutes, gently pat the area dry with a clean towel, making sure you dont scrub.
Youll also want to look out for signs of a possible infection and report them to your doctor. Signs of possible infection include:
- heat or redness
However, its best to see a doctor as soon as possible to avoid more complications and to ensure you receive a proper diagnosis and treatment.
If youve got a hemorrhoid thats causing pain or discomfort, resist the urge to pop it. There are plenty of other things you can do at home for relief without added risk.
Start by gently cleaning the area and reducing inflammation:
Next, try to soften your stools to keep your digestive system in good working order to reduce your risk of further irritating or damaging a bleeding hemorrhoid. Here are some tips:
When To Seek Medical Care For Hemorrhoids
When to call the doctor
- Bleeding from the rectum or anus is never normal and although hemorrhoids are the most common reason to have blood in the stool, it should be discussed with your primary health-care professional. Other causes ofrectal bleeding exist and can be serious. Inflammatory bowel disease and cancers of the colon can present with rectal bleeding. Blood in the stool should never be ignored.
- Medical care should be sought urgently if a person is taking anticoagulation medications such as warfarin , dabigatran , rivaroxiban , apixaban , clopidogrel , prasugrel or enoxaparin .
- Individuals who have associated symptoms such as lightheadedness and weakness may have significant blood loss and may require more urgent care.
- Hemorrhoids do not cause abdominal pain should this pain be present with bleeding, medical care should be sought immediately.
- Prolapsed hemorrhoids that cannot be pushed back through the anus require medical care.
- Thrombosed external hemorrhoids may cause significant pain and medical care may be necessary to remove the clot.
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Common Causes Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are common, and although theyre often associated with constipation and pregnancy, these arent the only causes. Although the precise mechanism isnt known, theres a correlation between increased pressure on the area, and thinning of tissues that contribute to creating the swollen veins that make up hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can be caused by:
- Constipation Chronic constipation can cause you to strain, but even when you do pass stools, they can be very hard and dehydrated, putting pressure on the delicate tissues of your anus.
- Severe straining The action of straining hard on the toilet can cause pressure in the anal area.
- Obesity Obesity and sitting down for long periods of time are both risk factors for hemorrhoids, as it bears increased pressure on the anus.
- Aging As you become older, the tissues supporting the blood supply to the anus weaken and begin to stretch, making you more susceptible to developing hemorrhoids.
- Pregnancy As the pregnancy progresses, the weight of the baby puts pressure on the anal region, making hemorrhoids more likely.
Many of these risk factors can be alleviated by drinking plenty of water, exercising, and eating a healthy diet rich in fiber to aid digestion.
Prevention Tips & How To Find Relief
There are many different treatment options for patients looking for at-home solutions. Smaller hemorrhoids can be successfully treated at home through a combination of dietary changes and OTC medicines.
- Get more fiber in your diet. Eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help ease digestion. If you have trouble changing your diet, talk to your doctor and ask if a fiber supplement may work for you. Drinking more water can also help.
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers and hemorrhoid creams. Oral pain relievers containing acetaminophen and ibuprofen can help reduce discomfort. Topical creams can also relieve pain and itching.
- Soak in a sitz bath. A sitz bath involves sitting in a warm, shallow bath for 10 to 15 minutes to promote blood flow and keep the perianal area clean. Some manufacturers make sitz bath apparatuses that can be attached directly to a toilet seat, but you can also use a regular bathtub.
- Sit on a donut cushion. Donut-shaped cushions can help reduce the pressure on your tailbone when sitting. Cushions like these can help alleviate anal pain and discomfort, especially for patients who spend most of their day sitting at work.
- Limit your time on the toilet. Sitting on the toilet for too long can increase pressure in the veins in your anus and rectum, which can lead to hemorrhoids. Dont stay on the toilet for longer than you need toit may help to keep your phone out of the bathroom and remove any magazines or books that you keep nearby.
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How Do Doctors Check For Hemorrhoids
There are many methods for diagnosing hemorrhoids. Your Doctor may be able to tell that you have an external hemorrhoid by simply looking while internal hemorrhoids can be diagnosed by using a few procedures to examine your rectum and anal canal.
One of the ways of checking for internal hemorrhoids is by digital examination .
In this procedure, your doctor will put some medical gloves on and insert a lubricated finger into your rectum.
Your doctor will then proceed to see if there is anything unusual such as lump and growths and the result from this examination will suggest if there is need for further testing.
A visual inspection may be needed in some cases as internal hemorrhoids are often very soft. During a visual exam, an anoscope, sigmidoscope or proctoscope may be used.