When Do Hemorrhoids Require Medical Intervention
Your hemorrhoids can be an embarrassing topic to discuss with anyone, even your doctor. But hemorrhoids are common and affect 5% of adults in the United States every year, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Its estimated, in fact, that as many as three in four adults will experience problems with hemorrhoids at some point in their lives.
Though you can find many treatments for hemorrhoids at your local pharmacy, home remedies dont help everyone. At Rivas Digestive Center, located in Hollywood, Florida, our expert gastroenterologist, Dr. John Rivas, wants you to know when its time to get medical help for your hemorrhoids.
How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Hemorrhoids
You should see your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or interfere with your daily life or sleep. Also seek help if signs dont improve after a week of at-home treatments. Your provider may treat hemorrhoids with:
- Rubber band ligation: A small rubber band placed around the base of a hemorrhoid cuts off blood supply to the vein.
- Electrocoagulation: An electric current stops blood flow to a hemorrhoid.
- Infrared coagulation: A small probe inserted into the rectum transmits heat to get rid of the hemorrhoid.
- Sclerotherapy: A chemical injected into the swollen vein destroys hemorrhoid tissue.
Surgical treatments include:
- Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgery removes large external hemorrhoids or prolapsed internal ones.
- Hemorrhoid stapling: A stapling instrument removes an internal hemorrhoid. Or it pulls a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid back inside the anus and holds it there.
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.
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When Should You Visit A Doctor For Hemorrhoid Treatment
Hemorrhoids may be managed by lifestyle modifications, such as drinking plenty of fluids, having a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables, and maintaining a healthy weight. This is especially true in the case of small and uncomplicated hemorrhoids in people with good general health. Sitz baths with warm water and potassium permanganate will also help. If you have the following symptoms you must take the doctorÃ¢s help right away:
- Hard, tender lumps felt at the bottom
- Anal pain, especially while sitting
- Bleeding from the rectum observed as bright red blood in the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement
- A bulging or swelling may be felt through the anus in case of a prolapsed hemorrhoid
- You have tried over the counter medications for more than a week, but there is no relief of symptoms
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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What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get hemorrhoids?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to keep from getting hemorrhoids again?
- When will symptoms improve?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
An estimated 15 million Americans have sought treatments for hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. But many more suffer needlessly. Dont be too embarrassed to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. If hemorrhoids cause pain or discomfort, your provider has treatments that can help. You can also take steps to keep hemorrhoids from coming back.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.
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 Do You Know You Have Them
We classify problematic internal haemorrhoids as fitting into four grades. Grade one haemorrhoids have no prolapse and are usually painless. Bleeding may be the only symptom.
Grade two are more uncomfortable and do prolapse. But this resolves on its own. Grade three are more severe, with a prolapse that will not resolve on its own but can be manually pushed back inside.
Grade four haemorrhoids have prolapsed and cannot be pushed back manually. They are usually the most painful type.
Haemorrhoids can often be confused with anal skin tags, which are benign growths of excess skin around the anal canal.
The only way to know for sure if you have haemorrhoids is to have a rectal examination by your doctor, which involves inspection of the anus at rest and during straining. An instrument that visually inspects the rectum such as a proctoscope or a colonoscope can confirm internal haemorrhoids.
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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Change In Bowel Habits
With a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid you may develop the sensation that you cant fully evacuate your bowels. You may also notice a mucous discharge or difficulty cleaning yourself following a bowel movement because of displaced toilet tissue.
These symptoms can be uncomfortable but easily treated with medical intervention.
Discomfort Itching And Irritation In The Anal Region
Theres really no reason to try and live with your hemorrhoids until the pain becomes severe enough to disrupt your life. Many effective nonsurgical treatments exist that can resolve your hemorrhoids, including:
The highly effective IRC method utilizes infrared light delivered via a small probe to painlessly coagulate the blood vessels supplying your hemorrhoid. As the blood flow is blocked, the enlarged hemorrhoidal tissue shrinks and your symptoms resolve.
Rubber band ligation
This method also blocks blood flow to the hemorrhoidal tissue, which eventually causes the hemorrhoid to wither and die. Its admittedly more painful overall than IRC and may cause bleeding, but it remains an effective, nonsurgical solution for treating hemorrhoids.
You can rely on Dr. Clemens to focus first on diagnosing your condition correctly and then recommending the most conservative and effective hemorrhoid treatment available, including tips that help prevent hemorrhoids from recurring. Schedule your appointment today at Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center.
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Common Hemorrhoid Symptoms To Watch For
The following signs and symptoms may indicate hemorrhoids:
- Bright red blood on toilet paper, in stool, or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement
- Anal itching
- Pain around the anus, especially while sitting
- Pain during bowel movements
- One or more hard, painful lumps around the anus
If you have any symptoms of hemorrhoids, try to avoid excessive straining, rubbing, or cleaning around the anus.
Doing these things can make any irritation and itching worse, and can sometimes lead to bleeding.
Why Is A Hemorrhoidectomy Performed
Hemorrhoids are fairly common, affecting nearly three out of four adults at some point in their lives. Most people are able to use noninvasive methods to manage symptoms. When those dont work, hemorrhoidectomy can be an effective treatment.
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Hemorrhoids: Symptoms Causes And Treatment
ByIris Tsepublished 4 October 18
Hemorrhoids are cushions made of blood vessels, connective tissue and muscle located on the anal canal. Functioning hemorrhoids help maintain fecal continence and ensure that no liquid escapes through the sphincter at the end of the digestive tract.
All people have hemorrhoidal tissue as part of their normal anatomy, according to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Only in a minority of people do hemorrhoids become enlarged or otherwise symptomatic.
“We believe the normal function of hemorrhoids is to prevent accidental leakage of stool,” said Dr. Syed Husain, a colorectal surgeon at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. “They are present in everyone, but in some cases they get enlarged, and then they start causing symptoms.”
The exact prevalence of enlarged hemorrhoids is hard to measure because many opt for over-the-counter treatments instead of visiting the doctor. In the United States, about 10 million people 4.4 percent of the population self-report evidence of hemorrhoids each year, while doctors annually identify hemorrhoids in about 2.2 million outpatient evaluations, researchers reported in 2016 in the journal Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery. Caucasians suffer from a higher incidence of hemorrhoids than African-Americans, and increased prevalence of hemorrhoids is associated with higher socioeconomic status, doctors wrote in the report.
How Are Hemorrhoids Treated
Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on:
- Your age, overall health, and past health
- How serious your case is
- Whether you have internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids, or both
- How well you handle certain medicines, treatments, or therapies
- If your condition is expected to get worse
- What you would like to do
The main goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms. This may be done by:
- Sitting in plain, warm water in a bathtub several times a day
- Using ice packs to reduce swelling
- Using hemorrhoid creams or medicines inserted into your rectum
Your healthcare provider may also suggest that you add more fiber and fluids to your diet to help soften your stools. Having softer stools means you don’t have to strain during bowel movements. This reduces the pressure on your hemorrhoids.
Adding more fiber to your diet means eating more:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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Can Hemorrhoids Be Prevented Or Avoided
Just about everyone has hemorrhoids at some time. But some things may make you more likely to get them. People whose parents had hemorrhoids may be more likely to get them. Pregnant women often get hemorrhoids because of the strain from carrying the baby and from giving birth. Being very overweight or standing or lifting too much can make hemorrhoids worse.
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Research And Statistics: Who Gets Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are very common in both men and women, affecting about 1 in 20 Americans. The most common time to get hemorrhoids is between ages 45 and 65. Hemorrhoids are also common in pregnant women.
By age 50, about half of us have experienced hemorrhoid symptoms, such as itching, bleeding, and rectal pain. At any given time, about 10 million Americans roughly 4 percent of adults have hemorrhoids. Its estimated that 75 percent of Americans will have hemorrhoids at some point in their lives.
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Who May Need A Hemorrhoidectomy
Typically, a hemorrhoidectomy is reserved for only the most severe cases of hemorrhoids. Because hemorrhoidectomy surgery is quite invasive, the procedure tends to be viewed as a last resort for hemorrhoid treatment. A hemorrhoidectomy might be recommended for those who continue experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms despite trying other methods of therapy, such as dietary changes.
While most people with hemorrhoids do not require a hemorrhoidectomy, the surgical procedure might be right for you if less invasive measures have not worked.
Other reasons to get a hemorrhoidectomy include:
- Extremely severe cases of hemorrhoids that cause a lot of intense discomfort
- Internal hemorrhoids that are strangulated trapped inside the anal muscles
- External hemorrhoids that are swollen because of a blood clot
- The presence of both external and internal hemorrhoids
- Surgery is already needed for a different anorectal condition
Additional factors such as overall health, age and recovery outlook following surgery should also be taken into account when considering a hemorrhoidectomy. Be sure to consider the many nonsurgical hemorrhoid remedies available to you before resorting to a hemorrhoidectomy.
What Causes Rectal Cancer
Rectal cancer usually develops over several years, first growing as a precancerous growth called a polyp. Some polyps have the ability to turn into cancer and begin to grow and penetrate the wall of the rectum. The actual cause of rectal cancer is unclear. However, the following are risk factors for developing rectal cancer:
- Increasing age
- Family history of colon or rectal cancer
- High-fat diet and/or a diet mostly from animal sources
- Personal or family history of polyps or colorectal cancer
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Family history is a factor in determining the risk of rectal cancer. If a family history of colorectal cancer is present in a first-degree relative , then endoscopy of the colon and rectum should begin 10 years before the age of the relatives diagnosis or at age 50 years, whichever comes first. An often forgotten risk factor, but perhaps the most important, is the lack of screening for rectal cancer. Routine cancer screening of the colon and rectum is the best way to prevent rectal cancer.
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Easy Ways To Prevent Hemorrhoids
There are a number of easy, healthy ways to incorporate more fiber into your diet. Fiber-filled foods include fruits such as berries, avocados, and pears . Broccoli, artichokes, and Brussels sprouts are among the vegetables that can up your fiber intake. Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal, are also an important source. Legumes, including lentils, various beans, and green peas, are a great way to get fiber. Nuts and seeds make for a great fiber-filled snack, too.
If you’re having trouble getting enough fiber in your regular diet, consider a fiber supplement.
If you experience chronic constipation and suspect that may be contributing to your hemorrhoids, avoid eating too many foods that contain little or no fiber, such as cheese and fast and processed foods.
Drink plenty of water and other fluids. Recommendations for daily water intake vary and depend on the individual, but the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies has set adequate intake levels at 2.7 liters for men and approximately 3.7 liters for women. This can come from beverages and food, but caffeinated beverages and alcohol can be dehydrating and should not be counted in reaching this intake goal.
Exercise regularly. Exercise, especially 20 to 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity a day, can help keep bowel movements regular. And regular exercise may help you lose weight, which may be contributing to the formation of hemorrhoids.
Other tips for preventing hemorrhoids include:
What Is Haemorrhoid Cream
Haemorrhoid cream is an acute treatment for itching, burning, and irritation caused by haemorrhoids. Its usually a short-term treatment for the ailment. Addressing the root cause for haemorrhoids is the ideal way to prevent future occurrences.
Typical medicinal ingredients found in haemorrhoid creams include:
Hydrocortisone: It helps relieve itching but is not intended for long-term use. If haemorrhoids symptoms arent responding to the application of hydrocortisone cream, talk to your doctor.
Witch hazel: This ingredient helps to soothe and relieve symptoms, such as burning and pain.
Numbing ingredients: Lignocaine is an example of a numbing ingredient used in haemorrhoid creams. Its often paired with other ingredients that also help to reduce swelling and repair tissue.
Some creams are non-medicated and are used to help ease painful bowel movements due to constipation. Their main ingredient is petroleum jelly.
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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.