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?
Rectal Injury Or Trauma
Rectal trauma can occur for many reasons, including medical procedures, anal sex , sports, or injuries sustained during motorcycle or cycling accidents.
Surprisingly, gunshot wounds are among the most common cause of rectal injuries in emergency rooms in the United States.
Depending on the cause, rectal trauma can lead to an anal fissure, rectal tears or hematoma, damage to perineal muscles and nerves, or damage to the anal sphincter muscles. As with all traumatic injuries, the pain can be severe and may be accompanied by rectal bleeding, bruising, abdominal pain, lightheadedness, pallor, and other signs of trauma.
The treatment is based on an evaluation by the emergency room doctors, which may involve a DRE, CT scan, and proctoscopy.
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Which Products Can Help Relieve And Treat The Problem
There are a number of effective over-the-counter products that you can use to relieve symptoms and treat hemorrhoids:
- Witch hazel pads help to relieve the discomfort, burning sensation and itching caused by hemorrhoids.
- Local anesthetics relieve the pain temporarily but quickly.
- Astringent agents protect the affected area from irritation, decrease inflammation, and relieve burning sensation and itching.
- Protective agents form a barrier on the skin and decrease inflammation.
- Anti-inflammatory agents relieve itchiness and reduce inflammation of external hemorrhoids.
- Moist wipes can be used after each bowel movement to clean the affected area and avoid infections.
- If the pain is too uncomfortable, analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide relief and be used as a complement to topical medications. Speak to your pharmacist for advice before using them, as these products may not be suitable for you.
Hemorrhoids can potentially lead to more serious complications like significant bleeding, infection or thrombosis. See your doctor if such problems arise or if hemorrhoids last more than seven days.
Dont hesitate to speak to your pharmacist if you have any questions about the prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids.
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Are Hard Hemorrhoids Painful
We talked about the dentate line, which is an important concept to understand when it comes to hemorrhoid pain.
Hard hemorrhoids are external hemorrhoids, and yes, they are unfortunately painful and can even be life hindering. It seems like daily activities that were once normal become challenging to engage in with hard external hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are below the dentate line, surrounded and covered in nerves that feed rich blood to your perianal area. When these arteries and network of veins become inflamed, the nerves will be the first to let you know how painful it is.
Going to the bathroom will increase the pain you feel with hard hemorrhoids. Passing hard stools in a difficult bowel movement can worsen the pain as well. Constipation and straining go hand-in-hand in causing hemorrhoid flare-ups and producing hard lumps.
Your rectal veins work overtime to pump the blood to the needed area, and because of constipation and straining, inflammation can occur, developing hard external hemorrhoid lumps or worsening already existing symptoms.
The hard hemorrhoid bumps can become thrombosed. Blood clots can get trapped in the already aching anal masses. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can increase in size, become even more sensitive to the touch, and also burst if the pressure becomes too much.
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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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.
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
How Hemorrhoids Are Treated
Most external hemorrhoids can be treated with home treatments, such as:
- Adding fiber to your diet, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains
- Drinking more water
- Avoiding straining during bowel movements or sitting on the toilet for long periods
- Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, or aspirin
- Sitting in a tub of warm water a sitz bath several times a day
Home treatments can also be used for most internal hemorrhoids. But severe internal hemorrhoids may require other treatments.
You should call your doctor if you:
- Still have symptoms after one week of at-home treatment, or
- Have bleeding from your rectum
When home treatments dont heal internal hemorrhoids, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments performed by a physician:
- Rubber band ligation. This involves placing a special rubber band around the base of a bleeding or prolapsing hemorrhoid. This cuts off the blood supply, causing the hemorrhoid to shrivel and fall off.
- Sclerotherapy. A solution is injected into the hemorrhoid causing scar tissue to form, cutting off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
- Infrared photocoagulation. The heat of infrared light directed at the hemorrhoid causes scar tissue to form. This cuts off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
- Electrocoagulation. An electric current is directed into an internal hemorrhoid to form scar tissue, cutting off the blood supply, often shrinking the hemorrhoid.
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Here Are The Most Common Ways To Treat The Pain Associated With Hemorrhoids:
- Many prolapsed hemorrhoids will reduce on their own. In more serious cases, if they do not spontaneously reduce, you will need to seek medical treatment for prescription medication or non-invasive procedures. Before you seek medical treatment, many patients are successful with at-home treatment. Prolapsed hemorrhoids can be treated through self-care options. These include:
- The use of ice packs
- Sitz baths
- Over-the-counter wipes, creams, and ointments
- Avoidance of straining during bowel movements
- High-fiber diets
- The use of fiber supplements
- Proper hydration
Who Needs A Hemorrhoidectomy
Surgery’s a good option for people with large hemorrhoids. These can cause:
- Long-lasting pain
- Lots of blood loss
- Leaking stool or mucous
During this outpatient procedure, the surgeon cuts away the hemorrhoid. Doctors can use lasers, staples, and other tools. But removing them with a sharp blade is “the safest and best way to prevent them from coming back,” Hedrick says.
The vast majority of hemorrhoids dont require surgery. But it is a common surgery. At UVA, we see hundreds of patients with hemorrhoids and do between 75 to 100 hemorrhoidectomies each year, says Hedrick. She’s one of three UVA colon and rectal surgeons who do these procedures.
The biggest downside to surgery is an uncomfortable recovery, she adds. Its going to take 2 to 4 weeks to recover, and the first week is when bowel movements are the most painful. We give a numbing medicine that lasts 2 to 3 days. And taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help relieve pain. We try not to use opioids, as they can constipate you.
Hedrick adds, Patients are happy after theyve done the surgery but usually only after about a month.
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What Can I Do To Ease Hemorrhoid Pain
There are many ways to ease the pain of hemorrhoids.
At-home methods include over-the-counter pain medications, creams or wipes, sitz baths, and many lifestyle changes to prevent the worsening of your hemorrhoids.
If at-home treatments are not working, talk to your doctor about non-invasive treatments.
Rubber band ligation is a non-invasive procedure that involves placing one or two rubber bands on the internal hemorrhoids to cut off the circulation.
Injection or sclerotherapy involves the injection of a chemical solution to shrink the hemorrhoid tissue.
Coagulation is also an option. Lasers, infrared light, or heat can be used to harden and shrivel your hemorrhoids.
If all else fails, you can talk to your doctor about the surgical procedures to alleviate hemorrhoids.
Be careful when trying laser hemorrhoid surgery, as it can be very painful.
How To Get Rid Of Internal Hemorrhoid Pain
Internal hemorrhoids are located in the lower rectal region where we do not have many nerves that can sense pain.
While internal hemorrhoids are typically not painful, protruding hemorrhoids can be.
These protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoids form when internal hemorrhoids fall through the anal opening.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids can lead to pain, discomfort, and itching.
Another factor of pain associated with protruding hemorrhoids is the occurrence of pruritus ani, or the itching and irritation of the anal opening.
Pruritus ani is when bacteria and mucus collects around the anal opening.
This itching and irritation can also be painful if you are constantly attempting to relieve it by scratching or persistent wiping with toilet paper.
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Are Hemorrhoids Hard Or Soft
Hemorrhoids are always described as hard lumps near your anus. If you feel a hard lump close to your anal opening, you have external hemorrhoids.
If you arent sure what to look for and you suspect you have external hemorrhoids, you can expect these hard lumps to hurt and cause a good amount of discomfort when you are moving about and especially when sitting down.
Your external hemorrhoid lumps may also:
- Cause anal itch
- Induce swelling and aching, especially near the anus
- Feel rubbery to the touch
- Feel tender or have a burning sensation
If you have internal hemorrhoids, you wont feel any lumps, and most likely, any pain at all. This is because the dentate line divides internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids.
The dentate line is the term used to dictate where the hemorrhoid inflammation is subject to in the lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids are tucked away so that they won’t feel hard or soft at all. There are fewer nerves above the dentate line, and so this explains why internal hemorrhoids aren’t seen or felt unless they begin to prolapse.
For internal hemorrhoids, you might notice:
- Anal itchiness
- Prolapsed hemorrhoidal column through the rectum
- Swelling around the rectal and anal area
- Anal discharge of fecal matter or mucus
- Rectal bleeding
- A perianal feeling of fullness
Can Hemorrhoids Cause Sharp Pain
Most hemorrhoids only cause mild pain or discomfort. In some cases, however, you may experience sharp pain. Sharp pain can be absolutely debilitating and in some cases prevent you from being able to even sit down.
There are a few different causes of sharp rectal pain. Hemorrhoid pain may become severe if your hemorrhoids become thrombosed.
This means that the blood in your hemorrhoid has developed a clot. A thrombosis can result in a stabbing, sharp pain that comes on suddenly.
Other causes of sharp pain with hemorrhoids include infection, tearing, and severe cases.
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Ideas To Make Bowel Movements Easier
Add a tablespoon of mineral oil to your food. Mineral oil helps to ease constipation.
Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water and other hydrating fluids throughout the day. It helps to prevent worsening constipation.
Change your toilet habits. Dont delay going to the bathroom. Putting off a bowel movement can make you more constipated and worsen symptoms. Use a small stepping stool to prop your feet up when you sit on the toilet. This angles your body into a squatting position, making it easier to have a bowel movement.
If you have hemorrhoid symptoms, several options can help soothe flare-ups:
- avoid dry toilet paper, use a damp wipe or water to wash
- avoid perfumed or alcohol wipes
- avoid sprays, deodorants, or douches in the groin area
- avoid strenuous exercise and other activities that cause friction
- avoid tight clothing and rough fabrics
- keep the area clean
- take pain medication as needed, like acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- sit on a reclining or rocking chair rather than sitting upright
- sit on a soft pillow or donut cushion
- soak in a warm water bath
- try topical treatments, such as creams, ointments, sprays and suppositories with hydrocortisone
- use ice packs or cold compresses
- Apply witch hazel with a cotton pad
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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What Are Hemorrhoids Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Hemorrhoids are enlarged and swollen veins around the outside of the anus or in the lower rectum. The rectum is the last part of the bowel and leads to the anus, the opening at the end of the bowel where fecal matter leaves the body.
Everyone has hemorrhoidal tissue in this area thats made up of blood vessels, connective tissue, and some muscle. These cushions dont always become enlarged or distended, but as we age, this phenomenon becomes more common causing what we call hemorrhoids, also known as piles.
Hemorrhoids can be caused in a number of ways, most commonly by straining to make a bowel movement. Lifting heavy objects, along with other activities that may cause straining, can also lead to hemorrhoids. Experiencing increased pressure during pregnancy and being overweight are other contributing factors.
Hemorrhoids may be painful and particularly bothersome if they are recurrent, but they’re not dangerous or life-threatening, and symptoms usually go away within a few days. There are plenty of effective ways to treat them, as well as options for the less common types of hemorrhoids that may be more problematic.
What Happens When A Hemorrhoid Bursts
When a thrombosed hemorrhoid becomes too full of blood, it can burst. This can lead to a brief period of bleeding. Keep in mind that a thrombosed hemorrhoid will usually be very painful before it actually bursts. Once it bursts, youll likely feel an instant sense of relief due to the release of extra pressure from built-up blood.
If you have some bleeding but continue to also have pain or discomfort, you likely just have a bleeding hemorrhoid, rather than a burst hemorrhoid.
Learn more about bleeding hemorrhoids and how to handle them.
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Thrombosed Hemorrhoid Pain Overview
Thrombosed hemorrhoids form under the skin around the anus and are caused by clotting. Blood clots, or thrombosis, can be extremely painful.
Here are three ways to get thrombosed hemorrhoid pain relief:
Supplements: herbal supplements like HemRid work great for immediate pain relief and help aid in shrinking the clots. For best pain relief, pair a hemorrhoid supplement with wipes or creams.
Creams and wipes: both of these treatement options can be used for powerful and immediate relief of a thrombosed hemorrhoid. Many creams and wipes will help the clot disappear as well as acting as pain relievers.
Baths: a warm bath can help reduce the swelling of thrombosed hemorrhoids and offer relief of the pain associated with them.
What Role Do Toilet Habits Play
Straining during a bowel movement can be painful and make hemorrhoid problems worse. But you can avoid straining by
- preventing constipation, because hard stools automatically make you push harder
- paying attention to your bodys signals, such as the urge to go to the toilet waiting too long before you go can lead to constipation
- being relaxed and taking your time when you go to the toilet.
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What To Expect Emotionally
Emotionally, you may be feeling:
- âBaby blues.â Many new moms have irritability, sadness, crying, or anxiety, beginning within the first several days after delivery. These baby blues are very common and may be related to physical changes and the emotional transition as you adjust to changing roles and your new baby. Baby blues usually go away within 1 to 2 weeks.
- Postpartum depression. More serious and longer lasting than the baby blues, this condition may cause mood swings, anxiety, guilt, and persistent sadness. PPD can be diagnosed up to a year after giving birth, and itâs more common in women with a history of depression, multiple life stressors, and a family history of depression.
Also, when it comes to intimacy, you and your partner may be on completely different pages. Your partner may be ready to pick up where you left off before babyâs arrival, whereas you may not feel comfortable enough physically or emotionally and might crave nothing more than a good nightâs sleep. Doctors often ask women to wait a few weeks before having sex to allow them to heal.