What Can I Do To Help Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are prevalent, with up to seventy-five percent of people suffering from a case in their lifetimes. You cant prevent every case of hemorrhoids! But you can take steps to reduce the chances of having hemorrhoids in the first place, and to reduce the severity if you do get them.
There are two main strategies for hemorrhoid prevention: changing your diet and changing your lifestyle.
Its Crucial To Rule Out Other Problems Besides Hemorrhoids
Most people who have hemorrhoids discover them by either feeling the lump of an external hemorrhoid when they wipe after a bowel movement noticing drops of blood in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper or
feeling a prolapsing hemorrhoid after bowel movements.
With a history of symptoms, physicians like those of us at Alabama Colon & Rectal Institute, can make an accurate diagnosis on the basis of an examination of the anus and anal area. We want to identify the hemorrhoids, but its also very important that we rule out other causes of hemorrhoid-like symptoms, such as: anal fissures, fistulae, bowel disorders like ulcerative colitis, blood coagulation disorders, perianal skin diseases, infections, and tumors.
We want to stress that you should not assume that rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids, especially if you are over 40 years of age. Rectal bleeding can occur with other diseases, including colorectal cancer and anal cancer. If you have bleeding along with a noticeable change in bowel habits or if your stools change in color or consistency, consult your doctor. These types of stools can signal more extensive bleeding elsewhere in your digestive tract. Seek emergency care if you experience large amounts of rectal bleeding, lightheadedness, dizziness or faintness.
What we can do about hemorrhoids & what to expect at your appointment
Prevention & treatment for hemorrhoids
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.
Also Check: How To Get Rid Of Hemorrhoids For Good
Experiencing Anal Discomfort Or Irritation
You dont have to live with hemorrhoids symptoms until the pain becomes so severe it disrupts your life. Dr. Paonessa offers several effective, nonsurgical treatments that can resolve your hemorrhoids, including:
- Rubber band ligation
- Sclerosis treatment
During rubber band ligation, Dr. Paonessa blocks blood flow to the hemorrhoidal tissue by wrapping a rubber band around it. Within a few days, the hemorrhoid shrivels, dies, and simply drops off. With sclerosis, Dr. Paonessa injects a chemical solution into your hemorrhoid, causing the vein to collapse and wither away.
You can rely on Dr. Paonessa to focus first on accurately diagnosing your condition. Then she recommends the most conservative and effective hemorrhoid treatment available, along with tips that help prevent hemorrhoids from recurring.
Dont live with hemorrhoid discomfort contact us to schedule your appointment today at Paonessa Colon & Rectal Surgery in Brielle and Manahawkin, New Jersey.
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How To Treat Hemorrhoids And When You Should See Your Doctor
Hemorrhoids are an irritating, often painful condition that occurs when the veins around the anus or lower part of the rectum become swollen and inflamed as a result of too much pressure. External hemorrhoids develop underneath the skin around the anus, while internal hemorrhoids develop in the lining of the tissues.
Hemorrhoids affect about 1 in 20 Americans, and about half of adults over age 50 have them. Age is one factor as we get older, the supporting tissues in the rectum and anus become weaker and more vulnerable to pressure.
Pregnancy also can weaken these tissues, which is why pregnant women often experience hemorrhoids. Other potential causes include chronic constipation or diarrhea, straining during bowel movements and sitting on the toilet for extended periods. Also, frequently lifting heavy objects may increase the likelihood of hemorrhoids.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoid symptoms vary depending on whether the inflamed veins are external or internal.
External hemorrhoids may cause itching and pain, especially while seated. Also, you may feel one or more tender lumps around the anal area. Scratching, rubbing or excessively cleaning the area can make symptoms worse.
With internal hemorrhoids, you may notice bright red blood when you have a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids are not usually painful unless they fall through the anal opening, called prolapsing.
How are hemorrhoids treated at home?
When to see the doctor
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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
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.
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Bleeding When You Have A Bowel Movement
There are many underlying causes of rectal bleeding, including hemorrhoids. If you have bleeding from internal hemorrhoids, its usually bright red, occurs with bowel movements, causes no pain, and ranges from mild to moderate in quantity.
But never assume rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids. If youve never been diagnosed with hemorrhoids or you have noticed a change in the characteristics of the bleeding youve had with hemorrhoids in the past see us for an accurate diagnosis.
How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids
In the case of pregnancy and old age, hemorrhoids are more likely. However, there are a number of lifestyle changes you can make to reduce your chances of developing them in everyday life.
Actions you can take to reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids:
- Lose weight Keeping to a healthy weight may prevent hemorrhoids.
- Eat plenty of fiber Ensuring that your diet is balanced and your digestion is in tip-top condition can aid your avoidance of hemorrhoids.
- Keep moving Exercising, and avoiding sitting down for long periods of time, can improve your chances of avoiding hemorrhoids. Did you know that hemorrhoids are a known risk for long-haul truckers and other drivers? If you currently sit at a desk for long periods of time, consider investing in a standing desk instead or taking breaks standing intermittently.
Hemorrhoids dont have to be a cause for worry provided you drink plenty of water, look after yourself, and you dont wait to visit the toilet when you need to poop.
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Causes And Risk Factors Of Rectal Bleeding
Diverticulosis is the most common cause of rectal bleeding. It is the presence of tiny bulges, called diverticula, in the colon wall. Diverticula are common and typically do not cause problems, but can sometimes protrude through the walls of the bowels, leading to bleeding or infections.
Often called piles, hemorrhoids are swollen veins that appear at the bottom of the large intestine and outside the anus. They are caused by excessive straining, such as while making a bowel movement, sitting on the toilet too long, or, in women, pregnancy and giving birth. People who have persistent hemorrhoids are often constipated, overweight or obese, or eating a very low-fiber diet.
Hemorrhoids can be itchy, painful, and annoying, but they are rarely serious and often go away on their own. In certain cases, treatment may be needed.
Anal fissures, another cause of rectal bleeding, are tiny tears in the anus and anal canal commonly caused by straining with hard stools.
Colitis is the inflammation of the lining of the tissues of the colon. This inflammation can lead to rectal bleeding. Ischemic colitis occurs when blood flow to the colon is reduced, typically as a result of narrowed or blocked arteries. With infectious colitis, the swelling of the colon is caused by bacteria, viruses, or parasites.
How To Find A Hemorrhoids Doctor Near Me
There are many ways to find a hemorrhoid doctor in your area. For starters, your primary care physician is a great place to start.
Not only can they treat your hemorrhoids, they can refer you to a specialist if there is a need.
Because some insurance companies require a referral to cover the expenses associated with specialists, you may be required to see your general practitioner first.
Although hemorrhoids are extremely common, most patients dont like to talk about the fact that they have them.
Close family members you are comfortable with may have suggestions for a hemorrhoid doctor.
If you dont feel comfortable talking to a family member about hemorrhoid treatment, there are many online websites that review medical providers.
Search for hemorrhoid doctors near me online. Online review sites like Yelp and Google can show real reviews from patients who have experience working directly with the provider you are looking at.
Do some research on the provider and their medical practice.
You want to find a hemorrhoid doctor that has both the ability to treat your condition effectively and the experience to give you the confidence in your provider.
Also Check: How Do People Get Hemorrhoids
Are Hemorrhoids Permanent
Hemorrhoids are an irritating condition and not life-threatening. But usually, theyre nowhere near being permanent. Although they can be persistent in some cases if you leave them untreated for a long long time.
And they also can occur frequently which is really painful for the patient. They cause a considerable amount of irritation and discomfort and that doesnt just end there.
The question still remains on how long a hemorrhoid condition can last. The answer isnt as simple as you might think cause there are several factors that determine the answer.
There are different stages of hemorrhoids and they are divided into 4 clinical grades that determine the severity of hemorrhoids. Now, the minor cases of hemorrhoids include first and second-grade hemorrhoids.
And they tend to go away on their own without needing any aggressive treatment methods and with the help of simple lifestyle changes that include a good diet and other changes.
How long do hemorrhoids last
But if your hemorrhoid condition is severe, then you will need medical care for your condition. But in any case, hemorrhoids are definitely not permanent and they can be get ridden of.
The minor cases of hemorrhoids can shrink within a week or two with only home remedies but you do need to make sure that you take care of it properly. If not, it can turn into something serious over the years.
Relieve Pain And Itching
- Take non-prescription pain relievers. Acetaminophen can help with pain. Aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen can help with pain and swelling.
- Apply ice several times a day for 10 minutes at a time. Follow this by placing a warm compress on the anal area for another 10 to 20 minutes.
- Take a sitz bath. Fill your bathtub with just enough warm water to cover the anal area. Do this several times a day, especially after you have had a bowel movement. Soak for about 15 minutes at a time. Be careful! If the water is too warm, it can burn you.
Use non-prescription medicines as recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. See the Medications section of this topic for information on non-prescription ointments, creams, and suppositories.
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Internal Hemorrhoids Vs External Hemorrhoids
There are two main types of hemorrhoids:
Internal Hemorrhoids These hemorrhoids develop inside the lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids usually don’t hurt, but they often bleed painlessly, resulting in bright red blood you might notice when you go to the bathroom and wipe.
Most of the time, internal hemorrhoids are not visible to the naked eye. But in some cases, internal hemorrhoids may protrude through the anus, which is known as becoming prolapsed. When this happens, they will usually shrink back inside the rectum on their own. Protruding hemorrhoids can become irritated and itchy, and patients may find it difficult to clean themselves after a bowel movement.
Internal hemorrhoids are categorized by how prolapsed they are, which helps determine how they should be treated.
Grade 1 hemorrhoids means there is no prolapse. A prolapse that goes back in by itself is categorized as grade 2. Prolapse that needs to be pushed back in by the patient is considered grade 3. Grade 4 is when the prolapse cant be pushed back in.
External Hemorrhoids These hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the outside of the anus. They can be itchy or painful, and may feel lumpy.
External hemorrhoids are called thrombosed hemorrhoids when a blood clot develops within the hemorrhoid. The increased pressure can be very painful, especially within the first 48 hours after it develops.
How Serious Are My Hemorrhoids
Treatment will depend on your symptoms, but typically,doctors will recommend conservativeoptions first.
Mild or occasional rectal bleeding may respond to changes in dietary habits, like upping your dietary fiber and drinking more water, Dr. Zutshi says. For periodic anal irritation caused by inflamed hemorrhoids, over-the-counter skin protective creams and warm sitz baths may help.
There are also some simple, in-office treatments for mild, on-and-off bleeding from internal hemorrhoids. Rubber band ligation is a commonly used procedure that involves placing little rubber bands above a hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply. The hemorrhoid then shrinks and falls off.
This procedure is usually only used on smaller hemorrhoids,Dr. Zutshi explains. But larger internal hemorrhoids can still be easilytreated with minimally invasive surgery.
If the issue is large internal and external hemorrhoids, a more invasive surgery might be necessary. However, if its only skin tags, which are residual hemorrhoid tags, these are usually not treated, Dr. Zutshi says, as trimming them off is very painful, and residual bulges may still persist.
Occasionally, external hemorrhoids become very painful whenthey develop a clot in them, she explains. This is called a thrombosed hemorrhoid.If you see your doctor within a few days of onset, the clots can be removed,Dr. Zutshi says. Otherwise it takes a few weeks for the swelling and pain tosettle down.
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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.
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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What Can You Put On Hemorrhoids To Shrink Them
You can use topical medications for hemorrhoids, although these products mainly provide relief from pain and other symptoms rather than shrinking hemorrhoids. A wide range of these products are available, including ointments, pads, and creams. Oral pain relievers might also offer temporary relief. Soaking in a sitz bath or warm water can help ease the pain as well.