Lifestyle Changes For Managing Hemorrhoids
You may help prevent hemorrhoids from forming or from worsening with some lifestyle changes. These changes include:
- Do not while moving your bowels.
- Limit the amount of time you spend 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 does not become dry and difficult to pass.
- Increase fluid intake. Drink six to eight 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. OTC creams and suppositories can help relieve pain and reduce swelling.
What Do Hemorrhoids Feel Like
External hemorrhoids are more painful than internal hemorrhoids. This is because the area surrounding the anus has more pain-sensing nerves and the overlying skin has more chances of getting irritated.
On the other hand, internal hemorrhoids are generally painless, even when there is bleeding because there are fewer pain receptors in that area of the body. Internal hemorrhoids only cause discomfort when they prolapse and protrude from the rectal area.
The pain is the worst when a blood clot forms inside external hemorrhoid. The pain may be accompanied by a burning sensation, itching, severe discomfort during bowel movements, and swelling.
What Else Do You Need To Make Your Decision
Check the facts
- Youre right! Try eating more fiber, drinking more fluids, using a stool softener, and using ointments to help your symptoms.
- Sorry, thats the wrong answer. Try home treatment first: Eat more fiber, drink more fluids, use a stool softener, and use ointments to help your symptoms.
- It may help to go back and read Key points to remember. Home treatments work for most people: Eat more fiber, drink more fluids, use a stool softener, and use ointments to help your symptoms.
- Thats right. Surgery may help hemorrhoids that bulge from the anus or cause symptoms that dont get better with home treatment.
- Sorry, thats not right. Surgery may help hemorrhoids that bulge from the anus or cause symptoms that dont get better with home treatment.
- It may help to go back and read Get the Facts. Surgery may help hemorrhoids that bulge from the anus or cause symptoms that dont get better with home treatment.
|What are the risks and side effects?|
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Severe Hemorrhoids Vs Mild Hemorrhoids: Stages
Many physicians use a grading system to categorize hemorrhoids along four stages:
- First-degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that bleed, but do not prolapse. These are slightly enlarged hemorrhoids, but they do not protrude outside the anus.
- Second-degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that prolapse and retract on their own . These may come out of the anus during certain activities like passing stool, and then return back inside the body.
- Third-degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that prolapse and must be pushed back in by a finger.
- Fourth-degree hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids that prolapse and cannot be pushed back in the anal canal. Fourth-degree hemorrhoids also include hemorrhoids that are thrombosed or that pull much of the lining of the rectum through the anus.
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.
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Prevention Of Rectal Bleeding
The best way to prevent rectal bleeding is to prevent its chief causes.
People at high risk for colorectal cancer should undergo regular screenings, primarily colonoscopy. Colorectal cancer screenings can detect precancerous polyps in the colon or rectum so that they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Screenings can also identify colorectal cancer early, when treatment is more likely to be successful.
How Well Do Treatments For Hemorrhoids Work
- Home treatment works for most people.
- Nonsurgical procedures are less risky and less painful than surgery. They require less time off from work and other activities.
- Of the nonsurgical procedures, rubber band ligation seems to work best. But it also appears to have a higher risk of complications, especially pain.
- Rubber band ligation helps about 8 out of 10 people who have it done. That means it doesn’t help about 2 out of 10.
- Infrared photocoagulation has about the same success rate as rubber band ligation. But improvements may not last as long.
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Continue Learning About Hemorrhoids
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
Symptoms Of A Mild Condition
- Itching and irritation around the anus
- A small lump or bulge on or near the anus
- It feels like some stool was retained after a bowel movement
- Feeling pressure around the anus
Sometimes an internal hemorrhoid will protrude through the anus and become trapped. This may feel uncomfortable. Usually, it can be manually pushed back in and does not require medical treatment.
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Where Can I Go For Hemorrhoid Treatment
An essential initial step is to see your doctor for hemorrhoid treatment. You and your doctor can create a hemorrhoid treatment plan that is appropriate for you and your body.
Making an appointment with your doctor is especially critical if you are experiencing any rectal bleeding.
Bright red blood following a bowel movement is a common symptom of hemorrhoids, but it could be a sign of something more serious. Let your doctor determine if you need additional tests because after all, its better to be safe than sorry.
Many treatment options can be done in your own home. Your local drugstore carries all sorts of ointments, creams, wipes, cushions, supplements, and suppositories that are all designed for hemorrhoid relief.
These over the counter medications are effective in treating hemorrhoids, and for your convenience, can be found at nearly every type of store in your area.
If your family doctor feels it necessary, he or she will recommend or send you to a specialist. Hemorrhoids are easily treatable, but in some cases, our genetics can make this anorectal condition reluctant to respond with basic treatments, and can often produce reoccurring, life-hindering flare-ups.
Cases such as these are better to be dealt with the capable hands of a gastroenterologist or proctologist. At the first sign of hemorrhoids, however, you dont have to worry about going to see one of these specialists right away.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Hemorrhoids are incredibly common and can be successfully managed with the right treatments. If youre concerned you have hemorrhoids or if theyre not improving, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heiman in Tampa, FL, today.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications or treatments.
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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.
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.
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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.
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.
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Is It Internal Or External Hemorrhoids
If your symptoms include internal itching, anal bleeding anda bulge that comes and goes with bowel movements, an internal hemorrhoid is thelikely culprit.
However, some people are more bothered by externalhemorrhoids, which can cause swelling, itching and bleeding, and be unsightly.Visible bumps and tags are common with external hemorrhoids.
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What Should I Eat If I Have Hemorrhoids Diet
Individuals with hemorrhoids should soften their stools by increasing the fiber in their diets.
Fiber is found in numerous foods, including
- fresh and dried fruits,
- whole grains, and
In general, 20 to 30 grams of fiber per day is recommended, whereas the average American diet contains less than 15 grams of fiber. Fiber supplements, like psyllium, methylcellulose, and calcium polycarbophil, also may be used to increase the intake of fiber.
Stool softeners and increased drinking of liquids also may be recommended, as well as bulk-forming laxatives. Nevertheless, the benefits of fiber, liquids, and stool softeners have not been well-tested with respect to hemorrhoidal control in scientific studies.
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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:
Why Do Hemorrhoids Often Itch
Your anus is a very sensitive area, and when something isnt right down there, it can lead to inflammation and itchiness. In the case of hemorrhoids, the internal type can drag mucus from the rectum along if they slip outside your anus.
If the hemorrhoid stays prolapsed it may continue to secrete mucus. Your anus can find the mucus incredibly irritating, and this is what creates that unpleasant itchy sensation. Often the itch is made worse when the mucus and your stools combine as you poop.
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When Should You Call Your Doctor
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids may be a sign of other serious health problems. Colon or rectal cancer and other conditions have many of the same symptoms as hemorrhoids. Call your doctor if you have symptoms like these:
- Stools are black or tarry.
- A lump or bulge that is not tender and does not go away develops at the anal opening.
If you have hemorrhoids, call your doctor if:
- Moderate rectal pain lasts longer than 1 week after home treatment.
- Pain or swelling is severe.
- Tissue from inside the body bulges from the anus and does not return to normal after 3 to 7 days of home treatment.
- A lump inside the anus becomes bigger or more painful.
If rectal bleeding becomes heavy or changes colour , or if stools change size, shape, or colour , be sure to see your doctor.
When To Call Your Doctor
Even if you think its from hemorrhoids, you should call your doctor about any rectal bleeding. Its also a symptom of colon polyps, colitis, Crohns disease, diverticulitis, and colorectal cancer. Anal fissures can also cause pain and bleeding. So youll want to make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.
If your hemorrhoids are very painful or arent getting better after youve tried treating them yourself, let your doctor know.
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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?
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.
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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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Who To Consult For Hemorrhoid Treatment
Usually, your family doctor or primary care provider can help to manage and control hemorrhoid symptoms. The doctor will suggest home remedies and conservative treatment methods if the symptoms are mild. If advanced treatment is required, the doctor will refer you to a colorectal surgeon or general surgeon. They are the specialists in treating hemorrhoids both surgically and non-surgically.
The doctor will diagnose the disease thoroughly and determine the most appropriate treatment method for you.
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Signs Your Hemorrhoids Warrant A Doctor’s Visit
Your doctor may also check for blood in the stool, examine the muscle tone of your anus, and perform a rectal exam to diagnose internal hemorrhoids. This is done in the doctor’s office with a gloved, lubricated finger and an anoscope . Your doctor may also recommend additional tests to rule out other causes of bleeding, especially if you are over age 40.
Medical Treatment For Your Hemorrhoids
Dr. Rivas develops personalized hemorrhoid treatment plans after completing a thorough examination. The treatments we recommend may depend on the type of hemorrhoids, as well as your symptoms. Initially, we may suggest lifestyle changes to ease your pain, such as increasing your intake of fiber and water to improve bowel movements and sitz baths to alleviate pain and discomfort.
However, when at-home treatments fail, Dr. Rivas may suggest a procedure to destroy or remove your hemorrhoids, such as:
- Rubber band ligation
- Infrared, laser, or bipolar coagulation
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