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.
Understanding The Difference Between External And Internal Hemorrhoids
Its true that the symptoms youre having help identify which type of hemorrhoid youre experiencing. The good news is that treatment exists for all types, and it may be easier than you believe to get rid of the pain and bleeding that often accompany this fairly common problem.
Betsy Clemens, MD, is a specialist who leads our team here at Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Creve Coeur, Missouri. She shares insight about hemorrhoid types, their symptoms, and the therapy available to help resolve your discomfort.
Types Of Hemorrhoids: Internal And External
Hemorrhoids are either internal or external.
Internal Hemorrhoids These hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum and are not usually visible to the naked eye. Internal hemorrhoids generally don’t hurt, but they often bleed painlessly.
In some cases, internal hemorrhoids may protrude through the anus and can be seen, which is known as becoming prolapsed. When this happens, they will usually shrink back inside the rectum on their own or can be pushed back in.
External Hemorrhoids These hemorrhoids develop under the skin around the outside of the anus. These are the most uncomfortable hemorrhoids and can be itchy or painful, and may feel lumpy. When a blood clot forms within an external hemorrhoid, this is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid, which can result in severe, ongoing pain. Sometimes clots dissolve on their own, but if they dont, your doctor can remove the clot, a procedure thats most effective if done within 72 hours of the clot forming.
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What Should You Not Do When You Have Hemorrhoids
DOs and DONTs in Managing Hemorrhoids:
- DO eat more grains, fruits, and vegetables.
- DO drink more liquid, especially water.
- DO remember that many problems in your rectal area have similar symptoms and are incorrectly said to be hemorrhoids.
- DO avoid anything that will cause constipation.
Who Removes Hemorrhoids Treatment
Treating enlarged hemorrhoids is important, because they tend to get worse over time. Hemorrhoids are treated with a variety of measures including diet, over-the-counter medicine like
- anti-inflammatory pain killers,
and various treatment options are available, like
Who Removes Hemorrhoids?
Most hemorrhoid complaints begin with a trip to a family doctor. Your doctor will then refer you to a specialist: either a gastroenterologist or a proctologist . Proctologists specialize in surgical treatments, while gastroenterologists are experts in digestive diseases.
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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.
When To Call Your Doctor
Even if you think it’s from hemorrhoids, you should call your doctor about any rectal bleeding. It’s also a symptom of colon polyps, colitis, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and colorectal cancer. Anal fissures can also cause pain and bleeding. So you’ll want to make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment.
If your hemorrhoids are very painful or aren’t getting better after you’ve tried treating them yourself, let your doctor know.
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How Do They Occur
Veins in the rectum and around the anus tend to swell under pressure. Hemorrhoids can result from too much pressure on these veins. You may put pressure on these veins by:
- straining to have a bowel movement when you are constipated
- waiting too long to have a bowel movement
- sitting for a long time on the toilet, which causes strain on the anal area
- coughing and sneezing often
- sitting for a long while
Hemorrhoids may also develop from:
- injury to the anus, for example, from anal intercourse
- some liver diseases
Flare-ups of hemorrhoids may occur during periods of stress. Some people inherit a tendency to have hemorrhoids.
Pregnant women should try to avoid becoming constipated because they are more likely to have hemorrhoids during pregnancy. In the last trimester of pregnancy, the enlarged uterus may press on blood vessels and cause hemorrhoids. Also, the strain of childbirth sometimes causes hemorrhoids after the birth.
Banding With The Crh Oregan System
Banding can be one of the best ways to remove internal hemorrhoids and keep them from recurring. Endoscopic banding may seem like a better alternative, but this is an involved procedure that requires preparation and sedation. Hemorrhoid banding with the CRH ORegan System is an excellent alternative to other methods of hemorrhoid banding. Instead of using metal forceps to keep the affected vein in place, a small disposable ligator applies gentle suction. This method requires no preparation or sedation, makes the procedure pain-free and should cause no discomfort after the procedure.
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How Can I Stop Pruritus Ani
Anal itching usually disappears when the underlying cause is treated. If we discover hemorrhoids are the cause of your pruritus ani, we may be able to prescribe an ointment or hydrocortisone cream that will temporarily relieve the itching while you heal. Witch hazel pads may also bring some relief while you wait on other treatments to work.
If you have a prolapsed hemorrhoid, we may need to discuss procedure for prolapse and hemorrhoids . This quick procedure is almost as effective as a traditional hemorrhoidectomy, but you can heal much faster. As soon as we treat your hemorrhoid, your symptoms should disappear.
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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The Only Way To Know With Certainty Is To Ask A Doctor
Whether youre feeling excess tissue around the anus or youre seeing a small amount of blood on the toilet paper, your symptoms may indicate a hemorrhoid problem. If youre still uncertain about whether you should see a doctor about your symptoms read out blog post titled Do I have to see my doctor if my hemorrhoids are bleeding?. Since the only way to know is to call a doctor near you and schedule a consultation, we recommend you search our database for a doctor near you that offers the CRH ORegan treatment. The CRH ORegan System is the only non-invasive, quick procedure designed to treat the source of your symptoms.
Heal Your Hemorrhoids
Medicines For Treating Piles
Theres a range of medicines that can help to relieve the symptoms of piles. Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine and ask your pharmacist for advice if you have any questions.
- If youre passing hard poo, a fibre supplement such as ispaghula husk or mild laxative such as lactulose will soften it.
- Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol, may help to ease any pain from piles. Dont take painkillers that have an opioid in them , as these could make you constipated and add to your problems.
- Soothing creams, ointments and suppositories may ease any pain and itchiness from piles. There are lots of different products available over the counter. Some contain a local anaesthetic such as lidocaine. Only use these for a few days as they may affect the sensitivity of your skin ask your pharmacist for more information.
- Products that contain corticosteroids, such as Anusol HC and Proctosedyl, may reduce swelling and pain. Dont use these for more than a week as they can damage the skin around your anus. Most are available over the counter and others on prescription.
It can sometimes take up to a month for self-help measures and medicines to work. If your symptoms dont improve after this time, contact your GP. They may refer you to a specialist.
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How Can I Take Care Of Myself
Always tell your healthcare provider when you have rectal bleeding. Although bleeding is often from hemorrhoids, more serious illnesses, such as colon cancer, can also cause bleeding.
Follow these guidelines to help prevent hemorrhoids and to relieve their discomfort:
- Do not strain during bowel movements. The straining makes hemorrhoids swell.
- Follow your high-fiber diet and drink plenty of water. If necessary, take a stool softener, such as Haley’s M-O, psyllium, Metamucil or Citrucel, or mineral oil. Softer stools make it easier to empty the bowels and reduce pressure on the veins.
- Don’t overuse laxatives. Diarrhea can be as irritating to the anus as constipation.
- Ask your healthcare provider what nonprescription product you should buy to relieve pain and itching. Also, ask about any side effects of any medications prescribed for you.
- Exercise regularly to help prevent constipation.
- Avoid a lot of wiping after a bowel movement if you have hemorrhoids. Wiping with soft, moist toilet paper may relieve discomfort. If necessary, shower instead of wiping, and then dry the anus gently.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects when you have hemorrhoids. It may increase the pressure on the veins and make the hemorrhoids worse.
Do I Need To See A Doctor
Its best to see a doctor if youre noticing blood. While it could be due to a hemorrhoid, it could also be a sign of something more serious, such as colorectal cancer.
A doctor will likely start by confirming that hemorrhoids are the source of the blood youve noticed. To do this, theyll either examine the area for external hemorrhoids or insert a gloved finger to check for internal hemorrhoids.
If its still not clear where the bloods coming from, they may recommend a colonoscopy, which involves inserting a small, lighted camera into your colon while you are sedated. This will help them check for any signs of other conditions that could be causing the 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
- weight loss
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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?
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.
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Whom Do Hemorrhoids Affect
Although most people think hemorrhoids are abnormal, almost everyone has them. Hemorrhoids help control bowel movements. Hemorrhoids cause problems and can be considered abnormal or a disease only when the hemorrhoidal clumps of vessels enlarge.
Hemorrhoids occur in almost everyone, and an estimated 75% of people will experience enlarged hemorrhoids at some point. However only about 4% will go to a doctor because of hemorrhoid problems. Hemorrhoids that cause problems are found equally in men and women, and their prevalence peaks between 45 and 65 years of age.
How To Get Rid Of Internal Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids are on the inside lining of the rectum and are not visibly seen by the eye unless they are enlarged and then they can be felt too. Internal hemorrhoids are usually painless and get noticed when causing rectal bleeding with a bowel movement.
The easiest and fastest way to get rid of internal hemorrhoids is changing your lifestyle and eating habits, using stool softeners if you are constipated, using the squatting method and not straining on the toilet or sit too long.
If you are struggling with internal hemorrhoids and its making your life miserable, imagine one day when you wake up and the hemorrhoids are gone. Wouldnt that be the best feeling in the world. Have a look at this and see how it can help you in an easy and risk-free way.
Some complex cases of hemorrhoids may need surgery to treat them, but most cases can be cured by following only some home procedures, including:
Make sure you watch the video too about internal hemorrhoids!
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When Should I Worry About Hemorrhoids
Lets say youve waited it out and tried home remedies to no avail. If your hemorrhoids are still bothering you after several days, it may be time to seek out a medical professional.
Your doctor will check to make sure youre actually experiencing hemorrhoids and not something else like a digestive disorder, inflammation of the colon, intestinal bleeding or colon cancer.
If its really just pesky piles that refuse to go away, you can ask about minimally invasive options to help them resolve more quickly. The most common of these procedures is a rubber band ligation, where a rubber band is placed around an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its circulation, but other choices range from an injection to use of an infrared light.
With the right amount of care, hopefully youll be back to your regularly scheduled programming in no time.
What Are The Surgical Options For Piles
Haemorrhoidectomy An operation to cut away the haemorrhoid is an option to treat grade 3 or 4 piles or for piles not successfully treated by banding or other methods. The operation is done under general anaesthetic and is usually successful. However, it can be quite painful in the days following the operation.
Stapled haemorrhoidopexyA circular stapling gun is used to cut out a circular section of the lining of the back passage above the piles. This has the effect of pulling the piles back up the back passage. It also has the effect of reducing the blood supply to the piles and so they shrink as a consequence. Because the cutting is actually above the piles, it is usually a less painful procedure than the traditional operation to remove the piles.
Haemorrhoidal artery ligationThe small arteries that supply blood to the piles are tied . This causes the haemorrhoid to shrink.
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Get Help For Your Hemorrhoids
Five years ago, childbirth brought Loriel Adams of Tampa, FL, a bundle of joy in the form of a baby boy. But it also brought painful hemorrhoids that she’s been dealing with ever since.
“I had an epidural. I couldn’t feel anything, so I was pushing in the wrong ways. And I think that’s what flared it up,” she says.
While hemorrhoids may seem embarrassing, almost everyone deals with them at some point in their lives. Lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments can bring relief.
Luckily, hemorrhoids usually clear up on their own in a week or two. And when they don’t, your doctor can help.