Posts for tag: Hemorrhoids
Find out what you can do to treat your hemorrhoids.
Seeing bright red blood when you wipe may have you panicking. However, before you rush to the hospital, you should know that chances are good that these little drops of blood are simply coming from hemorrhoids. While not dangerous, it’s important to spot the signs of hemorrhoids and know when to turn to a gastroenterologist for treatment.
Signs of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen or bulging veins of the anus. Symptoms of hemorrhoids are limited to the anal region and can result in pain, swelling, bleeding or itching. It’s also the common cause of rectal bleeding. Some hemorrhoids are internal and may cause aching or throbbing pain, particularly after a bowel movement, while others are external and may be large enough to prolapse.
Conservative Hemorrhoid Treatment Options
In most cases, hemorrhoids will go away on their own, and you won’t even need to come in for a visit. Many of the options for treating your hemorrhoids can be found in the comfort of your own home. A sitz bath can ease pain and discomfort without medication, and you can do this a couple of times a day, as needed.
Of course, if the pain is getting to you, there are over-the-counter creams that can at least temporarily take the pain and itching away until the problem resolves itself. We know it won’t cure hemorrhoids, but managing your symptoms is important.
What you wear is also essential. Wearing fabrics that aren’t breathable can exacerbate your condition. Opt for loose-fitted underwear with a breathable soft material that won’t rub or cause further irritation (yes, that means retiring those tight yoga pants, for now).
If your hemorrhoids are the result of constipation, then fiber is something you need to start incorporating into your diet. Everyone needs fiber, but if you don’t get enough, this can lead to a lot of GI problems, not to mention, it can lead to hemorrhoids. Up your fiber intake by incorporating more whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables into your diet.
When to See a Gastroenterologist About Your Hemorrhoids
There comes a time when you have to throw in the towel and admit that it’s time to visit a gastroenterologist. While most cases of hemorrhoids won’t need professional care, if you have been dealing with pain for more than one week, if the rectal pain you are experiencing is severe or if symptoms are getting worse, it’s time to visit a GI specialist.
A gastroenterologist can provide a simple non-surgical rubber band system to cut off blood from the hemorrhoid and kill it. No recovery process is involved and can be performed right in your GI doctor's office. It’s certainly a relief to have a non-surgical option if you deal with persistent or severe hemorrhoids.
You should turn to a gastroenterologist immediately if you notice blood when you wipe or any other signs of hemorrhoids or dealing with intense rectal pain. After all, many conditions such as fissures and anal tears share symptoms with hemorrhoids, and a GI doctor can determine what problem you’re dealing with and how to treat it best.
If you are experiencing rectal pain or noticing specks of blood on your toilet paper you might be dealing with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids, also referred to as piles, are swollen veins that form either inside or outside the rectum. While hemorrhoids are more common as a person gets older, this condition can happen to anyone. Here’s what you should know about this common rectal problem and how you can treat it.
What causes hemorrhoids?
If you have family members that deal with hemorrhoids, you may be more likely to get them too. Any kind of pressure that’s placed on the rectum and impacts the flow of blood can cause these veins to swell. Pressure may be caused by:
- Constipation and straining during bowel movements
- Heavy lifting or intense physical activity
- Being overweight or obese
- A poor diet that is low in fiber
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?
If you’ve never had hemorrhoids before you may want to see your gastroenterologist for a diagnosis, especially if you are experiencing persistent rectal bleeding. Your doctor will go through your medical history and ask questions about your symptoms before performing an exam. A simple rectal exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose external hemorrhoids. In order to diagnose internal hemorrhoids, you may require further testing such as a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Sometimes hemorrhoids will go away on their own, so you won’t require special care or treatment. Home remedies include:
- Adding more fiber to your diet
- Avoiding straining during bowel movements
- Staying hydrated to aid in better digestion
- Taking a Sitz bath several times a day to ease any pain and discomfort
There are also over-the-counter medications that can alleviate symptoms including pain and itching. If your symptoms persist after using these medications you should talk with your doctor. If the hemorrhoid is large or isn’t responding to other treatment options then your GI doctor may recommend surgery. There are many minimally invasive surgical techniques that can be used to get rid of hemorrhoids.
If you notice rectal pain, bleeding or discomfort that leaves you concerned or worried about your health it’s important that you talk with your gastroenterologist to find out if you need further evaluation. While hemorrhoids may clear on their own, if you don’t experience relief a doctor will be able to help.
While an embarrassing condition, hemorrhoids are rather common and will happen to the majority of us at some point during our lifetime. This condition occurs when the veins around the rectum or anus swell. Even though this problem is harmless it can be painful. There are many reasons why someone may deal with hemorrhoids. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. Those who are obese or deal with constipation regularly, as well as pregnant women are also prone to hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can either develop inside the rectum (internal) or around the anus (external). You may be dealing with hemorrhoids if you experience:
- Bright red blood during bowel movements
- Anal itching and soreness
- Pain and swelling around the anus
- A tender lump around the anus
Sometimes hemorrhoids will go away on their own; however, it’s important to know when to see a gastroenterologist for treatment. After all, some of these symptoms could also be caused by other conditions. If you are dealing with rectal bleeding or pain it’s a good idea to see a GI doctor who will be able to perform the proper tests to confirm whether you have hemorrhoids and to rule out any other intestinal problems.
One way to prevent hemorrhoids is to prevent straining during bowel movements and constipation. In order to do this you must staying hydrated and eat a healthy, high-fiber diet. Staying active and losing excess weight can also improve gut health. If you sit for the majority of the day it’s important to get up and move around to take pressure off the veins of the anus.
In terms of treatment, the goal is to reduce pain, inflammation and irritation so the area can properly heal. This involves eating a high-fiber diet. You can also use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream, which can numb the area and reduce discomfort. Soaking for 10-15 minutes in a sitz bath can also ease symptoms. With the proper treatment and care hemorrhoids will often go away in about a week. If you don’t experience relief, or if your symptoms are severe then it’s time to see a gastroenterologist.
In some cases, surgery is necessary in order to treat complications (e.g. blood clots) of hemorrhoids or to properly address bleeding, painful, or persistent hemorrhoids. A gastroenterologist can perform these simple outpatient procedures right in their office.
If you are experiencing symptoms of hemorrhoids and not experiencing relief from over-the-counter medications and at-home care then it’s time to see a GI doctor for treatment.