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Hemorrhoids


Hemorrhoids

WHAT ARE HEMORRHOIDS?

Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in the lower rectum and anus become swollen and enlarged. The enlargement in these veins generally occurs when there is increased pressure in the lower rectum or anal canal.  Hemorrhoids are a common problem that are experienced by many of my patients in Plano TX, and they are usually not serious.  Hemorrhoid treatments range from over the counter solutions to painless treatments performed by your gastroenterologist like hemorrhoid banding.

There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids.  Internal hemorrhoids occur when the veins swell inside the anal canal.  There are minimal pain fibers in the internal canal area, so they typically cause minimal discomfort (unless they are prolapsing out).  External hemorrhoids occur when the veins near the opening of the anus swell, and can be extremely painful due to the pain fibers in this area.  It is not uncommon for patients to have both internal and external hemorrhoids at the same time. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in the lower rectum and anus become swollen and enlarged. The enlargement in these veins generally occurs when there is increased pressure in the lower rectum. The most common causes of hemorrhoids include: pregnancy, obesity, constipation, straining to have bowel movement, heavy weight lifting, and anal intercourse. The most common symptoms experienced by people who have hemorrhoids are red blood per rectum, itching or pain near the anus, and occasional protrusion of tissue from the anus.

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF HEMORRHOIDS?

According to the Mayo Clinic, veins near the anus stretch and can swell when under pressure.  Hemorrhoids are formed due to this increased pressure in the lower rectum.  Typically the increased pressure is caused by:

  • Constipation / Straining with bowel movements
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Heavy weight lifting
  • Sitting for a long time (bus drivers, in front of computer, etc.)
  • Anal Intercourse
  • Low fluid or fiber diet
  • Liver disease

WHAT CAUSES HEMORRHOIDS TO ITCH?

Both internal and external hemorrhoids can produce itching.  Hemorrhoids may rub against the surrounding mucus membranes causing an itching sensation.  Factors causing hemorrhoids to itch include but are not limited to:

  • Moisture
  • Wiping too hard or frequently
  • Spicy foods
  • Sitting
  • Friction from clothing

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HEMORRHOIDS?

Some of the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are:

It’s important to note that any of these symptoms can mimic other diseases as well.  If you are experiencing any one of these symptoms, it is advised to have an exam performed by your Gastroenterologist for the proper diagnoses.

HOW CAN YOU TREAT HEMORRHOIDS?

If hemorrhoids develop, patient’s should:

    • Eat a high fiber diet
    • Avoid straining to defecate
    • Take stool softeners to prevent constipation
    • Take Sitz baths if hemorrhoids are sore or itchy
    • Use over the counter hemorrhoidal treatments such as Preparation H, Tucks pads, Anusol, etc when hemorrhoids are symptomatic.
    • Seek medical attention to discuss prescription medications, hemorrhoid banding, or if necessary, more aggressive surgical options
    • In-office hemorrhoid banding is a non-surgical painless approach to internal hemorrhoid treatment using the CRH O’Reagan Hemorrhoid banding system which places a small rubber band just above a column of hemorrhoids which cuts off the blood supply and allows for the hemorrhoid to shrink which often leads to resolution of symptoms.

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Disclaimer: The information presented on this website is not intended to take the place of your personal physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.  Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you.  All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical condition