Hemorrhoids are a disorder caused by inflamed and swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum. These veins become inflamed from intense pressure, usually as a result of straining during bowel movements. There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.
Internal hemorrhoids are so far inside the rectum that you normally can’t feel them due to the lack of pain-sensing nerves in that area. These can prolapse to the outside where you can see and feel them, usually after a bowel movement. Bleeding may be the only sign of internal hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are under the skin around the anus and tend to be painful and bleed.
Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids typically cause bloody stool or bleeding from the anus that can be found on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. Other symptoms include bothersome protrusions, intermittent swelling, irritation, and mild discomfort, especially after a period of diarrhea or constipation.
Treatment of Hemorrhoids
It’s important that you seek treatment for hemorrhoids from a specially-trained gastroenterologist. Smaller hemorrhoids are easily treatable and usually resolve themselves when the source of the pressure is reduced. Adding fiber to your diet and making sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids during the day will help avoid constipation. If possible, avoid straining during a bowel movement. If the constipation does not diminish, you may need to see a doctor to make sure there is not an underlying issue that needs to be addressed.
Did You Know?
- Hemorrhoids are very common and affect 10 million Americans each year.
- Despite its commonality, only 1 in 3 people seek medical treatment each year for their hemorrhoids.
- Some chronic sufferers develop hemorrhoids in as many as three locations.
The Gastro Health team is here to help with your hemorrhoids diagnosis and treatment. We offer non-surgical treatment options that can improve or relieve your symptoms. If you think you’re suffering from hemorrhoids, please call us today or click here to request an appointment.