Hemorrhoids are swollen or inflamed veins that originate in the rectum and anus, causing pain and bleeding. They can be caused by low fiber intake, chronic constipation or diarrhea, straining when having a bowel movement, or sitting on the toilet for extended periods of time. Pregnancy can also cause hemorrhoids as it increases pressure on the abdomen.
Hemorrhoids can be internal and external. External hemorrhoids are located under the skin around the anus, while internal hemorrhoids develop inside the lower rectum. For further information on the differences, check out our blog post found here.
Hemorrhoids are often painful, but sometimes they aren't. That's why it's important to watch for these symptoms:
- Pain, discomfort or swelling around the anus
- Bright red blood in stool or on toilet paper
A GI doctor examines the anus and rectum to determine whether you have hemorrhoids and the best treatment for your diagnosis.
Ways To Lessen Discomfort
- Don’t strain when on the toilet
- Don’t rub aggressively
- Don’t clean or aggravate the affected area
Hemorrhoids can sometimes be treated with home remedies, but often they require medical attention. At-home treatment consists of lifestyle changes such as consuming high amounts of fiber and drinking lots of water. We recommend the hemorrhoid band ligation as the most simple and successful form of medical treatment for hemorrhoids.
With approximately 75 percent of individuals contracting hemorrhoids at some point in their lives, this is a very common and manageable issue. If you are experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms, don’t let fear or embarrassment about hemorrhoids hold you back from getting treatment. Visit our Cary Hemorrhoid Center or contact one of our GI specialists.