What are Hemorrhoids and How Are They Treated?

Dealing with hemorrhoids is a pain in the you know what...but, take it from us, you’re not alone.
It’s estimated that around 10 million Americans experience hemorrhoids every year. If you think you may have hemorrhoids, or you have just been diagnosed with hemorrhoids, you may find it useful to learn about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of hemorrhoids. 

This painful, often embarrassing condition can cause prolonged discomfort for many people. Seeking the expertise of a colorectal specialist is often the best plan to improve your symptoms or to get rid of your hemorrhoids.  

What Are Hemorrhoids And What Causes Them?

Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum and anus. Oftentimes, they are caused by straining during bowel movements or from having an increase of pressure on these veins. Increased pressure on these veins can be the result of chronic constipation, old age, obesity, sitting for long periods of time, anal infections, or pregnancy. 

There are three main types of hemorrhoids:

  • Internal hemorrhoids live inside the rectum and usually aren’t visible or noticeable and very rarely cause discomfort.
  • External hemorrhoids lie under the skin around the anus and can itch or bleed when irritated.
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids are caused when blood clots in an external hemorrhoid. These can result in pain, inflammation and a protruded lump in the area. While these aren’t particularly dangerous, a hemorrhoid specialist may have to drain the hemorrhoid to treat it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids

As stated previously, the symptoms of a hemorrhoid will vary depending on what kind of hemorrhoid you have and where it is located. External hemorrhoids and thrombosed hemorrhoids are more likely to cause discomfort and pain. Common symptoms you can expect to feel are: 

  • Bleeding during bowel movements of defecation
  • Itching or irritation in your anal area
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling around the anus
  • A lump around or near your anus which may be painful

How Are Hemorrhoids Treated?

Despite the embarrassment, this condition may cause, we recommend hemorrhoids always be examined by a hemorrhoid specialist. An exam will help you find a treatment that works for you and rule out any more serious underlying causes of your hemorrhoids. After ruling out any serious conditions, your hemorrhoids can be treated with a variety of options including:

While Hemorrhoids are very common and easy to diagnose, it is important to never assume one’s symptoms are due to hemorrhoids, unless your doctor or specialist has said so. The same symptoms that occur for hemorrhoids also apply to more serious conditions such as colorectal and rectal cancer. If you experience excessive rectal bleeding or chronic bleeding, then you should see a colorectal specialist right away. 

Avoiding hemorrhoids can result in anemia due to chronic bleeding, or in a strangulated hemorrhoid caused by an internal hemorrhoid being cut off from the blood supply, which results in extreme pain. Don’t allow embarrassment or worry stop you from seeing a medical professional about your hemorrhoids book an appointment today!