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Hemorrhoids Q & A
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also referred to as piles, are swollen veins that develop in your rectum or anus. You may develop hemorrhoids from any number of causes, including straining while you go to the bathroom, sitting on the toilet for too long, or increased pressure on the veins during pregnancy.
You may find your hemorrhoids embarrassing, but they’re common, affecting 75% of adults at some point in their lives. Hemorrhoids are also treatable.
What are common hemorrhoid symptoms?
You may not experience any symptoms from your hemorrhoid or you may not realize that your symptoms are due to the swollen veins. Common hemorrhoid symptoms include:
- The appearance of bright red blood in the toilet after a bowel movement
- Anal itching
- Swelling around the anus
- Formation of a lump around your anus
Your symptoms may also depend on where your hemorrhoid is located. For internal hemorrhoids, you may not experience any painful symptoms, but they may bleed and lead to bright red blood in the toilet after a bowel movement.
External hemorrhoids can cause physical discomfort and may bleed when scratched. In some cases, external hemorrhoids can become thrombosed, which provokes the formation of a blood clot. These thrombosed hemorrhoids can be painful and uncomfortable.
How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?
Your specialist at Capitol Gastro may be able to determine that you have hemorrhoids during an examination and visual inspection of your anus. If it’s suspected that you have internal hemorrhoids, your specialist may perform a digital exam to confirm their presence.
Capitol Gastro is an advanced gastroenterology practice and may also recommend specialist testing, such as a colonoscopy, to rule out other causes of your symptoms.
What treatments can improve my hemorrhoids?
Treatment for your hemorrhoids may depend on their location and your symptoms. Your hemorrhoids may resolve on their own with lifestyle changes, such as increasing the fiber in your diet to reduce straining. You may also be able to relieve some of your discomfort using over-the-counter topical treatments.
However, if your hemorrhoids are causing significant discomfort or excessive bleeding, your specialist may perform a minimally invasive procedure to remove the bulging vein. Some of the techniques utilized by the experienced team include:
- Hemorrhoid band ligation
- Infrared coagulation
Your specialist works with you to determine the most appropriate method for removing your hemorrhoid.
Hemorrhoids may be uncomfortable and embarrassing, but the experienced team at Capitol Gastro can provide the care you need to help you feel better. For a consultation, call 512-593-6022 today or request an appointment online.