Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that enlarge and develop in the lower portion of the rectum or anus. This is a common condition that results from increased pressure on the veins in the rectal region. The swollen veins can cause pain, and itching especially when you people are sitting. Hemorrhoids may develop either inside or outside of the rectum, and are classified by their location.
Hemorrhoids can occur on either side of the anus and falls into two prime categories:
- Internal: These lie inside the anus and commonly shows no symptoms; however, sufferers are usually aware of the condition. Excessive straining to pass stools may cause bleeding. Sometimes the straining effort made by the patient pushes the internal hemorrhoid causing it to protrude through the anus and generating high levels of pain.
- External: Having external Hemorrhoids means, the Hemorrhoids are located under the first layer of skin around the anus. Unlike the internal type, where people experience no symptoms until worst case, while in external type, people feel itchy usually and it may sometimes bleed as well. And sometimes, blood can also get accumulated forming a clot, which will add to soreness and pain.
Hemorrhoids can be caused by straining during bowel movements, but may also result from Constipation, prolonged sedentary periods, anal infections and certain liver diseases. Women who are pregnant or have recently given birth are at an increased risk for developing Hemorrhoids, as are those who are overweight or obese. Hemorrhoid symptoms vary from mild to severe. The most common symptoms include:
- Pain around the anus
- Itching around the anus
- Mild rectal bleeding, especially during bowel movements
- Discomfort when sitting
- Stool leakage, especially when hemorrhoids prolapse, or extend beyond the anus
If you suspect that you have hemorrhoids, Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, or Dr. Long B. Nguyen can perform a series of tests and physical exams to properly diagnose and treat your symptoms. The most common procedures performed to diagnose the problem are:
- Extreme condition of constipation
- Aging blended with poor lifestyle
- Anal intercourse
- Experiencing tough time moving the stool
- Poor diet as it does not contain the proper amount of fiber and water.
Testing for Hemorrhoids
A physical examination of the anus usually confirms a diagnosis of external hemorrhoids as they are easily visualized. A digital examination of the lower rectum can confirm the structure of muscles and often locate any polyps and/or tumors. Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, or Dr. Long B. Nguyen, perform a variety of procedures to diagnose Hemorrhoids. The most common procedures performed to diagnose hemorrhoids are
Some hemorrhoids can be treated with lifestyle changes like losing weight; and those that develop during pregnancy often resolve in the weeks and months after giving birth. Topical medications may help relieve symptoms in those cases. The combination of water and fiber makes stools soft and bulky, therefore, easier to pass through the anal canal. Patients are encouraged to avoid straining and forcing a bowel movement to happen. The outcomes of these lifestyle changes usually work. However, it may take some time and patience for this course of action to yield results.
Dietary Changes: Mild or moderate Hemorrhoids can usually be treated with good success by:
- Adding fiber to your diet
- Increasing water intake,
- Using stool softeners
- Taking drugs to treat pain
Surgical Options: When Hemorrhoids cause symptoms like severe pain or discomfort when sitting or walking, they may need more aggressive treatment which may include the following procedures:
- Rubber band ligation: emorrhoid ligation is the least-invasive treatment available. The hemorrhoid is wrapped with a rubber band at the base of the protrusion, cutting off blood flow. This causes it to shrink and eventually fall off, usually within a week. This procedure, which involves very little pain, can be performed on an outpatient basis.
Infrared Coagulation: Infrared Coagulation therapy is another effective technique for removing hemorrhoids that are not too large. With this procedure, a local anesthetic is applied followed by an infrared coagulation device that is brought into contact with the hemorrhoid. The protrusion is heated for a brief interval, causing tissue to be burned. The necrotic (dead) tissue then forms a scar inhibiting the flow of blood to the Hemorrhoid.
Board certified physicians Dr. Singh, Dr. Rashbaum, Dr. Nitin Parikh, Dr. Long B. Nguyen, and providers Tammi D’Elena, PA-C; and Vanessa T. Dang, MSN, APRN; care for patients in the North Atlanta, GA area including Johns Creek, Alpharetta, Lawrenceville, and Cumming. The In-House Endoscopy Suite at Digestive Care Physicians is a certified facility which has achieved the highest level of accreditation by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC). If you suffer from hemorrhoids or need a colorectal cancer screening, contact us at (770) 227-2222 to schedule an appointment.