What Are Hemorrhoids?
What Are Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Rectal bleeding
- Bright red
- Usually, a small amount
- Noticed especially after bowel movements
- Visible blood on toilet paper after wiping following a bowel movement
- Tissue bulging from the anal area
- May appear dark blue to purple in color if there is a blood clot
- Anal itching or burning sensation
- Pain and pressure in the rectal area
- Feeling a need to have a bowel movement
- Leakage of feces
- Difficulty cleaning after a bowel movement
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Causes of hemorrhoids include:
How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?
Hemorrhoids are diagnosed with a patient history and a physical examination of the rectum and anus, which may involve a digital rectal exam, in which a medical professional inserts a gloved finger into the rectum. External hemorrhoids are visible on examination.
Other tests may include:
What Is the Treatment for Hemorrhoids?
In mild cases, hemorrhoids may go away on their own in a few days.
Home treatments for hemorrhoids include:
- Warm sitz baths
- Sitz baths are available in drugstores
- Soak the buttocks in 2 or 3 inches of warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times daily
- Do not use soap, bubble bath, or other additives in the water
- Increased fiber intake
- Topical treatments
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain-relieving creams and hydrocortisone rectal suppositories may help temporarily relieve pain, inflammation, and itching.
- Do not use topical treatments for more than one week, unless recommended by a doctor
- Use if increased fiber intake does not relieve constipation
- Over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers
- Drink plenty of water
- Don’t strain during bowel movements
- Don’t sit on the toilet for long periods
Medical treatments for hemorrhoids include:
- Rubber band ligation
- Laser, infrared, or bipolar coagulation
- Hemorrhoidectomy (surgical removal of excess hemorrhoidal tissues)
- Stapled hemorrhoidopexy
- Hemorrhoidal arterial ligation
What Are Complications of Hemorrhoids?
Complications of hemorrhoids are uncommon and may include:
How Do You Prevent Hemorrhoids?
The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to prevent constipation. Constipation can be prevented by:
- Consuming plenty of fiber
- Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, and other fiber-rich foods to help increase bowel movements
- 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day is recommended
- Fiber supplements may help
- Stool softeners
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