If you’re suffering from the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, hemorrhoids affect 1 in 20 Americans. That’s roughly 10 million people. Sadly, only one-third of those affected seek treatment, meaning that millions of people go on suffering unnecessarily. Hemorrhoids are nothing to be embarrassed of, and they are easily preventable and treatable.

What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are enlarged blood vessels that swell and cause discomfort around the lower rectum or anus. They can be both painful and unpleasant. When left untreated, they can grow in both size and number over time.

What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are the result of excessive strain in the rectum, which can be due to various factors. These factors include:

  • Chronic constipation
  • Sitting for long periods of time
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Pregnancy
  • Laxative or enema overuse
  • Anal intercourse
  • Heavy lifting
  • Genetics

Self-help measures for combating these factors and preventing hemorrhoids include adding more fiber to your diet, exercising, drinking 8 glasses of water a day and remembering to take your time when using the restroom. DON’T STRAIN.

Types of Hemorrhoids
There are 4 types of hemorrhoids:

  • External Hemorrhoids form under the skin around the anus. Due to the location, they can cause extreme pain and discomfort.
  • Internal Hemorrhoids form in the lining of the anus and lower rectum. They are generally painless and invisible, and tend to heal over time.
  • Prolapsed Hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that begin to swell and stick out from the anus. They can be extremely painful due to stress on nerve ending.
  • Thrombosed Hemorrhoids are external or internal hemorrhoids that have formed a clot. They are most noticeable in external hemorrhoids, creating a bluish color around the swollen extremity.

Symptoms
Hemorrhoids can be very painful, but not in all cases. Depending on the severity and type, you may experience the following symptoms or none at all:

  • Swelling
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Itchiness, burning or irritation
  • Malodorous bowel movements
  • Pain and discomfort around the anus
  • Don’t wait to seek diagnosis and treatment. When caught early, hemorrhoids can be treated with noninvasive, quick and painless treatments.

Treatment
For many, ointments and creams only mask symptoms to provide temporary relief. They do not address the root of the problem that is causing the pain, itching, bleeding and overall discomfort. GastroIntestinal Specialists is now offering the CRH O’Regan System®, a simple, painless and effective way to treat hemorrhoids. 95% of hemorrhoids can be treated using this system. The sooner you seek treatment, the lower your chances are for surgery.

To schedule an appointment with the Hemorrhoid Center of Louisiana or to learn more about the CRH O’Regan System® and the GI conditions treated by GastroIntestinal Specialists, call our clinic at  (318) 631-9121.