Hemorrhoids: Types, Causes and Treatment
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. Roughly 10.4 million people in the U.S. are affected by hemorrhoids, with only 3.4 million seeking treatment. Hemorrhoids are nothing to be embarrassed of, and they are easily preventable and treatable. 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
- Anal Intercourse
- Straining During Bowel Movements
- Low-Fiber Diets
- Sitting for Long Periods of Time
- Laxative or Enema Overuse
- Heavy Lifting
Self-help measures to help combat these factors and prevent 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; generally painless and invisible, and tend to heal over time.
Prolapsed Hemorrhoids – Internal hemorrhoids that begin to swell and stick out from the anus; can be extremely painful due to stress on nerve ending.
Thrombosed Hemorrhoids – External or internal hemorrhoids that have formed a clot; most noticeable in external hemorrhoids, creating a bluish color around the swollen extremity.
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.
- 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, painless treatments.
For many, ointments and creams will 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.
The Louisiana Hemorrhoid Center, a division of 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 Louisiana Hemorrhoid Center or to learn more about the CRH O’Regan System® and the GI conditions treated by GastroIntestinal Specialists, call (318) 631-9121 or click here.