Let’s Talk About Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins located internally or externally of the anus. They are caused by strain to the area usually related to being overweight, constipated or pregnant.

Hemorrhoids are preventable by managing your weight, being sure not to spend too long on the toilet, regular exercise, eating plenty of fiber, and drinking plenty of water.

Some doctors recommend using products to help you squat on the toilet rather than sit. It has been argued that sitting to eliminate restricts your colon and anus so that the passage way is angled, while the squatting position straightens this out and makes elimination easier and less strained.

They are classified by stages. Stage 1 hemorrhoids will bleed, Stage 2 hemorrhoids will push to the outside of the anus and sometimes pop themselves back into the anus. Stage 3 hemorrhoids are on the outside of the anus as well, but will only revert back inside when someone pushes them back in. Stage 4 hemorrhoids are stuck on the outside of the anus and cannot be pushed back inside manually.

Sometimes a hemorrhoid may develop a blood clot, this is known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. The clot can cut off circulation and cause pain. Signs that you are experiencing a thrombosed hemorrhoid include a change in color from pink to blue or purple, swelling or increased bleeding.

Hemorrhoids can be diagnosed with a physical exam or by performing an endoscopy, where a small scope is inserted into the anus to check for hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoid treatment varies based on the stage of your hemorrhoids and whether or not you are experiencing pain. In many cases, hemorrhoids can be treated from home by alternating warm and cold baths, applying over the counter creams, sleeping on your stomach and wearing loose clothing.

If home remedies do not help, different surgeries can be performed to alleviate your hemorrhoid symptoms. A hemorrhoid surgeon can staple the hemorrhoid in place known as the procedure for prolapsed hemorrhoid (PPH), use infrared light to shrink the hemorrhoid via infrared coagulation, remove the hemorrhoid through a hemorrhoidectomy, cause it to shrink by using sclerotherapy for hemorrhoids, or cut off the blood flow with a rubber band, making the hemorrhoid fall off, known as rubber band litigation.

In most cases, hemorrhoid surgery can wait until scheduled with your preferred surgeon. In some cases emergency surgery is required. This is generally in the case of extreme pain, bleeding, or if a hemorrhoid is stuck outside of the anus and cannot be pushed back in.