Hemorrhoids in Houston, TX
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What is a hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids, sometimes known as piles, are veins in the rectum or lower anus that have become swollen and irritated. The condition typically occurs when the vein walls in the rectum or anus grow so thin that the veins bulge or protrude. Hemorrhoids can occur internally (within the rectum) or externally (on the anus).
Hemorrhoids are not uncommon. In fact, approximately three out of four adults will experience piles at some time in their lives. In some occurrences, a blood clot will develop inside a hemorrhoid (a condition referred to as a thrombosed hemorrhoid) and can cause pain or discomfort. The board-certified GI providers at Gastroenterology Consultants are experts in helping patients with this common concern and other gastrointestinal (GI) conditions. To receive treatment for hemorrhoids in Houston, TX, please contact our practice today.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids might stem from a range of contributing factors. Some of those factors include:
- Sitting or standing for long periods of time
- Ongoing diarrhea
- Straining too hard to perform a physical activity (such as lifting weights)
- Straining during bowel movements
- The natural aging process
- Genetic history of hemorrhoids
- Chronic constipation
What are some symptoms of hemorrhoids?
The symptoms that manifest with hemorrhoids can be varied depending on the area affected by the hemorrhoids. Typical signs include:
- Discomfort during the passing of stool
- Discomfort near the anus while conducting physical activities
- Bright red blood in one's stool
- Discomfort and/or inflammation around the anus
- Itching around the anus
- Purple, pink, or blue raised lesions that protrude near the anus
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Smaller hemorrhoids will often heal without intervention after a few days. Your Gastroenterology Consultants gastroenterologist could prescribe medications or recommend home remedies to relieve the irritating symptoms of hemorrhoids. When larger hemorrhoids occur, however, professional involvement is available in Houston, TX and might be needed to excise or treat the hemorrhoid. Typical hemorrhoid treatments include:
- A high fiber diet
- Ice packs for reduction of anal swelling
- Draining of a clotted hemorrhoid (thrombosis)
- Ligation using rubber bands
- Good hygiene, specifically in the anal region
- Avoidance of use of dry toilet paper
- Treating constipation or the primary cause of the hemorrhoids
- Applying topical ointment
- Tub baths several times daily in warm water
Is it possible to prevent the development of hemorrhoids?
There are certain things you can do to reduce the chance of hemorrhoids — or at least, lessen their effects. This can include lifestyle changes like:
- Avoid sitting for extended periods of time: Be sure to take breaks throughout the day. For instance, take a quick walk every 1 – 2 hours.
- Consume foods that are high in fiber: This includes fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, and more. If you struggle to eat an adequate amount of fiber, a fiber dietary supplement could be an ideal option.
- Consume adequate amounts of water.
- Exercise on a regular basis.
- Use the restroom as soon as you have the urge, rather than waiting for another time.
Are there certain foods I should avoid if I have hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids often result from chronic constipation, so implementing certain dietary changes might be ideal if you have this GI condition. Our Houston, TX gastrointestinal providers may recommend avoiding foods with little to no fiber. This includes products like cheese, chips, ice cream, processed foods, and fast food. During your visit, we can provide additional information on foods to avoid if you have hemorrhoids.
Will a nonprescription cream resolve hemorrhoids?
Over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid creams can be a great way to relieve common symptoms such as inflammation and itching. In some individuals, they may even help address small hemorrhoids. But they often are not the most effective treatment approach. Since over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams don't actually address the underlying cause of hemorrhoids, it's likely that hemorrhoids will reoccur without professional medical care.
How long does it take for a hemorrhoid to resolve?
The type and severity of hemorrhoid that has developed will usually determine the length of time it will last. With internal hemorrhoids, mild cases usually clear up within a week or so. More significant hemorrhoids, on the contrary, might take a few weeks to resolve or may need medical treatment. External hemorrhoids generally need care from a medical provider. Treatment options could include nutritional and lifestyle modifications, using over-the-counter medications, a procedure like hemorrhoid banding (rubber band ligation), a surgical procedure, or a different form of care.
Timely treatment for hemorrhoids
While hemorrhoids rarely lead to more serious health issues, they can certainly be irritating and may wreak havoc on your quality of life. If you are in need of hemorrhoid treatment in Houston, TX, our physicians are available to assist. Please contact Gastroenterology Consultants today to connect with a gastroenterology specialist.
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