If you haven't experienced the pain, itching, and burning of hemorrhoids, consider yourself blessed. But don't be too quick to write off this all-too-common affliction: far from being a mere nuisance that only occasionally disrupts your day-to-day life, it can quickly become an ongoing medical concern - one that tends to manifest itself in silence.

As a silent sufferer’s curse, many people suffer for weeks or even months before seeking proper medical attention - often out of fear that admitting their symptoms to their doctor is embarrassing. That's why I want to talk about hemorrhoids: what causes them and how they are typically diagnosed and treated, so those who suffer in silence know they're not alone.

What are hemorrhoids, and what causes them?

Hemorrhoids, or enlarged and swollen veins in the rectum and anus, can be a silent sufferer's nightmare. Generally caused by straining in the bathroom, lifting heavy objects, and sitting for long periods of time, hemorrhoids can range from mild to severe. Other factors contributing to their development include pregnancy, aging, and chronic constipation. 

While they aren't life-threatening, hemorrhoids are often uncomfortable, so early identification is key to prompt treatment. Simple lifestyle changes may be enough to relieve discomfort and reduce the risk of reoccurrence, while more invasive treatments may also be available.

The symptoms of hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are a common condition that causes uncomfortable symptoms such as swelling, itching, and pain in the lower rectum. They can occur inside or outside the anus and can be very painful. Symptoms of hemorrhoids differ depending on their location. Still, they typically include bright red blood on the toilet paper after defecation, discomfort and itching around the anus, feelings of rectal fullness, and tenderness in the hemorrhoid area. If you are experiencing any hemorrhoid symptoms, you must consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.

How to treat hemorrhoids

When hemorrhoids present themselves, it is important to understand that different treatments are available. These can range from lifestyle changes such as increasing fiber intake, making sure to practice proper hygiene, and engaging in regular exercise to specialized medications or even surgery in more severe cases. Speaking with a professional healthcare provider is important to determine which treatment will work best for your individual condition. In treating hemorrhoids, one should strive to balance relieving the patient's discomfort and preventing a hemorrhoidal recurrence.

Prevention tips for avoiding hemorrhoids - 

Hemorrhoids are a common condition that many individuals suffer from, but there are certain things you can do to help prevent hemorrhoids. Firstly, it is important to exercise regularly. This helps keep your digestive system functioning properly and prevents constipation, which can worsen hemorrhoids. 

Additionally, maintain a healthy diet full of fiber and adequate water intake. Increasing your intake of dietary fiber helps form softer stool, which passes through the intestines more easily and reduces pressure on hemorrhoid tissue. Taking an occasional warm bath can also relieve discomfort associated with hemorrhoids and promote healing. 

Finally, make sure to cleanse your anal area thoroughly with lukewarm water when you have a bowel movement, as this will reduce irritation and bacteria growth around hemorrhoids and help them go away faster. Following these simple tips can lower your risk of hemorrhoids occurring in the future!

At Needham Gastroenterology Associates, we pride ourselves on being experts in ERCP. Our experienced physicians are here to answer questions or provide treatment if needed – schedule an appointment.