Posts for tag: Hemorrhoids
If you are experiencing rectal pain or noticing specks of blood on your toilet paper you might be dealing with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids, also referred to as piles, are swollen veins that form either inside or outside the rectum. While hemorrhoids are more common as a person gets older, this condition can happen to anyone. Here’s what you should know about this common rectal problem and how you can treat it.
What causes hemorrhoids?
If you have family members that deal with hemorrhoids, you may be more likely to get them too. Any kind of pressure that’s placed on the rectum and impacts the flow of blood can cause these veins to swell. Pressure may be caused by:
- Constipation and straining during bowel movements
- Heavy lifting or intense physical activity
- Being overweight or obese
- A poor diet that is low in fiber
- Leading a sedentary lifestyle
How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?
If you’ve never had hemorrhoids before you may want to see your gastroenterologist for a diagnosis, especially if you are experiencing persistent rectal bleeding. Your doctor will go through your medical history and ask questions about your symptoms before performing an exam. A simple rectal exam is usually all that’s needed to diagnose external hemorrhoids. In order to diagnose internal hemorrhoids, you may require further testing such as a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy.
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Sometimes hemorrhoids will go away on their own, so you won’t require special care or treatment. Home remedies include:
- Adding more fiber to your diet
- Avoiding straining during bowel movements
- Staying hydrated to aid in better digestion
- Taking a Sitz bath several times a day to ease any pain and discomfort
There are also over-the-counter medications that can alleviate symptoms including pain and itching. If your symptoms persist after using these medications you should talk with your doctor. If the hemorrhoid is large or isn’t responding to other treatment options then your GI doctor may recommend surgery. There are many minimally invasive surgical techniques that can be used to get rid of hemorrhoids.
If you notice rectal pain, bleeding or discomfort that leaves you concerned or worried about your health it’s important that you talk with your gastroenterologist to find out if you need further evaluation. While hemorrhoids may clear on their own, if you don’t experience relief a doctor will be able to help.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins located in the lower rectum and anus. Think of varicose veins but in a more uncomfortable location. They can be external and develop underneath the skin surrounding the anus, or internal, and occur right inside the rectum. Approximately three in four adults would develop hemorrhoids at some point in their life. Likewise, different things could cause hemorrhoids, but the cause might not be determined, in most cases.
The good news is that effective treatment options are out there and lots of individuals get relief from their symptoms with lifestyle modifications and home care. Otherwise, you can consult with one of our gastroenterologists here at Digestive Medicine Associates in our Coral Gables, Hialeah, Kendall, Pembroke Pines, or Miami, FL, location to figure out how to get rid of your hemorrhoids.
Common Causes of Hemorrhoids
The veins surrounding the anus are prone to stretching when they’re under pressure and could swell and bulge. That being said, hemorrhoids could develop due to elevated pressure in your lower rectum because of:
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Excessive strain during bowel movements
- Being obese
- Sitting for a prolonged time on the toilet
- Being pregnant
- A diet low in fiber
- Regular heavy lifting
- Anal intercourse
- Age—your risk of developing hemorrhoids increases as you age because your anus and rectum’s tissue veins could stretch and weaken.
Complications of Hemorrhoids
While rare, hemorrhoids could result in the following complications:
- A Strangulated Hemorrhoid. When an internal hemorrhoid’s blood supply is cut off, it could be strangulated and cause excruciating pain.
- In rare cases, chronic loss of blood to hemorrhoids could result in anemia, in which the body doesn’t have sufficient healthy RBCs or red blood cells for supplying your cells with oxygen.
- Blood Clot. In some cases, a clot could form inside the hemorrhoid and cause extreme pain. This may have to be opened and drained.
When to Consult Your Gastroenterologist
If you experience bleeding whenever you pass a stool or your hemorrhoids don’t improve even with proper home care, consult your gastroenterologist in our Hialeah, Kendall, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, or Miami, FL, office. Never assume that bleeding is coming from your hemorrhoids, particularly if it’s accompanied by changes in your bowel habits and/or changes in the consistency or color of your stools.
It’s crucial to note that rectal bleeding could happen with other more serious diseases such as anal cancer and colorectal cancer. Additionally, you should obtain emergency help if you have excessive rectal bleeding and faintness, dizziness, or lightheadedness.
Need Hemorrhoid Relief? We Can Help
Reach out to us here at Digestive Medicine Associates to schedule a consultation with one of our gastroenterologists. You can reach our Hialeah, Coral Gables, Miami, and Pembroke Pines, FL, offices at (305) 822-4107.
While an embarrassing condition, hemorrhoids are rather common and will happen to the majority of us at some point during our lifetime. This condition occurs when the veins around the rectum or anus swell. Even though this problem is harmless it can be painful. There are many reasons why someone may deal with hemorrhoids. Those who lead a sedentary lifestyle are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. Those who are obese or deal with constipation regularly, as well as pregnant women are also prone to hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can either develop inside the rectum (internal) or around the anus (external). You may be dealing with hemorrhoids if you experience:
- Bright red blood during bowel movements
- Anal itching and soreness
- Pain and swelling around the anus
- A tender lump around the anus
Sometimes hemorrhoids will go away on their own; however, it’s important to know when to see a gastroenterologist for treatment. After all, some of these symptoms could also be caused by other conditions. If you are dealing with rectal bleeding or pain it’s a good idea to see a GI doctor who will be able to perform the proper tests to confirm whether you have hemorrhoids and to rule out any other intestinal problems.
One way to prevent hemorrhoids is to prevent straining during bowel movements and constipation. In order to do this you must staying hydrated and eat a healthy, high-fiber diet. Staying active and losing excess weight can also improve gut health. If you sit for the majority of the day it’s important to get up and move around to take pressure off the veins of the anus.
In terms of treatment, the goal is to reduce pain, inflammation and irritation so the area can properly heal. This involves eating a high-fiber diet. You can also use an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream, which can numb the area and reduce discomfort. Soaking for 10-15 minutes in a sitz bath can also ease symptoms. With the proper treatment and care hemorrhoids will often go away in about a week. If you don’t experience relief, or if your symptoms are severe then it’s time to see a gastroenterologist.
In some cases, surgery is necessary in order to treat complications (e.g. blood clots) of hemorrhoids or to properly address bleeding, painful, or persistent hemorrhoids. A gastroenterologist can perform these simple outpatient procedures right in their office.
If you are experiencing symptoms of hemorrhoids and not experiencing relief from over-the-counter medications and at-home care then it’s time to see a GI doctor for treatment.
Though many people never know they have one due to lack of symptoms, a hiatal hernia can cause complications which can affect your daily life. Knowing the signs and symptoms of this condition can help you spot its presence, alert your gastroenterologist, and get the treatment you need.
What is a hiatal hernia?
Your chest and abdomen are separated by a large muscle called the diaphragm. The esophagus passes through a small opening in the diaphragm and brings food from the mouth, down the throat, and into the stomach. A hiatal hernia occurs when the stomach pushes through the hole and begins bulging out of the other side, into the chest. Though small hiatal hernias are often nothing to worry about and do not produce symptoms, larger hernias may cause potentially serious complications.
Do I have a hiatal hernia?
A small hernia often does not produce any symptoms at all. However, larger hernias can cause some issues that can affect your day-to-day life:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Regurgitation of foods (into the mouth)
- Acid reflux
- Vomiting blood or passing black stool
- Shortness of breath
If you think you have a hiatal hernia, you should see your doctor to ensure that you receive the care you need.
How does a gastroenterologist diagnose a hiatal hernia?
It is not uncommon for a gastroenterologist to find a hernia while investigating the cause of heartburn, abdominal pain, or other symptoms. Some diagnostic tools they may use include x-rays or upper endoscopy. They will also gather your medical, family, and lifestyle history to further investigate the cause of your symptoms.
Hiatal Hernia Treatments
If a person with a hernia does not experience any symptoms or complications, they may not need any treatment at all. However, if the patient begins experiencing discomfort, their doctor will probably suggest beginning treatment for their condition. Medications, such as antacids or medication to reduce the body’s acid production, can help with symptoms of a hernia. In more severe cases, a surgical procedure to repair a hernia or make the hole in the diaphragm smaller may become necessary.
Your gastroenterologist can help you find the best treatment plan for you. If you think you have a hernia or are experiencing uncomfortable symptoms such as recurrent acid reflux or heartburn, you should speak with your doctor.
Though people often make jokes about hemorrhoids, they are no laughing matter for the estimated 1 million Americans who live with them each year (estimated by the Epidemiology and Impact – NIH Publication). They can be extremely painful and difficult to get rid of. Some people are forced to deal with them for a week or longer before they get any relief. They are enlarged blood vessels that bulge around the rectum and anus. Seek hemorrhoid help at Digestive Medicine Associates, LLP in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, and Miami, FL (also serving patients in Kendall, FL).
If you ask any patient who has suffered from hemorrhoids, they’ll probably tell you that the first sign is palpable pain in the rear end. Because it happens near the rectum where there are many very sensitive nerves, the pain is almost impossible to ignore. If you work at a job that requires you to sit down for long periods of time, this condition can be particularly disruptive to your everyday life.
Other Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Besides pain, there are additional symptoms that may come with hemorrhoids, or signs that they may be developing. Here are a few things to look out for:
- Tingling sensation in the rectum area (a potential warning sign that they are forming).
- Bubble-like growth around the rectum (interior hemorrhoids may also form).
- Sharp throbbing pain in the backside.
- Inability to sit down comfortably.
- Blood in the stool (internal hemorrhoids).
- Difficulty going to the bathroom (specifically, pain when having a bowel movement).
As hemorrhoids are often caused by straining when going to the bathroom, one of the first things you and your Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, Kendall, and Miami doctor will do is resolve the reason for constipation. That may include taking digestive supplements, a dietary change, or doing a test to see if there is something interfering with normal bowel movements. Additional hemorrhoid treatment options include prescription hemorrhoid cream and surgical removal of stubborn hemorrhoids (called a hemorrhoidectomy).
Relief is Available
You don’t have to continue to experience the difficult pain of hemorrhoids anymore. See one of our gastroenterologists at Digestive Medicine Associates in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Pembroke Pines, and Miami, FL (also serving patients in Kendall, FL) for immediate help. Call (305) 822-4107 today to set an appointment.
Many people develop hemorrhoids at some point, particularly between the ages of 45-65. Hemorrhoids are typically associated with pain, discomfort, itching and irritation around the anus. They can also result in pain and discomfort during bowel movements. As uncomfortable as hemorrhoids can be, there are treatments that can help. See a gastroenterologist if you suspect you might have hemorrhoids. If a gastroenterologist determines you do have hemorrhoids, an appropriate treatment can be prescribed to ease the pain and discomfort.
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is not necessarily known, but several factors or conditions do seem to increase the likelihood of development hemorrhoids. Factors associated with an increased risk for development hemorrhoids include:
- Family history of hemorrhoids
- Chronic constipation
- Sitting for extended periods
- Straining during bowel movements
Hemorrhoids often go away on their own, even without treatment. However, there are various options to ease the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids. A gastroenterologist might recommend a variety of methods for easing the pain at home. These include taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and fiber supplements for softening stools. Other things that can help provide relief include soaking in a warm bath and applying a cold compress to the anus to reduce swelling.
In addition to at home remedies for alleviating the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids, there are medical procedures a gastroenterologist can perform to reduce the size of the hemorrhoids. Two popular procedures for treating hemorrhoids include a rubber band ligation and injection therapy. These procedures can be performed if other treatments and remedies have not provided substantial relief.
When struggling with hemorrhoids, the itching, irritation, pain and discomfort can interfere with your quality of life. Fortunately, there are treatments that can provide relief and even reduce the size of the hemorrhoids. See a gastroenterologist for the treatment of your hemorrhoids.