Many people think that hemorrhoids are a condition that only affect older people, or pregnant women. In fact, more than half of all Americans over age 30 will develop hemorrhoids at some time in their lives. Hemorrhoids are also a common problem for people with IBS or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who suffer with diarrhea and/or constipation. The good news is that hemorrhoids are very treatable.
What Is a Hemorrhoid?
A hemorrhoid is actually a form of vericose vein. The veins in and around the rectum and anus become swollen. The two forms of hemorrhoids are internal and external.
Internal. This form of hemorrhoid is inside the rectum. Internal hemorrhoids usually don't cause pain, but may bleed and rarely protrude from the anus during bowel movements. An internal hemorrhoid may prolapse, or extend outside the anus and be quite painful.
External. This form of hemorrhoid is located around the anus and when inflamed feels like a hard lump. They are covered by skin, are very sensitive to touch, and can bleed, especially while straining during a hard bowel movement.
What Are the Symptoms?
Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Anal itching
- Bleeding during bowel movements (often bright red on the paper or on the outside of the stool)
- Protrusion during bowel movements
- Sensitive lumps around the anus
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
A variety of reasons may contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Some of these include:
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Straining during bowel movements
- Overuse of laxatives
How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?
Because the symptoms of hemorrhoids are similar to those of an anal fissure, a fistula, or an abscess, it is important to be seen by a physician and be diagnosed. However, many people suffer from their hemorrhoids and treat them with over-the-counter medications without ever talking to their doctor. Rectal bleeding should always be checked out by a doctor, even if it is suspected to be from a hemorrhoid.
To diagnose hemorrhoids, a physician will need to examine the anal area. Patients may be asked to remove clothing from the waist down, change into a hospital gown and lie on one side on an examination table. The physician will examine around the anus and rectum. A doctor may also perform a quick rectal exam with a gloved and lubricated finger. This may be painful for a moment if external hemorrhoids are present, but is helpful in making a correct diagnosis.
In some cases, the physician may need to take a closer look at the area with an anoscope. An anoscope is a small tube with a light that when inserted into the rectum can help the physician see any internal hemorrhoids.
What Is the Treatment?
Mild hemorrhoids. Most hemorrhoids are considered mild, and symptoms are often relieved by a few changes in diet and lifestyle. One goal of treatment is to ensure that stool should is soft and easily passed. Increasing fiber in the diet will help stool to be more easily passed without straining. Drinking more water will help to prevent constipation and hard, difficult to pass stools.
For people with IBS, soluble fiber (brown rice, oatmeal, psyllium husks, etc.) is often better tolerated than insoluble fiber (wheat bran, whole grains, cereals, seeds, etc.). People with IBD who are following a low-fiber diet on the advice of a physician will want to talk to their doctor before adding fiber to the diet. In both IBS and IBD, treating the underlying symptoms of constipation and diarrhea will help the hemorrhoids to heal more rapidly.
Keeping the anal area clean is also important to recovery. Sitz baths (sitting in warm water) relieves symptoms and can be taken either in the bathtub or with a store-bought plastic seat that fits over the toilet bowl. Over-the-counter wipes for hemorrhoids may also be helpful as they contain witch hazel, which is a natural astringent.
Creams, gels, and suppositories that are also sold over-the-counter may help reduce swelling and provide relief from symptoms. A diagnosing physician may provide a prescription for stronger medications to relieve symptoms.
With proper treatment, hemorrhoids may start to improve over a few days to a week. In four to six weeks, the "lump" from an external hemorrhoid should decrease in size.
Severe hemorrhoids. When hemorrhoids become persistent or very painful, other treatments may be necessary. Most of these treatments have complications, and most doctors try to avoid them, and use them only as a last resort.
- Clot removal. This procedure used on clotted external hemorrhoids is minor surgery and is usually done under local anesthetic in a physician's office. A small incision is made and the clot is lifted out.
- Rubber band ligation. This treatment is often used for internal hemorrhoids that extend beyond the anus during bowel movements. A small rubber band is positioned around the hemorrhoid, which effectively cuts off its blood supply. The band and the hemorrhoid tissue will be discharged in a few days and heal over a period of one to two weeks.
- Sclerotherapy (injection therapy). This procedure may be used on small internal hemorrhoids. A hardening agent is injected into the hemorrhoid, resulting in a loss of circulation that causes the hemorrhoid to shrivel.
- Infrared coagulation. Infrared light is aimed at the base of the hemorrhoid, causing it to clot, then shrivel and finally recede.
- Hemorrhoidectomy. During this procedure, the hemorrhoid (the tissue that is bleeding or protruding from the anus) is surgically removed under local anesthesia. A recovery period and hospitalization may occasionally be necessary. It may be used when external hemorrhoids clot repeatedly, the ligation procedure is not successful, a protruding hemorrhoid is not responding to treatment, or there is ongoing bleeding.
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Frequently Asked Questions
This girl I like said that she would rather have painful bleeding hemorrhoids before she would go out with me.?
Is she just playing hard to get?
She sounds like a real pain in the a*se to me.
PAINFUL, bleeding hemorrhoids? NO Relief?
Been using suppositoies and stool softner for a few months, not helping at all. Any suggestions? How does dr treat them?
painful, bleeding throbbing hemorrhoid?
Have very, very painful internal hemorrhoids, that is bleeding and throbbing. Each bowel movement is so painful I'm in tears. I went to the dr about it, he gave me a numbing external med, then he gave me a hard plastic applicator for internal. The meds are not numbing anything, and the pain is so bad, I can not use the hard plastic applicator.He told me to take a warm bath, and that helped for about 20 minutes. I am a server and and on my feet all day, with no breaks and our trays are pretty heavy. Dr said that wouldn't aggravate it, but I feel like my insides are gonna come out of my butt! I can feel it throbbing! I have even tried the otc suppositories, several times a day, but even those are painful and don't seem to work. It got so bad this weekend, I called the dr, and he just told me to take a sitz bath again. I'm taken about 8 -10 advil a day, and that doesnt seem to even touch the pain. Any suggestions? IN PAIN!!!
Sorry to hear you're in pain. They have a surgery that can remove the hemorrhoids. You seem to have a pretty bad case. Normally I wouldn't suggest surgery, but I think you're at that point. Also, your doctor doesn't seem to be helping you very much. You should try another doctor and get a second opinion. Good luck.
After the ProcedureYou may have a lot of pain after surgery as the anus tightens and relaxes. You may be given medications to relieve pain.
To avoid straining, you will use stool softeners. Avoid any straining during bowel movement or urination. Eat more fiber to ease bowel movements. Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
Gradually return to your normal activities. Avoid lifting, pulling, or strenuous activity until your bottom has healed.
Soaking in a warm bath can give you additional comfort. You may be given a container to give yourself “sitz baths” (sitting in 3 to 4 inches of warm water) a few times a day.
You should have complete recovery in about 2 weeks.
Hemorrhoid surgery is the removal of swollen veins around the anus (hemorrhoids). Hemorrhoids can be inside or outside of the skin around the rectum.
Hemorrhoids can be surgically removed using a special stapler or sutures (stitches). You may be sedated and pain-free (local or spinal anesthesia) or asleep and pain-free (general anesthesia). After the hemorrhoid is removed, you may have stitches that dissolve on their own and gauze packing to reduce bleeding.
Smaller hemorrhoids may not need surgery. These procedures are often done in an outpatient clinic or your doctor’s office, with minimal or no anesthesia.
To treat your hemorrhoids, your doctor may:
•Give you a chemical shot to reduce swelling
•Place a rubber band around the hemorrhoid to cut off the blood supply to it
•Shrink the hemorrhoid with infrared light or a laser, or freeze it with liquid nitrogen
Your doctor may recommend hemorrhoid removal when nonsurgical treatment (such as a high-fiber diet, laxatives, stool softener, suppositories, medications, and warm baths) do not make your symptoms go away.
Typical symptoms are:
•Blood clots (thrombosis of the hemorrhoids)
Risks for any surgery are:
Painful and bleeding hemorrhoid,please help?
Is there any cure for a bleeding hemorrhoid? It's too painful, I really nead help. If you have any ideas, or if you know any cure for this, please let me know.
You can put an ice cube in some paper towel, and hold it on it to take some swelling down.
Then apply hemorrhoid cream.
Use a stool softener, so you have soft poo.
Drink at least 8 glasses of water to keep the poo soft.
what can someone do for excessive bleeding and painful haemorrhoids?
Some one could consider visiting the doctor to have the problem assessed to see what is possible. It may be matters have gone beyond what fiber and a decent diet can help, and you may need surgery to remove them. If you are actively and excessively bleeding, it's past time for home remedies, really. There are medications and soothing pads that can help shrink the swelling and help with the pain- but they aren't meant for the type of hemorrhoids that are dripping blood into the loo. If you are really in that sort of fix, it's time to see the people in casualty, or your regular doctor by tomorrow at the latest.