WHAT ARE HEMORRHOIDS?
Hemorrhoids are enlarged blood vessels that protrude into the lower rectum and anus. In some cases, they may extend through the anus (prolapse). Hemorrhoids can be caused by chronic constipation or diarrhea, pregnancy, straining during bowel movements, overuse of laxatives or enemas, or general aging. Symptomatic hemorrhoids affect about one half of all Americans by the age of 50. Hemorrhoids do not increase your risk of colon or rectal cancer.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
Hemorrhoids can cause itching, bleeding, swelling, and occasional pain.
HOW ARE THEY DIAGNOSED?
Your Esse Health Gastroenterologist can do an in-office physical exam checking outside the anus and inside the rectum for enlarged blood vessels.
WHAT ARE THE TREATMENT OPTIONS?
There are many non-surgical options for the treatment of Hemorrhoids. Home remedies such as eating high fiber foods or soaking in a warm bath may help to relieve mild pain and inflammation. Over-the-counter ointments or suppositories can provide temporary relief. For more persistent symptoms, your Esse Health Gastroenterologist may recommend rubber band ligation. Rubber band ligation is a minimally invasive procedure where small rubber bands are placed at the base of hemorrhoids to cut off circulation. Surgical options are also available but are rarely required.