Hemorrhoids in Indianapolis, IN
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What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are inflamed veins near the lower rectum or anus. The condition typically occurs in the event that the vein walls in the anus or rectum come to be so thin that the veins protrude or bulge. Hemorrhoids can present internally (within the rectum) or externally (on the anus).
Hemorrhoids are quite common. As a matter of fact, close to three-fourths of adults will experience hemorrhoids from time to time. In some instances, a blood clot will grow inside a hemorrhoid (knowns as a thrombosed hemorrhoid) and may result in discomfort or pain. The board-certified GI doctors at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology are experts in helping patients with this common condition as well as other gastrointestinal (GI) problems. To receive care for hemorrhoids in Indianapolis, IN, please reach out to our providers at your earliest convenience.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are likely to be attributed to many things. Causes of a hemorrhoid can include:
- The natural aging process
- Chronic constipation
- Excessive strain during bowel movements
- Standing or sitting for long periods of time
- Excessive strain when performing physical activity (such as lifting weights)
- Genetic history of hemorrhoids
- Chronic diarrhea
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Symptoms of piles vary because of the location of the hemorrhoids, but commonly include:
- Discomfort and/or swelling surrounding the anus
- Itching around the anus
- Purple, pink, or blue bumps that protrude near the anus
- Bright red blood in one's stool
- Pain during the passing of stool
- Pain near the anus while performing physical activities
How are hemorrhoids treated?
In some cases, mild cases of hemorrhoids may heal on their own after a few days. Your Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology gastroenterologist could choose to prescribe medications or recommend at-home remedies to alleviate the irritating symptoms of hemorrhoids. When larger hemorrhoids occur, however, professional intervention is available in Indianapolis, IN, and may be required to remove or treat the hemorrhoid. Common hemorrhoid treatment includes:
- Ligation using rubber bands
- Treatment of constipation or the primary cause of the hemorrhoids
- Draining a clotted hemorrhoid (thrombosis)
- Maintaining a clean anal region
- Tub baths several times a day in warm water
- Avoiding the use of dry toilet paper
- Applying topical cream
- Ice packs for reduction of anal inflammation
- A high-fiber diet
Is it possible to prevent the development of hemorrhoids?
There are certain factors that can reduce the chance of hemorrhoids — or, at the very minimum, diminish their impact. This may include lifestyle changes like:
- Eat a high-fiber diet: This includes fresh vegetables and fruits, a variety of whole grains, and more. If you find it challenging to get an adequate amount of fiber, a fiber dietary supplement may be ideal.
- Drink adequate amounts of water
- Get regular exercise
- Use the restroom as soon as you have the urge, as opposed to waiting for another time
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time: Take breaks during the day. For example, take a short walk every 1 – 2 hours.
Are there specific foods to avoid if you have hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are frequently caused by persistent constipation, so specific changes to your diet could be suggested if you have this GI issue. Our Indianapolis, IN gastrointestinal providers may advise avoiding foods that have little to no fiber. This involves items like potato chips, ice cream, cheese, fast food, and processed foods. During your visit, we can provide additional details on food items to stay away from if you have hemorrhoids.
Can an over-the-counter cream improve hemorrhoids?
Over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid creams can be a good method to alleviate symptoms such as itching and inflammation. In some cases, they could even help treat minor hemorrhoids. However, they typically do not offer the most effective treatment option. Since over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams don't actually treat the underlying cause of hemorrhoids, the condition will likely reappear without professional treatment.
How long do hemorrhoids last?
The variation and severity of the hemorrhoid you're experiencing will often determine the length of time it might last. When hemorrhoids are internal, mild cases generally resolve over the course of a few days to one week. Bigger hemorrhoids, however, might take up to a few weeks to improve or may need professional medical treatment. External hemorrhoids generally require care from a physician. Treatment options could involve nutritional and lifestyle modifications, over-the-counter medications, a procedure like hemorrhoid banding (rubber band ligation), surgery, or a different approach.
Prompt treatment for hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids typically don't lead to serious health concerns, but they can still be uncomfortable and interfere with your quality of life. If you are needing assistance with treatment for hemorrhoids in Indianapolis, IN, our doctors are ready to help. We encourage you to contact Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology today to schedule a consultation with a gastroenterology physician.
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