Hemorrhoids are estimated to occur in 4% of all adults. About 40% may never experience symptoms, but when they occur, the bleeding and irritation can mimic other potentially severe problems. As such, it’s important to see Dr. Jeffrey Fenyves and Dr. Stephen Fry at Tri-Cities Gastroenterology: They can expertly relieve symptoms and protect your ongoing health. Please book an appointment online or call one of their offices in Kingsport, Johnson City, or Elizabethton, Tennessee.
Hemorrhoids Q & A
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in your anus or the lower part of your rectum. You can have two types of hemorrhoids:
Internal hemorrhoids develop in the lining of the anus and lower rectum. They rarely cause discomfort unless straining during bowel movements forces one through the anal opening.
External hemorrhoids form under the skin around your anus.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids develop from pressures that make your blood vessels stretch. Aging may contribute to weaker blood vessels, but the pressure responsible for hemorrhoids usually comes from:
Chronic constipation or diarrhea
Straining during bowel movements
Pregnancy or childbirth
Sitting for a long time, especially on the toilet
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
If you have hemorrhoids, you may experience the following symptoms:
Bleeding during a bowel movement, bright red blood on stool or toilet paper or in toilet
Itching or irritation around your anus
Pain when an internal hemorrhoid protrudes through the anus
Bulging near your anus when an external hemorrhoid forms a blood clot
How are hemorrhoids treated?
If your hemorrhoids are mild, self-care may provide sufficient relief. Lifestyle changes can prevent future hemorrhoids.
Your doctor at Tri-Cities Gastroenterology may recommend a warm tub or sitz bath, an ice pack to reduce swelling, or a hemorrhoid cream or suppository.
To prevent hemorrhoids, you’ll need to eliminate pressure from straining. You can soften stools by eating more fiber and drinking six to eight glasses of fluid per day. Your doctor may also recommend a bulk stool softener or fiber supplement.
What procedures effectively treat hemorrhoids?
If you have persistent bleeding, painful hemorrhoids, or a blood clot, your doctor may perform one of the following procedures to remove or reduce the size of your hemorrhoids:
A rubber band placed around the base of the hemorrhoid cuts off circulation, thereby causing the hemorrhoid to wither and fall off.
The doctor injects a chemical solution to shrink the hemorrhoid.
Heat from a laser, electric current, or infrared light is applied to an internal hemorrhoid, causing it to harden and shrink.
Uses radiofrequency waves to ablate or destroy prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Surgery to remove large or severe hemorrhoids.
If you suspect you have hemorrhoids or experience rectal bleeding, call Tri-Cities Gastroenterology or book an appointment online.