Hemorrhoids, When Do You Need To Take Action?
Hemorrhoids are the veins around your anus and lower rectum. When you strain during a bowel movement, these blood vessels can swell up and cause symptoms. They aren’t usually severe when they’re not causing symptoms. But if signs of piles become severe or last for more than ten days, see your doctor.
What Are the Most Common Hemorrhoid Symptoms?
Most symptoms improve with treatment; surgery may be needed for symptoms that don’t respond to other treatments.
Some symptoms include:
- Painful swelling of the rectal tissue results when veins engorge with blood.
- Bleeding in your stool or the toilet bowl after using the bathroom. Blood is bright red and can also be mixed with mucus.
- A symptom that may come before actual symptoms are painful bowel movements that may cause you to strain when trying to empty your bowels.
- Prolapse hemorrhoids: This happens when rectal tissue protrudes outside the anus during a bowel movement.
- Anal itching may also be a sign of piles; however, other conditions (such as yeast infection) can cause anal itching too. If itching doesn’t go away with treatment forbidding it, see your doctor for a diagnosis.
What Are Some Hemorrhoid Treatment Options?
Since they can be painful, itchy, and bleed throughout the day, they may seem like a significant problem. However, symptoms often improve with treatment. Many treatments do not require surgery – proper diet and lifestyle habits are enough to reduce pain and itchiness in most cases.
For piles that cause mild-but-persistent bleeding or pain, you can try simple home remedies:
- Increasing your fiber intake is one of the best ways to ensure regular bowel movements and avoid straining during toilet trips. When fiber absorbs water from the intestine, it increases the bulk of the stool and speeds up its movement through the colon, which helps prevent piles from swelling and enlargement. You can supplement your dietary fiber intake by eating whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables.
- If you are not sure they are the reason for your constipation problem, check with your doctor to rule out other medical conditions that may be causing it.
What Are Medicated Treatment Options?
If mild piles don’t respond to home remedies, your doctor can prescribe medications to shrink hemorrhoidal tissue and ease discomfort. Thrombolytic agents such as the prescription drug Pentoxifylline can relieve hemorrhoid pain and itch in most patients by helping heal damaged tissue faster. Other medical options for relieving symptoms include:
- Topical creams containing a corticosteroid and local anesthetic to treat piles outside the anus area. Topical ointments are less potent than oral medication, but they also have fewer side effects that lead to dependency or addiction.
- Over-the-counter wipes are designed for treatment and can also provide relief in mild cases. You can buy wipes in most pharmacies or drug stores without a prescription. Wipes contain ingredients such as witch hazel and hydrocortisone, which relieve itchiness and swelling when applied topically on the anus area. Wipes should only be used for external symptoms; they shouldn’t be taken internally because they may increase bleeding. Using wipes that don’t respond to treatment may also trigger a flare-up.
- In piles with severe bleeding, oral medications that reduce blood vessel activity may increase vein diameter and slow down blood circulation inside rectal tissues.
- Oral medications such as antifibrotics, analgesics, and laxatives can also relieve pain within the anus area by reducing swelling and supporting bowel movements. In piles where tissue protrudes through the anus, a surgery called hemorrhoidopexy may be necessary to fix the prolapsed tissue back in its place before it becomes worse.
If you have piles, but they don’t bother you enough to make a trip to the doctor’s office, you can watch your condition closely for any signs of flare-ups. This is especially important if you’re taking any medication as it can cause side effects such as nausea and stomach pain.
When Should You Get Hemorrhoid Surgery?
As for those piles causing severe bleeding or painful swelling, talk to your doctor about how soon you should schedule surgery for relief. Surgery may be necessary for piles with prolapsed tissue as soon as the hemorrhoids start causing discomfort and disrupting your daily life.
However, they do not always require surgery because diet and lifestyle changes alone can treat most symptoms. If you don’t experience any bright red blood on toilet paper after straining during bowel movements (tenesmus), you probably won’t need surgery. Although pain is not a severe medical condition, you should still consult your doctor if symptoms bother you enough to make a trip to the doctor’s office.
Ask your doctor about HemWell, an FDA-approved, pain-free treatment that’s permanent. If your provider doesn’t offer HemWell, we can assist you in finding one that does. Please visit our website to learn more about this life-changing treatment. Learn more about hemorrhoids.