Your East Meadow gastroenterologist answers all your questions about this uncomfortable but common problem.
It might feel a bit embarrassing to talk about it but if you are noticing irritation, pain or bleeding during bowel movements, then you may be dealing with an all too common condition known as hemorrhoids. This helpful information may just help you figure out whether it’s time to book an appointment with your East Meadow gastroenterologist.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are a group of dilated blood vessels that appear around and within the first few inches of the anus. There are two forms: internal and external hemorrhoids.
What are the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids?
If you have hemorrhoids you may experience itching or irritation around the anus, as well as swelling and pain. There could be bleeding present after bowel movements or you might notice small spots of bright blood when you wipe. There may even be a sensitive lump near your anus.
What causes this condition?
While there is no exact or defined cause of hemorrhoids there are certain lifestyle factors that could make you more prone to developing hemorrhoids:
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
- Overuse of laxatives
- Prolonged periods sitting on the toilet
Every time you use the restroom the tissues, that contain these vessels, stretch causing the vessels to dilate. If this stretching continues to happen, the vessel will begin to stick out.
How does my East Meadow, NY gastroenterologist diagnose hemorrhoids?
For those with external hemorrhoids, we can easily diagnose this condition by performing a physical exam. To diagnose internal hemorrhoids, we may perform a digital rectal exam to feel for any growths or abnormalities. For those over the age of 50 and those at risk of colorectal cancer, we may also recommend that you have a colonoscopy performed.
What are the most common treatments?
Luckily the majority of hemorrhoid cases can be treated at home. Your East Meadow gastroenterologist is happy to recommend certain over-the-counter creams and medications to help reduce irritation or itching. However, these ointments should not be used for longer than a week.
For patients suffering from painful hemorrhoids, a minimally invasive treatment known as rubber band ligation can help to cut off the hemorrhoid’s circulation and let it die. Larger hemorrhoids may need to be removed through regular surgical removal procedures.
Are your symptoms caused by hemorrhoids? Are you experiencing distressing symptoms like blood in your stool? Don’t wait to find out. Schedule an appointment today with your East Meadow gastroenterologist, Dr. Omer Masood at DigestiveCare NY.