What Are Hemorrhoids?

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Here at Gi Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, your gastroenterologists, Dr. Rattan and Dr. Mostaghim, see numerous patients who suffer from hemorrhoids. Bulging bundles of veins inside or protruding from the rectum and anus, hemorrhoids cause considerable discomfort. However, you can find relief.

How hemorrhoids happen

Hemorrhoids plague millions of Americans. In fact, Harvard Health reports that half of the adult population in the United States develops at least one bothersome hemorrhoid by the age of 50.

What conditions favor the development of these itchy, painful veins? The three most common factors are:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Constipation (and straining at stool)

Additionally, a low-fiber diet, heavy lifting, and sitting on hard surfaces for extended periods of time contribute to hemorrhoids.

The symptoms vary in intensity and frequency. However, most people report itching, bleeding, mucus production, irritable bowel movements, and pain—so much so that it can be hard to even sit or sleep flat in bed.

What to do about hemorrhoids

Whether you have one or multiple hemorrhoids, you can experience relief. Here at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD, hemorrhoid treatment begins with a review of symptoms, visual inspection, and a simple digital rectal examination. Sometimes, the gastroenterologist may wish to examine the GI tract above the hemorrhoids with a flexible sigmoidoscope or with colonoscopy to rule out more serious problems.

With sufficient information, Dr. Rattan or Dr. Mostaghim formulates a treatment plan to heal hemorrhoids and help prevent their recurrence. Many simple interventions work extremely well. Your care plan could include:

  • Warm sitz baths and over-the-counter medications (creams or ointments such as Preparation H to shrink the hemorrhoids and prevent further inflammation)
  • Steroidal suppositories
  • Adding fiber to your diet
  • Going to the bathroom right away if you need to move your bowels
  • Limiting strenuous lifting and other exercises that may irritate your hemorrhoids
  • In-office tying, or ligation, of swollen hemorrhoids with rubber bands
  • Surgical hemorrhoidectomy or stapling

Find out more

Hemorrhoids can cause tremendous pain, discomfort, and inconvenience, but fortunately, they can be managed. Get the help you need from Dr. Sushil Rattan and Dr. Radman Mostaghim at GI Med Health in Greenbelt, MD. Our office is open Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm. For more information or to set an appointment, phone (301) 982-7900 today.

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