Hemorrhoids are extremely common, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus and are usually very painful. They are most often caused by increased pressure in the veins of the anus. This pressure, common during pregnancy, causes the veins to swell. Pain is most commonly increased when sitting or during bowel movements.
However, hemorrhoids are not exclusive to pregnancy. They can also be caused by anal infections, constipation, liver disease, straining during bowel movements or sitting for long periods of time. Hemorrhoids can develop both internally and externally. Internal hemorrhoids occur just inside the anus, and external hemorrhoids occur at the anal opening.
Hemorrhoids are often accompanied by anal itching, pain during bowel movements, and anal ache or pain worsened by sitting. Patients with hemorrhoids may also experience bright red blood in stools, or one or more hard limps near the anus.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is imperative that you call Saracino Gastroenterology to schedule an appointment. Treatment for hemorrhoids comes in various forms. There are over-the-counter creamed that can help reduce pain and swelling, and lifestyle changes that can be discussed with Dr. Saracino in order to eliminate current hemorrhoids and avoid them in the future.
To ease the discomfort of hemorrhoids immediately, avoid scratching the affected area. It may also help to use baby wipes instead of toilet tissue, as well as wearing cotton undergarments. Drinking plenty of fluids, maintaining a diet high in fiber, and using stool softeners can also help.