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You Don't Have to Live With Hemorrhoids

You Don't Have to Live With Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids don’t discriminate. They affect about 50% of both men and women by the age of 50. 

Hemorrhoids are like varicose veins, but they occur in the most inconvenient of areas: the anus and lower rectum. These swollen, lumpy veins feel tender to the touch, and they itch and bleed. 

You may have developed hemorrhoids due to chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, family history, or older age. Regardless of why you have hemorrhoids, you want them gone! Our gastroenterology team at Digestive Disorders Associates, with offices in Gambrills, Chester, and Annapolis, Maryland, can help. 

We can determine the cause of your hemorrhoids and rule out other conditions, like anal fissures or ulcerative colitis, that can mimic hemorrhoid symptoms. Once we know the cause, we can help you find a solution so you can find relief from your hemorrhoid pain.

What YOU can do about hemorrhoids

In many cases, hemorrhoids can be resolved with simple changes to your lifestyle. 

Sitting in a sitz bath — a warm, shallow bath that cleanses the space between your rectum and vulva (women) or scrotum (men) — offers relief and healing to symptomatic hemorrhoids. 

Including more high-fiber foods like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables can help with constipation that causes hemorrhoids. We may also recommend an over-the-counter fiber supplement. 

You also need to stay well-hydrated and get plenty of physical activity to keep stool moving through your system. Avoid straining when you do use the restroom, as this can cause inflammation in the veins.

Responding right away to your cues to defecate is another important step in preventing future hemorrhoids and resolving existing ones. 

Over-the-counter creams that contain witch hazel or a numbing agent like lidocaine can provide temporary relief. Hydrocortisone creams also help with itching or pain. These topical solutions don’t solve your hemorrhoid problem, however. 

What WE can do about hemorrhoids

Sometimes, lifestyle changes are not an adequate solution to hemorrhoids. You may benefit from a surgical procedure, like a hemorrhoidectomy. This procedure involves removing excessive tissue that causes bleeding. 

A less-invasive treatment for hemorrhoids is known as rubber band ligation. We place a rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid inside your rectum. This effectively cuts off circulation to the hemorrhoid so it shrinks and disappears after a few days. 

Some hemorrhoids respond well to sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a chemical solution directly into the swollen vein or blood vessel to shrink it and reduce inflammation. Infrared or laser coagulation treatments use light therapy to burn hemorrhoid tissue and give you relief. 

The procedure that’s right for you depends on your particular case and the severity of your hemorrhoid(s). We work with you to get you the best treatment possible and solve your hemorrhoid pain. 

And, if you come to our office having seen blood when you wipe or in your stool, we may run extra tests to make sure there isn’t another health problem causing the rectal bleeding. Other issues, like colon cancer, ulcers, or inflammatory bowel disease, could be to blame. We want to rule out these more complex health concerns to ensure you maintain the best digestive health.

If you’re suffering from pain and bleeding caused by hemorrhoids, contact Digestive Disorders Associates today. Call to schedule your appointment or use this website to book a visit at one of our offices in Gambrills, Annapolis, or Chester, Maryland.

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