What is a Hemorrhoid?

Woman suffering from hemorrhoidsHemorrhoids are inflamed or swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum.

There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.

Internal hemorrhoids are so far inside the rectum that you normally can’t feel them due to the lack of pain-sensing nerves in that area. These can prolapse to the outside where you can see and feel them, usually after a bowel movement.  Bleeding may be the only sign of internal hemorrhoids.

External hemorrhoids are under the skin around the anus and tend to be painful and bleed.

What Causes Hemorrhoids?

These veins become inflamed from intense pressure, usually as a result of straining during bowel movements.

Other causes of hemorrhoids include:

  • Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet
  • Having chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Regular heavy lifting
  • Being pregnant
  • Being obese
  • Eating a low-fiber diet

What are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids typically cause bloody stool or bleeding from the anus that can be found on toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. Other symptoms include bothersome protrusions, intermittent swelling, irritation, and mild discomfort, especially after a period of diarrhea or constipation.

What is the Treatment for Hemorrhoids?

Smaller hemorrhoids are easily treatable and usually resolve themselves when the source of the pressure is reduced. Adding fiber to your diet and making sure that you are drinking plenty of fluids during the day will help avoid constipation. If possible, avoid straining during a bowel movement. If the constipation does not diminish, you may need to see a doctor to make sure there is not an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. Other treatment options including hemorrhoid banding, infrared coagulation of hemorrhoids, and hemorrhoid embolization. Talk to your doctor about which treatment option is best for you.

Have questions about hemorrhoids?

Schedule an Appointment

Prevention & Treatment

Hemorrhoid Banding (CRH)

Hemorrhoid banding, or hemorrhoid ligation, is a procedure to remove hemorrhoids by putting tight bands around swollen veins in the lower rectum and anus. Learn more about this procedure and schedule an appointment with a Gastro Health physician at a convenient location.

Learn More

Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids

Infrared Coagulation of Hemorrhoids (also known as IRC) is a quick, easy, and safe procedure to treat small to medium-sized internal hemorrhoids with bursts of light. Learn more about this procedure and schedule an appointment with a Gastro Health physician at a convenient location.

Learn More

Hemorrhoid Embolization

Hemorrhoid embolization is an interventional radiology treatment for internal hemorrhoids that offers long-lasting relief from rectal bleeding.

Learn More