Hemorrhoids in Tulsa, OK
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What is a hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are irritated veins near the lower rectum or anus. They usually occur when the vein walls in the rectum or anus become so thin that the veins protrude or bulge. Hemorrhoids can present internally (within the rectum) or externally (on the anus).
Hemorrhoids are quite common. In fact, approximately three out of four adults will deal with hemorrhoids. In some cases, a blood clot will develop inside a hemorrhoid (referred to as a thrombosed hemorrhoid) and can result in pain or discomfort. The board-certified gastroenterologists at any of the Adult Gastroenterology Associates locations in your community are experienced in treating this common condition. To receive care for hemorrhoids in Tulsa, OK, please request a consultation today.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can be caused by many different factors. Some of these factors include:
- Genetic history of hemorrhoids
- Chronic diarrhea
- Ongoing constipation
- Sitting or standing for extended periods of time
- The natural aging process
- Excessive strain when performing a physical activity (such as weight lifting)
- Straining during bowel movements
- Being pregnant
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Symptoms of hemorrhoids vary due to the area that is affected, but usually include:
- Itching around the anus
- Bright red blood in the stool
- Discomfort during bowel movements
- Pain near the anus while performing physical activities
- Pink, blue, or purple bumps that protrude around the anus
- Discomfort and/or inflammation near the anus
How are hemorrhoids treated?
Sometimes, smaller hemorrhoids can heal on their own within a week or less. Your Adult Gastroenterology Associates gastroenterologist could choose to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs or recommend home remedies to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms. If a larger hemorrhoid occurs, medical treatment is available in Tulsa, OK and could be needed to remove or treat the hemorrhoid. Common hemorrhoid treatments include:
- Application of topical cream
- Draining of a clotted hemorrhoid (thrombosis)
- Avoidance of use of dry toilet paper
- Ice packs for reduction of anal inflammation
- Rubber band ligation
- A diet high in fiber
- Good hygiene, specifically in the anal region
- Tub baths multiple times a day in warm water
- Treating constipation or the primary cause of the hemorrhoids
- Hemorrhoid stapling
Can hemorrhoids be prevented?
There are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of hemorrhoids — or at least, minimize their effects. This may involve lifestyle modifications like:
- Use the restroom when you feel the urge, rather than waiting until a later time.
- Consume foods that are high in fiber: This includes fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, and more. If you struggle to eat enough fiber, a fiber supplement could be ideal.
- Avoid sitting for extended periods of time: Be sure to take breaks periodically throughout the day. For instance, take a brief walk every 1 – 2 hours.
- Drink adequate amounts of water.
- Exercise regularly.
Are there specific foods you should avoid if you have a hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are frequently caused by issues such as chronic constipation, so certain dietary changes could be ideal if you suffer from this GI condition. Our Tulsa, OK gastrointestinal specialists may suggest that you avoid food items containing little to no fiber. This includes foods such as cheese, chips, ice cream, processed foods, and fast food. During your visit, we can provide additional information on foods to avoid eating if you've been diagnosed with hemorrhoids.
Can a nonprescription cream improve hemorrhoids?
Over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid creams can be a great method to relieve common hemorroid symptoms such as itching and inflammation. In some individuals, they could even help address minor hemorrhoids. However, they usually are not the most successful treatment option. Since OTC hemorrhoid creams fail to actually treat the root cause of hemorrhoids, the condition will likely recur without professional treatment.
How long does it take for a hemorrhoid to resolve?
The size and type of hemorrhoid present will usually dictate how long it might last. With internal hemorrhoids, mild cases usually clear up over the course of a week or so. Larger hemorrhoids, however, could take up to a few weeks to improve or may need professional medical care. External hemorrhoids must typically be treated by a medical professional. Such options might involve dietary and lifestyle modifications, nonprescription medications, a procedure like hemorrhoid banding (rubber band ligation), surgery, or a different type of care.
Seek treatment for hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids usually do not progress into serious health problems, but they can be uncomfortable and interfere with your day-to-day life. If you find yourself in need of hemorrhoid treatment in Tulsa, OK, our providers are ready to assist. We encourage you to reach out to your nearest Adult Gastroenterology Associates location to request a consultation with a gastroenterology specialist.
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