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Hemorrhoids

Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division

GASTROENTEROLOGY PRACTICE LOCATED IN POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, FISHKILL, NY & HIGHLAND, NY

Nearly 75% of people experience hemorrhoids at some point in their lives, with many women getting them during pregnancy or after childbirth. Half of all Americans over the age of 50 have had hemorrhoids, according to the National Institutes of Health. At Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division, the board-certified gastroenterologists offer treatment for rectal bleeding and pain from hemorrhoids. Give the team a call today at their office in Poughkeepsie, Highland, or Fishkill, New York, to schedule an appointment or use the online booking tool.

Hemorrhoids Q & A

What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are inflamed and swollen veins around the lower rectum and anus. They can occur inside the anus or under the skin surrounding the anus. If the blood vessel walls stretch and become too thin, the veins bulge and become irritated, especially during a bowel movement.

What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?

The most common signs you have hemorrhoids include:

  • Rectal bleeding during bowel movements
  • Anal itching
  • Anal swelling
  • Rectal pain or discomfort, especially when sitting

Rectal bleeding can be a symptom of hemorrhoids, but it can also be a symptom of other, more serious problems, including colorectal or anal cancers. If you experience bleeding from the rectum, it’s important to visit the team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division.

What causes hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids can be caused by straining to have a bowel movement or spending too much time sitting on the toilet. Hemorrhoids can also occur as part of the normal aging process or as a result of pregnancy, giving birth, having anal intercourse, being obese, or experiencing chronic constipation or diarrhea. Veins in the anus stretch under pressure and may bulge or swell, causing discomfort or pain.

What treatments are available for hemorrhoids?

You can often relieve mild pain and swelling with home treatments. You can use topical creams and pads or suppositories that are available over-the-counter. It also helps to soak in a warm bath several times daily for 10-15 minutes.

The team at Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division uses several treatments for hemorrhoids, depending on the type of hemorrhoid and your symptoms. Two of the most common include:

Hemorrhoid banding

During a banding procedure, which takes about one minute, your provider places a small rubber band around the hemorrhoid. The rubber band cuts off the blood supply, and the hemorrhoid falls off in a few days. If you have more than one hemorrhoid, you need several treatments spaced about two weeks apart.

Infrared coagulation

Your provider uses the heat from infrared light to create a scar that cuts off the blood supply. After the hemorrhoid is gone, a scar forms, which holds the nearby veins in place. Like banding, this option only treats one hemorrhoid at a time. If you have several, the team can repeat the infrared treatment every two weeks.

Can hemorrhoids be prevented?

It is possible to prevent hemorrhoids through at-home measures. Preventing hemorrhoids involves keeping stools soft so they pass through your body easily. The following tips help prevent hemorrhoids:

Eat a high-fiber diet

Fruits, whole grains, and vegetables have a high-fiber content which helps soften the stool, preventing the straining that can cause hemorrhoids.

Take fiber supplements

If you aren’t getting enough fiber in your diet, consider over-the-counter fiber supplements. Women should consume 25 grams of fiber per day, and men should consume 38 grams per day.

Increase fluids

Drinking six to eight glasses of water daily is ideal, as it helps keep stools soft.

Exercise

Staying active prevents constipation and reduces pressure on veins caused by long periods of sitting.

If your hemorrhoid prevention measures haven’t worked, contact Northern Medical Group Gastroenterology Division to schedule an appointment for hemorrhoid treatment.