Half of Americans will suffer from hemorrhoids at some time in their lives. Our specialty trained gastroenterologists use advanced pain-free non-surgical treatments for hemorrhoids. What’s great about our hemorrhoid treatment is that we have the most expertise, experience, and are the only ones in the area to offer your hemorrhoid treatment in the comfort of our own state-of-the-art in-office accredited hemorrhoid treatment center.
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. The rectum is the last part of the large intestine leading to the anus. The anus is the opening at the end of the digestive tract where bowel contents leave the body.
External hemorrhoids are located under the skin around the anus. Internal hemorrhoids develop in the lower rectum. Internal hemorrhoids may protrude, or prolapse, through the anus. Most prolapsed hemorrhoids shrink back inside the rectum on their own. Severely prolapsed hemorrhoids may protrude permanently and require treatment.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bright red blood on stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl after a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids that are not prolapsed are usually not painful. Prolapsed hemorrhoids often cause pain, discomfort, and anal itching.
Blood clots may form in external hemorrhoids. A blood clot in a vein is called a thrombosis. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids cause bleeding, painful swelling, or a hard lump around the anus. When the blood clot dissolves, extra skin is left behind. This skin can become irritated or itch.
Excessive straining, rubbing, or cleaning around the anus may make symptoms, such as itching and irritation, worse.
Hemorrhoids are not dangerous or life threatening. Symptoms usually go away within a few days, and some people with hemorrhoids never have symptoms.
How common are hemorrhoids?
About 75 percent of people will have hemorrhoids at some point in their lives.1 Hemorrhoids are most common among adults ages 45 to 65.2 Hemorrhoids are also common in pregnant women.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Swelling in the anal or rectal veins causes hemorrhoids. Several factors may cause this swelling, including:
- chronic constipation or diarrhea
- straining during bowel movements
- sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- a lack of fiber in the diet
Another cause of hemorrhoids is the weakening of the connective tissue in the rectum and anus that occurs with age.
Pregnancy can cause hemorrhoids by increasing pressure in the abdomen, which may enlarge the veins in the lower rectum and anus. For most women, hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy disappear after childbirth.