Hemorrhoids in Kansas City, MO

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Hemorrhoids, sometimes referred to as piles, are inflamed veins near the lower anus or rectum. The condition commonly presents 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 not uncommon. As a matter of fact, close to three-fourths of adults will deal with piles at some time(s). In some cases, a blood clot will develop within a hemorrhoid (referred to as a thrombosed hemorrhoid) and may cause pain or discomfort. The board-certified GI providers at Digestive Health Specialists are experts in helping patients with this common complication and other gastrointestinal conditions. To find care for hemorrhoids in Kansas City, MO, please reach out to our team as soon as possible.

Hemorrhoids may be attributed to many possible factors. Reasons a hemorrhoid might occur can include:

  • Genetic history of hemorrhoids
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Straining too hard to perform a physical activity (such as lifting weights)
  • Standing or sitting for extended periods of time
  • The natural aging process
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea

Symptoms of hemorrhoids can be varied depending on the location of the hemorrhoids, but frequently include:

  • Pain during the passing of stool
  • Itching around one's anus
  • Bright red blood in one's stool
  • Pain and/or swelling surrounding the anus
  • Purple, pink, or blue raised lesions that protrude around the anus
  • Discomfort near the anus while performing physical activities

Sometimes, smaller hemorrhoids can resolve on their own after a week or less. Your Digestive Health Specialists GI provider could prescribe medications or recommend at-home remedies to alleviate the bothersome symptoms of hemorrhoids. When larger hemorrhoids present, however, medical intervention is available in Kansas City, MO and might be needed to remove or treat the hemorrhoid. Typical hemorrhoid treatments include:

  • A diet high in fiber
  • Maintaining a clean anal region
  • Avoiding the use of dry toilet paper
  • Ice packs for reduction of anal swelling
  • Applying topical ointment
  • Draining a clotted hemorrhoid (thrombosis)
  • Rubber band ligation
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Coagulation
  • Surgery
  • Stapling
  • Tub baths multiple times daily with warm water
  • Treatment of constipation or the primary cause of the hemorrhoids
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Can you prevent hemorrhoids?

There are several factors that can help prevent hemorrhoids — or at least diminish their effects. This may include lifestyle modifications such as:

  • Avoid sitting for extended periods of time: Be sure to take breaks periodically during the day. For instance, take a short walk every 1 – 2 hours.
  • Eat foods high in fiber: This includes fresh vegetables and fruits, a variety of whole grains, and other healthy items. If you find it challenging to eat an adequate amount of fiber, a fiber supplement may be a good option.
  • Consume plenty of water.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Go to the restroom as soon as you have the urge, as opposed to waiting for another time.
Are there specific foods I should avoid if you have a hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoids commonly result from issues like ongoing constipation, so certain changes to your eating habits may be recommended if you suffer from this GI condition. Our Kansas City, MO digestive health providers may advise avoiding foods low in fiber. This includes items such as cheese, chips, ice cream, processed foods, and fast food. During your appointment, we can discuss additional information on food items to avoid eating when you've been diagnosed with hemorrhoids.

Can an over-the-counter cream resolve hemorrhoids?

Over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams can be a great way to reduce common symptoms such as itching and swelling. In some patients, they might even help treat minor hemorrhoids. However, they typically are not the most successful treatment option. Since OTC hemorrhoid creams don't treat the underlying cause, hemorrhoids will likely recur without professional medical care.

How long do hemorrhoids last?

The type and extent of hemorrhoid that has developed will help dictate how long it will remain. As far as internal hemorrhoids go, mild cases usually resolve within a week or so. Larger hemorrhoids, on the other hand, could take several weeks to improve or may need professional medical treatment. External hemorrhoids generally need care from a physician. Treatment options might include nutritional and lifestyle modifications, using over-the-counter medications, a procedure like hemorrhoid banding, surgery, or another type of care.

Hemorrhoids most often don't lead to serious health problems, but they can certainly be irritating and wreak havoc on your quality of life. If you are in need of treatment for hemorrhoids in Kansas City, MO, our specialists are happy to help. Please reach out to Digestive Health Specialists to schedule a consultation with a GI provider.

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