If you’re suffering from hemorrhoids, you’re just one of about 10 million people in the US that is experiencing the same discomfort. But you don’t have to continue that way. Hemorrhoids are entirely common, and there’s nothing to be embarrassed about when it comes to talking to your doctor about treating your hemorrhoid.
Dr. Afshar is a board-certified physician who specializes in veins, and a hemorrhoid is simply an enlarged and swollen vein in the rectum or anal area. Internal hemorrhoids form inside the anus, while external hemorrhoids form around the outside of the anus. If you have internal hemorrhoids, you may experience soreness, discharge or bleeding during bowel movements as well as an itching or burning feeling before, during, or after bowel movements. External hemorrhoids are typically identified as a firm lump or lumps around the anus, and are painful especially when a blood clot forms inside of one of them. Treatments are relatively quick and painless and do not involve surgery.
While hemorrhoids are not distinctly preventable, there are a few things you can do to reduce the chance of developing them.
- Eat a balanced diet. Hemorrhoids are more likely to develop in people who do not include enough fiber in their diet.
- Avoid sitting for long periods of time.
- Do not strain while having a bowel movement, and do not stay seated on the toilet for too long.
- Don’t fight the urge to go to the bathroom. Bowel movements should be regular and natural.
- Drink plenty of water. Dehydration increases your chance for constipation, which in turn increases straining.
- Get plenty of exercise. Regular exercise helps keep bowel movements healthy.
For more information about hemorrhoid symptoms and treatment, visit the hemorrhoid page on our website.