When veins in the anal region come under stress, they can become inflamed and form a small (or sometimes big) bulge, this bulge is called a hemroid. Once hemorrhoids start to become symptomatic, they are considered a disease, however for most patients they are usually more of a minor irritation rather than a serious medical issue. If they do get worse, hemroid surgery may be necessary, but this is only necessary when symptoms are very bad. Bleeding, itching, burning and pain are all common symptoms of both internal and external hemorrhoids, but internal hemorrhoid usually aren’t as painful because there are no pain sensors in the upper 2/3rds of the anal canal.
If you do experience any of the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids it’s important to discuss them with a doctor and set up a proper colon exam. A lot of people are tempted to skip the colon exam and just start treating their hemorrhoids on their own, but this is a potentially deadly mistake. Colon cancer, a very dangerous colon disease, can have symptoms that mirror those of hemorrhoids exactly, so an exam is essential to rule this out as a potential problem. Both colon cancer and hemorrhoids are diagnosed with a colonoscopy, so get over your embarrassment and talk to a doctor.
After you’ve been properly diagnosed, now you’re probably wondering how to get rid of hemorrhoids. Virtually all hemorrhoids, including the more serious types, can be helped with dietary changes such as adding more fiber into your diet. Less serious hemorrhoids may actually clear up with diet alone but once the hemorrhoids get to a serious grade II or above more aggressive treatment may be necessary. There are many over the counter creams such as Preparation H or Tucks that can help reduce swelling, control pain and help with itching. In the symptoms get worse, prescription strength versions of these medications in cream or suppository form may be needed. When none of these options work, surgery is the last remaining option.
Colon health is nothing to take for granted, so any sign of anal bleeding or pain should have you immediately picking up the phone and making that colonoscopy appointment.