Hemorrhoids are a common condition that affects up to three of every four adults at some point in their lives. Hemorrhoids can be annoying and cause painful bowel movements and bleeding. When you come to South Coast Family Medical Center in Laguna Niguel, California, for hemorrhoid care, Lauren Kent Davis, DO, Christopher Michael Davis, DO, and their team provide prompt care and help you find an effective treatment. Call the office today to learn more.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in your lower rectum or anus. Similar to varicose veins, the veins in the anus and rectum can become swollen and prone to irritation. Hemorrhoids are extremely common. Symptoms can vary depending on the site of the affected veins.
Internal hemorrhoids are inside your rectum. These rarely cause pain, but they can cause bleeding with bowel movements. External hemorrhoids appear under the skin around the outside of your anus. When external hemorrhoids get irritated, they can bleed and itch.
A thrombosis, or blood clot, can form in an external hemorrhoid if blood pools inside it. Thrombosed hemorrhoids can cause severe pain and swelling, and might require a minimally invasive procedure to treat.
Bleeding during a bowel movement is the most common symptom of hemorrhoids. This bleeding can be painless, but hemorrhoids can cause discomfort depending on where they are. Blood accompanying hemorrhoids is normally bright red.
The common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
Pregnant women and older people are at greater risk of developing hemorrhoids. When you’re pregnant, the baby puts extra pressure on the rectal canal and the anus. As you age, the tissue supporting your rectal and anal veins can weaken.
You can get a diagnosis through a physical exam at South Coast Family Medical Center. In some cases, a colonoscopy might be recommended for further diagnosis.
If you have mild internal or external hemorrhoids, Dr. Kent Davis can recommend lifestyle changes that help keep stools soft and prevent hemorrhoid discomfort.
Eating high-fiber foods helps soften stools and reduces strain with bowel movements that can irritate hemorrhoids. Soaking your anal area in warm water and keeping it clean can help hemorrhoids heal.
Over-the-counter oral medications, topical ointments, and suppositories can help relieve mild pain and itching. For blood clots or more painful hemorrhoids, minimally invasive surgery can treat the condition.
Rectal bleeding isn’t always a sign of hemorrhoids. You should see the doctor if you have consistent rectal bleeding or significant changes in your bowel movements. If you experience a lot of rectal bleeding or feel dizzy or faint, seek emergency care as this can be a sign of something more severe.
For prompt and effective hemorrhoid diagnosis and treatment, visit Dr. Kent Davis and the team at South Coast Family Medical Center. Call the office today to find out more.