Hemorrhoids Diagnosis and Treatment

How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?

Any time there is bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool, it is important to have a thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis by a doctor.Bleeding may also be a symptom of other digestive diseases, including colorectal cancer.

First, the doctor will perform a digital rectal exam with a gloved, lubricated finger to feel for abnormalities. Then they will examine the anus and rectum to look for swollen blood vessels that indicate hemorrhoids. A closer evaluation of the rectum for hemorrhoids requires an exam with an anoscope, a hollow, lighted tube useful for viewing internal hemorrhoids, or a proctoscope, useful for more completely examining the entire rectum. To rule out other causes of gastrointestinal bleeding, the doctor may examine the rectum and lower colon (sigmoid) with sigmoidoscopy or the entire colon with colonoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are diagnostic procedures that also involve the use of lighted, flexible tubes inserted through the rectum.
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What Is the Treatment for Hemorrhoids?

Since hemorrhoids can be painful, the initial medical treatment is aimed at relieving the symptoms. These measures to provide hemorrhoid relief are:

  • Warm tub baths several times a day in plain, warm water for about 10 minutes.
  • Application of a hemorrhoidal cream or suppository to the affected area for a limited time.

In helping hemorrhoids not to recur, doctors will recommend the following. It’s important to prevent the pressure and strain of constipation by:

  • Increasing fiber and fluids in the diet – See high fiber diet
  • Eating the right amount of fiber and the right liquids

Eating the right amount of fiber and drinking six to eight glasses of fluid (not alcohol) result in softer, bulkier stools. A softer stool makes emptying the bowels easier and lessens the pressure on hemorrhoids caused by straining. Eliminating straining also helps prevent the hemorrhoids from protruding. Good sources of fiber are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In addition, doctors may suggest a bulk stool softener or a fiber supplement such as psyllium or methylcellulose.

In some cases, hemorrhoids must be treated endoscopically or surgically. These methods are used to shrink and destroy the hemorrhoidal tissue. The doctor will perform the procedure during an office or hospital visit. A number of methods may be used to remove or reduce the size of hemorrhoids. Painless non-surgical techniques, lasers for hemorrhoids, harmonic scalpel for hemorrhoids, and the use of hemorrhoid home remedies are discussed further in this web site.

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