Hemorrhoids, often referred to as piles, are swollen veins located in the lower rectum and anus, similar to varicose veins. These blood vessels can become stretched and irritated, particularly during bowel movements, due to thinning of their walls. Although not a serious condition, hemorrhoids can cause discomfort and are a common cause of rectal bleeding. Fortunately, many cases resolve on their own, while treatments can also be beneficial.
Hemorrhoids are highly prevalent, particularly among older individuals. Approximately 1 in 20 people in the US experience them, with over half of individuals over 50 affected.

Causes of Hemorrhoids?

  • Pushing when you poop
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy, when your growing uterus presses on your veins
  • A low in fiber
  • Anal sex

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?

Internal hemorrhoids may have no symptoms at all. You might notice blood on your poop, on toilet paper after you wipe, or in the toilet bowl.
Prolapsed hemorrhoid symptoms might include:
  • Pain, especially when you poop
  • Moist bumps that look pinker than the surrounding area
External hemorrhoid symptoms may include:
  • Pain while sitting or at other times
  • Bleeding
  • Itching
  • Swelling
Thrombosed hemorrhoid symptoms may include:
  • Serious pain
  • Itching
  • Bleeding

Diagnosis of Hemorrhoids?

Your doctor will ask about your medical history and symptoms. They’ll probably need to do one or both of these exams:
  • Physical exam. Your doctor will look at your anus and rectum to check for lumps, swelling, irritation, or other problems.
  • Digital rectal exam. Your doctor will put on gloves, apply lubrication, and insert a finger into your rectum to check muscle tone and feel for tenderness, lumps, or other problems.
To diagnose internal hemorrhoids or rule out other conditions, you might need a more thorough test, including:
  • Anoscopy
  • Sigmoidoscopy
  • Colonoscopy

Treatment of Hemorrhoids?

Home Remedies:
  • Dietary Fiber
  • Hydration
  • Warm Sitz Baths
  • Ice Packs
Non-Surgical Treatments:
Over-the-counter creams, pads, and suppositories containing ingredients like lidocaine, hydrocortisone, or witch hazel can temporarily alleviate pain, swelling, and itching. However, it is important to consult a doctor before using over-the-counter hydrocortisone for more than a week.
Surgical Treatments:
In cases of severe hemorrhoids or when other treatments have failed, surgery or other procedures may be necessary to remove or shrink the hemorrhoids. These options include:
  • Injection:
  • Laser Treatment:
  • Rubber Band Ligation
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: 
“Thank you for visiting Forest Hills Gastroenterology & Liver Disease, my goal is to treat my patients in a highly personalized manner and I am dedicated to give you the utmost attention and respect that you deserve. For more infromation on this disease or to schedule a consultation with me, please give us a call or book a tele-health appointment online.”

Albert Shalomov

Dr. Albert Shalomov, MD