Hemorrhoids in San Antonio, TX

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Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are inflamed veins in the lower rectum or anus. The problem typically presents when the walls of the veins in the rectum or anus become so thin that the veins protrude or bulge. Hemorrhoids can occur internally (within the rectum) or externally (on the anus).

Hemorrhoids are common. In fact, close to three-fourths of adults will have hemorrhoids occasionally. In some occurrences, a blood clot will develop within a hemorrhoid (called a thrombosed hemorrhoid) and can result in pain or discomfort. The board-certified gastrointestinal specialists at San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates specialize in treating patients with this common condition as well as other concerns. To find care for hemorrhoids in San Antonio, TX, please contact one of our locations today.

Hemorrhoids can be attributed to a number of factors, including the following:

  • Genetic history of hemorrhoids
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Excessive strain during bowel movements
  • Excessive strain while performing a physical activity (like lifting weights)
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Aging
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea

Symptoms of hemorrhoids vary depending on where they are located, but most often include:

  • Discomfort during bowel movements
  • Itching around the anus
  • Bright red blood in the stool
  • Pain and/or inflammation surrounding the anus
  • Purple, pink, or blue raised lesions that protrude near the anus
  • Discomfort around the anus while performing physical activities

Sometimes, smaller hemorrhoids might heal on their own within a week or less. Your San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates specialist may choose to prescribe pharmaceutical drugs or recommend home remedies to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of hemorrhoids. When larger hemorrhoids occur, however, medical intervention is available in San Antonio, TX and may be needed to remove or address the hemorrhoid. Common hemorrhoid treatments include:

  • A high-fiber diet
  • Maintaining a clean anal region
  • Avoiding the use of dry toilet paper
  • Using ice packs to reduce anal swelling
  • Applying topical ointment
  • Draining a clotted hemorrhoid (thrombosis)
  • Ligation using rubber bands
  • Sclerotherapy
  • Coagulation
  • Surgical Intervention
  • Hemorrhoid stapling
  • Tub baths several times a day in warm water
  • Treatment of constipation or the primary cause of the hemorrhoids
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Can you prevent the development of hemorrhoids?

There are several factors that can help prevent hemorrhoids or, at the very least, diminish their impact. This can include lifestyle changes like:

  • Avoid sitting for long periods: Take breaks during the day. For example, go for a brief walk every 1 – 2 hours.
  • Consume a high-fiber diet: This involves fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, and more. If you find it difficult to eat an adequate amount of fiber, a fiber supplement may be a good option.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get regular exercise
  • Go to the restroom as soon as you have the urge rather than waiting until a later time
Are there certain foods I should avoid eating if I have hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are commonly caused by issues such as ongoing constipation, so specific changes to your diet could be ideal if you have this GI concern. Our San Antonio, TX digestive health specialists may recommend avoiding food items with little to no fiber. This involves products such as cheese, chips, ice cream, processed foods, and fast food. During your visit, we can provide additional information on what to avoid if you have hemorrhoids.

Can a nonprescription cream resolve hemorrhoids?

Over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid creams can be a great way to relieve common symptoms like inflammation and itching. In some patients, they may even help treat minor hemorrhoids. However, they usually do not offer the most successful treatment approach. Since OTC hemorrhoid creams don't treat the root cause of hemorrhoids, hemorrhoids will likely recur without professional medical care.

How long do hemorrhoids persist?

The type and degree of hemorrhoid that has developed will typically dictate the length of time it will persist. As far as internal hemorrhoids go, mild cases usually resolve over the course of a week or so. However, larger hemorrhoids can take up to several weeks to improve or may need professional medical care. External hemorrhoids often need to be treated by a physician. Such treatment options may involve dietary and lifestyle changes, over-the-counter medications, a procedure like hemorrhoid banding (rubber band ligation), surgery, or other care.

Hemorrhoids often do not progress to serious health issues, but they can be irritating and interfere with your quality of life. If you are in need of hemorrhoid treatment in San Antonio, TX, our specialists are trained to help. We encourage you to contact your nearest San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location today to request an appointment with a GI specialist.

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