When to See a Doctor About Hemorrhoids

A mild case of hemorrhoids may just be an annoyance you choose to live with, but when the itching, burning, and bleeding start to disrupt your life, it’s time to get professional help.

Our expert medical team at GastroMed specializes in gastroenterology, which means we can get to the bottom of your rectal bleeding. Because the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids may stem from something more serious, it’s best to come in and let us evaluate your condition and determine the root cause. And we have six locations in Miami to serve you, so it’s likely we’re near you.

If you do have hemorrhoids, don’t be embarrassed. Millions of people suffer from them, and the treatment is actually fairly simple. But the symptoms can be complex and painful. Here’s how to know when you should come in to see us a GastroMed.

Understanding hemorrhoids

Knowing what hemorrhoids are may ease your mind a bit. They are actually just swollen veins in your rectal region. They can be internal, in which case they may bleed but generally don’t cause pain; or they can be external, the kind you see and feel at the opening of your anus, and these tend to itch, burn, and bleed.

Whichever type you have, we can treat them easily in the office, usually without surgery.

When to seek medical attention for your hemorrhoids

If you have hemorrhoids, you may have already tried to alleviate the condition yourself using over-the-counter medications. And you likely found them to be pretty ineffective. That’s because they are only formulated to address minor inflammation, and do nothing to treat the root cause of the hemorrhoids. 

If you only have a minor case of hemorrhoids and you catch it early, those creams and suppositories may do the trick for you. But if they don’t seem to be working, you may need our help. Here’s what to look for.

Blood in your stool

Hemorrhoids are known for causing bloody bowel movements, but they aren’t the only culprits. Inflammatory bowel disease or even colon cancer could be causing your bleeding. Don’t wait to get checked out. 

Generally, blood associated with internal hemorrhoids is bright red, causes no pain, occurs with bowel movements, and may be mild to moderate in amount.

But don’t assume that your symptoms are due to hemorrhoids. If you’ve never been diagnosed with hemorrhoids or have noted a change in the characteristics of the bleeding you’ve associated with hemorrhoids, see one of our doctors for an accurate diagnosis.

A bulge or grape-like cluster of bulges at your anus

Often, internal hemorrhoids extend beyond the anal opening during a bowel movement; this is called a prolapse. At first, the swollen vein may retract on its own or be easily pushed back inside. But prolapse can worsen over time as this internal tissue becomes trapped outside of the anus. Eventually, it causes significant irritation, itching, bleeding, and pain  Early treatment helps prevent the prolapse from worsening.

Sensation of an incomplete bowel movement

The feeling of prolapsed internal hemorrhoids can feel the same as when you have an incomplete bowel movement. You may even notice a mucous discharge and difficulty in cleaning yourself following a bowel movement because of the displaced tissue. We can solve these symptoms by treating the hemorrhoid.

Burning, itching, and pain in the anal area

Whether internal or external, hemorrhoids can cause tremendous discomfort. The good news is that treatment is usually simple and effective, so there’s no reason to live with the irritation any longer. Here are a couple of effective nonsurgical treatments that can resolve your hemorrhoids, including:

Infrared coagulation (IRC)

This treatment works internally by blocking blood flow to your hemorrhoids. The highly effective IRC method uses infrared light delivered via a small probe to painlessly coagulate (clot) the blood vessels supplying your hemorrhoid. When the blood flow is blocked, the enlarged hemorrhoidal tissue shrinks and your symptoms go away.

Rubber band ligation

This method uses a little elastic band that wraps around the hemorrhoid to block blood flow to the tissue, which eventually causes the hemorrhoid to wither and die. It’s more painful than IRC and may cause some bleeding, but it’s an effective, nonsurgical solution for treating hemorrhoids. 

If you have hemorrhoids, don’t suffer silently. Come talk to us about it. We can help you overcome the pain and annoyance of bothersome hemorrhoids and get you back to a carefree life. Call today or request an appointment online.

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