There are many reasons people avoid seeing a doctor to talk about hemorrhoids. One of the most common is that hemorrhoids occur in and on the anus, which is a very private body part that not many people feel comfortable discussing with — or showing to — others, even a doctor.
Another reason some folks keep their hemorrhoids a secret is because they don’t want to hear they need surgery to get rid of them. While surgery is sometimes the best solution in severe cases, most hemorrhoids can be resolved quickly and easily with a nonsurgical, in-office procedure.
Dr. Darrien Gaston, our board-certified specialist at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Consultants in Chicago, Illinois, explains your nonsurgical options for getting rid of painful, itchy hemorrhoids.
Facts about hemorrhoids
If you have a cluster of bulging veins that resemble a small bunch of grapes at the opening of your anus, you have hemorrhoids. They can also appear as one protruding lump. Hemorrhoids are nothing more than swollen veins that have pushed their way out.
It’s also possible to have internal hemorrhoids that cause no symptoms, although that doesn’t mean you should ignore them. But the external ones are the type that cause pain and itching.
While they may be embarrassing to talk about, it may help to know that 1 in 20 Americans get them, so chances are you live and/or work with people going through the same thing.
Anything that puts pressure on the veins in your rectum or anus can lead to hemorrhoids, including being overweight, straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, and lifting heavy objects.
However, hemorrhoids can be a symptom of certain health conditions, including bowel problems, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease, so it’s important to get them checked out right away.
Hemorrhoids that stem from strain and obesity don’t typically cause any problems other than discomfort and some bleeding, but in some cases, they can lead to anemia, infection, blood clots, and strangulated hemorrhoids.
At-home hemorrhoids remedies
Mild cases of hemorrhoids may respond well to at-home treatments, such as:
- Ointments and creams that reduce swelling
- Drinking lots of water
- Soaking in a sitz bath with epsom salts
- Increasing your dietary fiber
- Using laxatives
- Taking ibuprofen
These treatments may soothe mild pain and itchiness and shrink small hemorrhoids, but if they persist or get worse, it’s time to seek medical attention.
Nonsurgical hemorrhoid treatment
If your hemorrhoids aren’t responding to simple, at-home remedies, we can help.
Dr. Gaston uses the CRH O’Regan System. This advanced treatment is a nonsurgical, noninvasive, quick way to get rid of your hemorrhoids. Technically called ligation, this technique has been around for several years, but early techniques used metal clips to grab the hemorrhoid, which often resulted in pain and bleeding.
The new CRH O’Regan System ditches the metal clips and uses small rubber bands that Dr. Gaston wraps around your hemorrhoids. This pinches off the blood supply, and your hemorrhoids gradually shrivel and fall off.
This treatment comes with a 99% success rate, so you can rest assured your hemorrhoids will be gone for good.
Don’t live with your painful hemorrhoids when the solution is quick and easy. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Gaston to find out which treatment is best for you. Call our office or book online today.