Understanding symptoms of hemorrhoids

Carol Casebolt

How do you know if you have hemorrhoids? Some of the signs and symptoms could include anal pain, swelling and discharge, blood in the stool or on toilet tissue.


Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Colorectal Surgeon Jasneet Bhullar MD says it is important to see a colorectal surgeon for diagnosis, a workup and discussion about painless treatment options.


“Hemorrhoids are a normal part of the anatomy,” said Dr. Bhullar. “We are born with them. We have two sets, internal and external (inside/outside the anal canal).”


He says symptomatic hemorrhoids are swollen, enlarged, dilated veins inside and outside the anus.


“Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure such as straining when constipated or pressure during pregnancy,” said Dr. Bhullar. “Hemorrhoids may cause pain, bleeding, blood clots and itching.”


Colorectal surgeons treat the majority of the hemorrhoids with conservative treatment and office based procedures thus saving the patient from a painful hemorrhoid excisional surgery.


Internal hemorrhoids can be treated in various ways says Dr. Bhullar.


“Conservative management for smaller hemorrhoids could include changing bowel habits, avoid straining during defecation, drink 64 ounces of water, ingest fiber supplements, stool softeners or laxatives and avoid spending a long amount of time on the toilet.”


Dr. Bhullar also said it could be possible to shrink the hemorrhoids by using over the counter hemorrhoidal preparations, zinc, cortisone cream or suppositories.


“It takes weeks to heal properly,” said Dr. Bhullar. “During this time, you may have days when it seems healed, only to have a ‘bad’ bowel movement and a recurrence of symptoms. Stay on the Program!”


Intervention for large hemorrhoids could include office based procedures like rubber band ligation or injection sclerotherapy or operating room procedures like hemorrhoidopexy and dearterialization or a hemorrhoidectomy.


For additional information about the treatment of hemorrhoids or to schedule an appointment with PMC’s Colorectal Surgeon call 606-218-2202.