When Hemorrhoids Require Medical Intervention

It may be cool to compare scars among friends, or to swap stories of past surgeries, but no one wants to talk about hemorrhoids. Likely, the reason people shy away from bringing them up is that they appear on or in the anus — not typically considered an acceptable topic of polite conversation.

But here at Illinois Gastroenterology Group, hemorrhoids are part of our everyday dialogue. Our team of expert gastroenterologists are easy to talk with and can help you end your hemorrhoid symptoms once and for all. 

If you’ve tried over-the-counter creams, ointments, pads, and suppositories hoping to self-treat your hemorrhoids, you may have found some temporary relief. But if you’re like most people, that short-term fix doesn’t get rid of the problems completely — we can. Here are a few signs that should prompt you to come in and see us.

Store-bought remedies aren’t working

There are countless drug-store remedies for treating hemorrhoids. They’re meant to help shrink the swollen blood vessels in and around your anus and reduce the inflammation. Some are formulated to stop the itching and burning sensations you may be feeling. 

But these topical solutions are temporary at best and ineffective at worst. They don’t treat your hemorrhoids, only the symptoms of your hemorrhoids. Our team can determine how advanced your hemorrhoids are and which treatment method will eliminate the core cause of your symptoms.

You feel as though you haven’t finished “going”

One of the classic symptoms of hemorrhoids is the feeling that you haven’t quite eliminated your stool completely during a bowel movement. That’s because the swollen vessels in your anus have swollen to the point where they have begun to form a bulge. 

These bulges can occur internally or externally, and either type can result in the sensation of incomplete stool elimination. Internal hemorrhoids may actually show up externally if the tissue prolapses and drops through the anus. This type of hemorrhoid is measured by our doctors in four grades, ranging from no prolapse at all to an extreme prolapse that can’t be pushed back in. 

Your hemorrhoids are painful

Mild hemorrhoids may cause only occasional discomfort. There are many reasons you may be experiencing this uncomfortable condition, including:

Most mild cases of hemorrhoids resolve themselves within a week or so. If your symptoms are lasting longer than that or you’re having a lot of pain, itching, and burning, it’s a sign that your hemorrhoids aren’t going away on their own. This is the time to seek medical attention.

You see blood 

Bleeding hemorrhoids are a definite reason to make an appointment with us. First, blood in your stool or on your toilet tissue can indicate a number of health conditions, so it’s important to get a thorough examination and make sure we know the cause. Second, if it is a bleeding hemorrhoid, no over-the-counter product is going to help. Third, if left untreated, you may face:

While none of these are life-threatening, they will keep you in a constant state of discomfort and pain.

Things you can do to prevent hemorrhoids

The main reason hemorrhoids form in the first place is straining, which happens when your stool is too hard. To keep your stool soft and passing easily:

These tips just may keep hemorrhoids at bay, but if you find yourself suffering from a case that won’t go away, we can help. Our treatment methods range from scleropathy, which is an injection that helps shrink your hemorrhoids, to rubber band ligation, which cuts off the blood supply, to laser treatment, a noninvasive method that uses light energy to shrink the hemorrhoids.

If you have hemorrhoids, don’t be embarrassed; let’s talk about it. We can have you out of pain and back to your old self in no time. We have three locations to serve you and a professional team of dedicated doctors ready to help. Call us to make an appointment today. 

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