Hemorrhoids or piles are a common ailment that is caused by a number of factors from sitting for long periods of time, obesity, anal sex, a low fibre diet and even the overuse of laxatives. For women, hemorrhoids often occur during pregnancy and are caused by the veins around the anus swelling. There are two types of Hemorrhoid, internal and external and both can be inflamed or thrombosed (which means it contains a blood clot). Both types of Hemorrhoids can be painful and a source of embarrassment.
There are many treatments available over the counter to treat Hemorrhoids and they can be treated without the need to see your doctor. Treating your Hemorrhoids at home can save you the embarrassment of discussing your issues with a doctor and is often the first step in treating them. There are many things that you can try at home yourself to prevent your symptoms from getting worse such as increasing your water intake, taking a fibre supplement or taking regular warm baths but when is it time to consult a private gastroenterologist or doctor?
When is it time to consult a private gastroenterologist or doctor?
1. The Hemorrhoid is causing you pain
Whether you have had Hemorrhoids for months or it is a new health concern, you should visit your doctor if it is causing you any pain. Itching or slight discomfort are usually symptoms associated with Hemorrhoids and can be seen as normal.
If you are experiencing pain in the rectum, this is a red flag and action should be taken immediately. Rectal pain can mean a number of things so it makes sense to book an examination with your doctor to ensure that you don’t mistake something more serious as a Hemorrhoid symptom. A quick consultation with your doctor and a short examination should uncover any concerns regarding painful piles. A trip to the doctor regarding this concern can be a bit daunting but it is worth it to gain peace of mind.
2. Your Hemorrhoids are bleeding
Bleeding piles are a cause for concern. If you experience bleeding piles, this is an indicator that you could need a more serious form of treatment. Bleeding could just be caused by the Hemorrhoid bursting which is nothing to worry about, but bleeding from the anus or bloody stools are also a symptom of much more serious conditions such as bowel cancer and so if you do experience bleeding, a visit to the doctor is recommended to make sure there is no underlying issues.
3. Your piles symptoms are long lasting
If you’ve persisted with the over the counter treatment for a few weeks with no success or signs of improvement, it is worth taking the time to see a doctor and from there discover a new course of treatment. However, if you have tried everything and nothing seems to be having an effect, it may be time to seek advice from a professional. Getting a professional’s opinion such as a Consultant Gastroenterologist can help to rule out any other serious health concerns, putting your mind at ease and take you one step closer to getting rid of those pesky Hemorrhoids.
Your doctor will ask you a number of questions so it is wise to prepare for your appointment with a list of your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them as well as the forms of treatment or medication that you have tried. Seeking help regarding a health problem such as Hemorrhoids can be a bit embarrassing and many people put off seeking professional advice due to this but it is important to put your health first.
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