Hemorrhoids in Utah

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Hemorrhoids (also called piles) are a common GI condition that occur when the veins around the anus become inflamed. This usually happens as a result of the vein walls becoming so thin that the blood vessels begin to swell. Piles can occur internally (within the rectum) or externally (on the anus).

Hemorrhoids are quite common. In fact, approximately three out of four adults will have piles at some time or another. In some cases, a blood clot will develop within a hemorrhoid (called a thrombosed hemorrhoid), possibly leading to further discomfort or pain. The board-certified gastroenterologists at Utah Gastroenterology are experts in working to resolve this common complication as well as other gastrointestinal (GI) concerns. To locate treatment for hemorrhoids in Utah, please reach out to one of our offices as soon as possible.

There are many factors that can put you at risk of developing a hemorrhoid. Some of these include:

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic constipation
  • Aging
  • Excessive strain when performing a physical activity (such as lifting weights)
  • Genetic history of hemorrhoids
  • Excessive strain during bowel movements
  • Standing or sitting for long periods of time
  • Obesity

Hemorrhoids can present with a range of symptoms. Your symptoms will depend on the specific area where the hemorrhoid forms, but they often include:

  • Purple, pink, or blue raised lesions that protrude near the anus
  • Bright red blood in the stool
  • Pain during the passing of stool
  • Itching around the anus
  • Discomfort around the anus while conducting physical activities
  • Discomfort and/or inflammation surrounding the anus

In minor cases, hemorrhoids might resolve on their own inside the span of one week. Your Utah Gastroenterology provider may choose to prescribe medications or recommend at-home remedies to alleviate the bothersome symptoms of hemorrhoids. When larger hemorrhoids occur, however, medical assistance is available in Utah and may be needed to excise or treat the hemorrhoid. Common hemorrhoid treatment includes:

  • Ligation using rubber bands
  • Draining of a clot (thrombosis)
  • Applying topical cream
  • Coagulation
  • Stapling
  • Sclerotherapy
  • A diet high in fiber
  • Ice packs for reduction of anal swelling
  • Surgery
  • Tub baths multiple times a day in warm water
  • Avoiding the use of dry toilet paper
  • Good hygiene, specifically in the anal region
  • Treatment of constipation or the primary cause of the hemorrhoids
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Is it possible to prevent the development of hemorrhoids?

There are certain factors that can help prevent the development of hemorrhoids — or at least, lessen their impact. This might involve lifestyle changes like:

  • Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time: Be sure to take breaks throughout the day. For example, take a quick walk every 1 – 2 hours.
  • Eat a high-fiber diet: This involves fresh veggies and fruits, a variety of whole grains, and other healthy items. If you find it challenging to consume an adequate amount of fiber, a fiber supplement might be a good option.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Get regular exercise
  • Go to the restroom upon having the urge, as opposed to waiting until a later time
Are there specific foods I should not eat if I have a hemorrhoid?

Hemorrhoids are commonly caused by chronic constipation, so implementing specific dietary changes may be suggested if you have this GI issue. Our Utah gastroenterologists may recommend that you avoid food items low in fiber. This includes foods such as processed foods, ice cream, cheese, chips, and fast food. During your visit, we can discuss additional information on food items to avoid if you've been diagnosed with hemorrhoids.

Can a nonprescription cream address hemorrhoids?

Over-the-counter (OTC) hemorrhoid creams can be an effective method to relieve common symptoms like inflammation and itching. In some individuals, they might even help treat minor hemorrhoids. However, they often do not provide the most effective treatment method. Since hemorrhoid creams fail to treat the root cause of hemorrhoids, the condition will likely recur even with the use of these over-the-counter treatment creams.

How long does it take for a hemorrhoid to go away?

The extent and type of hemorrhoid that is present will usually determine how long it might last. As far as internal hemorrhoids go, mild cases usually clear up over the course of a few days to one week. Larger hemorrhoids, on the other hand, might take several weeks to improve or may need medical intervention. External hemorrhoids generally need care from a doctor. Such treatment options may include nutritional and lifestyle changes, using over-the-counter medications, a procedure like hemorrhoid banding (rubber band ligation), surgery, or a different form of care.

While hemorrhoids usually don't present a significant threat to your health, they can certainly be irritating, disturbing the comfort and quality of your life. If you find yourself in need of assistance with treatment for hemorrhoids in Utah, our doctors have the experience to help. We encourage you to contact Utah Gastroenterology to schedule a consultation with a gastroenterology provider.

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Painless, very easy procedure. Staff made it as comfortable and easy as possible.

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Dr. Fenton was great! I felt at ease the whole time. I was asleep for most of it though. When the procedure was over he explained everything clearly and sent me on my way. Not much more I could as for. We’ll done.

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