Hemorroids

Tests and Treatment

A doctor can diagnose hemorrhoids by taking your medical history and conducting a physical exam. This may include a digital rectal exam (inserting a gloved finger into the rectum) to check for internal hemorrhoids, as well as conducting an anoscopy (inserting a small tubular instrument to examine the anus) or proctoscopy (inserting a small tubular instrument to examine the anal cavity, rectum or sigmoid colon). If traces of blood are found in your stool, your physician may request a flexible sigmoidoscopy (a flexible tube that looks at the anus, rectum, and lower intestine) or colonoscopy (a thin, flexible tube that looks at the inner lining of the large intestine) to rule out other possible conditions. If hemorrhoids are present, your physician will evaluate the location and size of the hemorrhoid(s) and develop a treatment plan, based on severity, and what’s best for you.

Treating hemorrhoids

Treating and preventing hemorrhoids can often be done on your own by making simple lifestyle and dietary changes, these include: Increasing fibre: Too many of us don’t eat enough fibre. Eating a diet rich in fibre, along with adequate, non-caffeinated fluids, will help soften stools and make them easier to pass. High fibre foods include: beans, broccoli, oat bran, and fresh fruits. However, be aware that increasing fibre too quickly can cause bloating and gas, so start slowly and increase your fluid intake at the same time. You should aim for a maximum of 25-30 grams of fibre a day

Exercising:

Moderate exercise is good for your heart, bones, muscles, mental health and can help stimulate bowel function. The recommended level of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity plus 2 hours of muscle training per week. The 150 minutes of weekly physical activity can be broken out into shorter bouts, at least 10 minutes each, spread throughout the week: e.g. 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 5 times per week or no less than 20 mins a day.

Hemorrhoid care:

Should you have a hemorrhoid, try to avoid rubbing the area. You can clean the anus with a piece of moist toilet paper and gently pat dry. Use non-fragrant soaps with no dyes, and wear cotton underwear to prevent moisture build-up.

Treating hemorroids with over the counter medications:

Treating mild cases of hemorrhoids can often be done at home using compresses, baths and over-the-counter (OTC) products including ointments (for internal and external hemorrhoids) and suppositories (for internal hemorrhoids), which are available at your pharmacy.

Hydrocortisone:

  • Helps reduce itching and swelling
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in ointment, cream and suppository form
  • CAUTION: Over-use may weaken skin integrity, use products with hydrocortisone as directed and discuss treatment thoroughly with your healthcare professional.

Witch hazel:

  • Helps reduce itching and swelling
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in cream, suppository, pads and liquid form

Zinc sulfate monohydrate

  • Helps reduce swelling and burning
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in ointment and suppository form

Pramoxine hydrochloride

  • Helps relieve itching and pain
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in ointment and suppository form

Phenylephrine

  • Helps reduce itching, swelling, burning and discomfort
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in gel form

Tests and Treatment

A doctor can diagnose hemorrhoids by taking your medical history and conducting a physical exam. This may include a digital rectal exam (inserting a gloved finger into the rectum) to check for internal hemorrhoids, as well as conducting an anoscopy (inserting a small tubular instrument to examine the anus) or proctoscopy (inserting a small tubular instrument to examine the anal cavity, rectum or sigmoid colon). If traces of blood are found in your stool, your physician may request a flexible sigmoidoscopy (a flexible tube that looks at the anus, rectum, and lower intestine) or colonoscopy (a thin, flexible tube that looks at the inner lining of the large intestine) to rule out other possible conditions. If hemorrhoids are present, your physician will evaluate the location and size of the hemorrhoid(s) and develop a treatment plan, based on severity, and what’s best for you.

Treating hemorrhoids

Treating and preventing hemorrhoids can often be done on your own by making simple lifestyle and dietary changes, these include: Increasing fibre: Too many of us don’t eat enough fibre. Eating a diet rich in fibre, along with adequate, non-caffeinated fluids, will help soften stools and make them easier to pass. High fibre foods include: beans, broccoli, oat bran, and fresh fruits. However, be aware that increasing fibre too quickly can cause bloating and gas, so start slowly and increase your fluid intake at the same time. You should aim for a maximum of 25-30 grams of fibre a day

Exercising:

Moderate exercise is good for your heart, bones, muscles, mental health and can help stimulate bowel function. The recommended level of physical activity for adults is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity plus 2 hours of muscle training per week. The 150 minutes of weekly physical activity can be broken out into shorter bouts, at least 10 minutes each, spread throughout the week: e.g. 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity 5 times per week or no less than 20 mins a day.

Hemorrhoid care:

Should you have a hemorrhoid, try to avoid rubbing the area. You can clean the anus with a piece of moist toilet paper and gently pat dry. Use non-fragrant soaps with no dyes, and wear cotton underwear to prevent moisture build-up.

Treating hemorroids with over the counter medications:

Treating mild cases of hemorrhoids can often be done at home using compresses, baths and over-the-counter (OTC) products including ointments (for internal and external hemorrhoids) and suppositories (for internal hemorrhoids), which are available at your pharmacy.

Hydrocortisone:

  • Helps reduce itching and swelling
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in ointment, cream and suppository form
  • CAUTION: Over-use may weaken skin integrity, use products with hydrocortisone as directed and discuss treatment thoroughly with your healthcare professional.

Witch hazel:

  • Helps reduce itching and swelling
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in cream, suppository, pads and liquid form

Zinc sulfate monohydrate

  • Helps reduce swelling and burning
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in ointment and suppository form

Pramoxine hydrochloride

  • Helps relieve itching and pain
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in ointment and suppository form

Phenylephrine

  • Helps reduce itching, swelling, burning and discomfort
  • Treats internal and external hemorrhoids
  • Found in gel form
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