Hemorrhoids Prevention Guide in Minnesota (Part 1)

The hemorrhoid patients in Minnesota often ask, do hemorrhoids come back? If so, how do I prevent them? hemorrhoids are a varicose vein disease. It is possible to relapse after hemorrhoid care, especially in the advanced hemorrhoids.

hemorrhoids are one of the most persistent chronic medical conditions in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas, leading to many people becoming frustrated at the recurrent symptoms. Luckily, there are numerous different measures available to prevent them to come back.

  • Dietary Changes: One of the best things you can do to prevent hemorrhoids is to make important dietary changes. Follow a high fiber diet. Why is fiber so very important? People in Minneapolis who do not get enough fiber in their diet tend to have constipation with hard stool and strain when going to the bathroom. In turn, this pressure constitutes one of the greatest risk factors to those who are vulnerable to developing hemorrhoids. In order to prevent the onset or return of hemorrhoids, you should strive to eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and fibers.
  • Increase Fluid Intake: For those who have a history of hemorrhoids in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas, it is recommended that these patients should drink plenty of water every day (6-8 glasses of water daily). The bulking agents (stool softener and fiber) work better with water.
  • Avoid Straining:You should have good bowel habits and maintain smooth stool. Constipation with hard stool and straining can increase abdominal pressure rapidly, as well as expansion of venous plexus, often causing rupture of hemorrhoidal veins and anal skin tearing. If you develop chronic constipation, you should treat it aggressively by having a high fiber diet, increasing water intake, walking daily, and taking bulking agents and laxatives. However, frequent diarrhea does not help, either. Straining related to diarrhea also can rapidly increase the pressure in the abdomen and hemorrhoid venous complex, too. The toilet time should not be too long; you should avoid the bad habit of reading newspapers in the toilet.
  • Avoid Long Standing and Heavy Lifting: Individuals who are prone to developing hemorrhoids should also avoid standing for extended periods of time and constant heavy lifting.

How to Manage the Hemorrhoids During Pregnancy in the Minnesotan Women

Although the women in Minnesota are prone to develop hemorrhoids when pregnant, they’re not inevitable. There are several ways to avoid or improve hemorrhoids.

1. Soak in warm water in the tub or sitz bath 2-3 times a day.

2. Try witch hazel or ice packs to soothe the sting of hemorrhoids; a warm bath might reduce discomfort, too. If you’re really uncomfortable when sitting, use a doughnut-shaped pillow to make sitting on your bum a little less painful.

3. Apply ice packs or cold compresses to your anus several times a day to help relieve swelling.

4. Keep your anal area clean. Pre-moistened wipes may be more comfortable than dry toilet paper. Choose brands that don’t contain perfumes or alcohol — or use medicated wipes made specifically for people who have hemorrhoid.

5. Try an over-the-counter hemorrhoid remedy. You may use Preparation cream for a few days or ask your health care provider to recommend a hemorrhoid cream that’s safe to use during pregnancy. Remember, hemorrhoid creams don’t cure the underlying condition — they simply soothe the pain of existing hemorrhoids. You should not use it continuously for a long term.

6. Avoid constipation: Eat a high-fiber diet, drink plenty of water, and get regular exercise daily. When you’re constipated, you may take a fiber supplement or stool softener, drink 6-8 glasses of water. If your constipation doesn’t resolve, ask your practitioner about it. You may program your bowel movement, if you are morning person or evening person, you may train yourself to have the bowel movement regularly every morning before shower. Don’t wait when you have the urge to have a bowel movement, try not to strain when you’re moving your bowels, and don’t linger on the toilet, because it puts pressure on the area.

7. Perform kegel exercises daily. Although no study shows Kegels decreases the chance of hemorrhoids, it increases the circulation which may help to avoid hemorrhoids. It also strengthens the muscles around the anus, the vagina and urethra, which can help your body recover after you give birth.

8. Avoid sitting or standing for long stretches of time. Try lying on your side or standing up. If you must sit, get up and move around for a few minutes every hour or so. At home, lie on your left side when sleeping, reading, or watching TV to take the pressure off your rectal veins and help increase blood return from the lower half of your body.

If these suggestions don’t help or your hemorrhoids get worse, consult with the hemorrhoid care expert Dr. Shu in Edina and Shoreview, MN. He provides one stop hemorrhoid care with multiple treatment modalities.

Why does Pregnancy Make Minnesota Women More Prone to Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are very common complaints during pregnancy. It afflicts 20 to 50 percent of all pregnant women in Minnesota. The hemorrhoids are actually varicose veins in the anorectal area, and although it is usually not dangerous, it can be very annoying. Four cardinal symptoms of hemorrhoids are itching, pain, bleeding and bulging out. The good news is that hemorrhoids will begin to improve soon after giving birth.

Some women in Minnesota get them in the first pregnant, others get recurrent hemorrhoids. hemorrhoidsusually get worse in the third trimester, right after labor pushing or if you develop constipation. The worst scenario of hemorrhoids in the pregnant women is the sudden onset of thrombosed external hemorrhoids. The patients develop the painful bulging out in the anus which needs the urgent intervention to relieve pain.

Why does pregnancy make women in Minneapolis and St Paul areas more prone to hemorrhoids? There are several reasons on it. First, hemorrhoids are a type of venous disease similar to varicose veins. Second, the enlarging uterus plus increased blood flow put pressure on the pelvic veins and other large veins that increases the pressure on the veins and causes them to become more dilated. Third, constipation is another common problem during pregnancy, which can also aggravate hemorrhoids due to the straining. Fourth, an increase in progesterone hormone during pregnancy causes the walls of hemorrhoidal veins to relax, allowing them to swell more easily. Moreover, progesterone slows down women’s digestive tract and contributes to constipation.

Interesting Stories about Hemorrhoids | Minneosta – Patron Saint & Napoleon’s Hemorrhoids

More than 10 million people in the United States suffer from hemorrhoids. Three out of four people in Minnesota will develop hemorrhoids at some time in their lives. In fact, the disease is so common that hemorrhoid sufferers have their own patron Saint, St. Fiacre.

Patron Saint of Hemorrhoid Sufferers

During the middle ages, an integral part of the therapy for certain ailments included prayer to “patron” saints for possible divine intervention. Through legends surrounding his life, St. Fiacre, a 7th century Irish monk, became the patron saint for hemorrhoid sufferers (and gardeners). During medieval times, hemorrhoids were known as St. Fiacre’s curse. St. Fiacre is also known as the patron saint of gardeners because he could farm all the land and manage to cultivate in a single day. As the legend goes, the saint was given a rather small shovel by his bishop and spent very long days spading his garden and developed a severe case of prolapsed hemorrhoids. Seeking a solution, he sat on a stone and prayed for help. The legend states he enjoyed a miraculous cure from the stone.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s Hemorrhoids

Napoleon Bonaparte had long suffered from hemorrhoids. On last day of the battle of Waterloo he was unable to mount his horse, and his doctors accidentally overdosed him with laudanum. Researchers believe that it’s possible that’s what caused the fatal delay starting the battle. It is pretty well known that if Napoleon had begun the battle earlier, the Duke of Wellington would not have been able to join forces with Blucher and the battle most likely would have been lost.

Complications Related to Hemorrhoids in Minnesota

Not everyone in Minnesota knows that hemorrhoids are actually part of the normal anatomy and that every human body has them, so hemorrhoids should not be embarrassing. When people in Minnesota complain about “hemorrhoids”, they are often referring to symptoms in the perianal and rectal areas. The rectal symptoms caused by hemorrhoids are the most common ailments affecting humans, almost everyone in Minneapolis and St Paul areas will develop symptoms at some time in their life, and significant percentage will develop chronic symptoms. Although hemorrhoids are usually not life threatening, they can certainly interfere with one’s quality of life.

Complications of hemorrhoids in Minnesota include:

Anal Itching
Anal itching, or pruritis, is one of the most common symptoms related to hemorrhoid disease in Minnesota. Anal itching is instigated by the anal skin inflammation triggered by the hemorrhoids. Excessive wiping and scratching further damage the perianal skin and causes chronic dermatitis. Over use of OTC hemorrhoid cream containing steroid can cause the damage in the perianal skin. The patients may develop the true complication called Pruritic Ani with persistent cyclic anal itching.

Thrombosed External hemorrhoid
Thrombosed external hemorrhoid occurs when the enlarged hemorrhoidal venous complex ruptures, a blood clot can then form in the hemorrhoid. Thrombosed external hemorrhoids are usually quite painful, and it requires immediate surgical intervention to remove the blood clot. We often receive the urgent calls from the patients in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas because of painful anal bulging out due to thrombosed external hemorrhoid.

Anemia
Chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids may cause anemia, resulting in fatigue and weakness. We had a few cases in Minnesota in the past few years that developed severe iron deficiency anemia due to hemorrhoidal bleeding, and their Hemoglobin dropped to as low as 5 or 6.

Strangulated hemorrhoid
When the hemorrhoids are so severe that they prolapse, it leads to the anal sphincter spasm due to pain and irritation. Persistent sphincter spasm can cut off blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid which causes more swelling of hemorrhoid tissue, it turns into a vicious cycle. Eventually, the hemorrhoid may be “strangulated,” which can cause extreme pain and lead to tissue death. Strangulated hemorrhoid is a very rare complication.

Infection
The local inflammation triggered by the bulging hemorrhoids causes the swelling and erosion of anorectal mucosa, which may increase the chance of infection. Opportunistic bacteria and microorganisms established on feces and the surrounding might attack and flourish in the damaged tissue.

Causes of Rectal Lumps in Minnesota

A rectal lump is one of the common symptoms in the anorectal diseases in Minneapolis and St Paul areas. A rectal lump is a growth in the anal canal or rectal area. Rectal lumps vary in size and the degree to which they produce symptoms. Depending on the underlying cause, a rectal lump may or may not cause any pain.

Should you be worried about that bump you just discovered back there? A palpable mass in the anal area may or may not indicate cancer or hemorrhoids. Lumps can be caused by a variety of conditions including anal warts, hemorrhoids, polyps, piles of fissures, or cancer.

1. Hemorrhoids are probably the most common reason for having a rectal lump in Minnesota. It can be caused by internal hemorrhoids, but more commonly by external hemorrhoids. If a rectal lump is related to internal hemorrhoids, it usually gets bigger and more prolapsed right after the bowel movement; it could be spontaneously reduced in the early stage of internal hemorrhoids. But it could be non-reducible in the late stage of hemorrhoids. It may be associated with other symptoms such as bleeding, itch or pain. The thrombosed external hemorrhoids are usually very painful if the varicose veins rupture and the blood clots develop. Hemorrhoidal tags are redundant skin without varicose veins, either due to the stimulation from local inflammation or after the resolution of thrombosed external hemorrhoids.

2. Anal warts are caused by human papilloma virus (HPV). HPV infection is considered to be sexually transmitted diseases. Left untreated, anal warts can spread and increase the risk of cancer in the rectal and anal region.

3. Anal Fissure is a small cut or split in the anal lining often caused by a painful, hard bowel movement. Fissures are typically located anterior or posterior to the anus. Anal fissure is often associated with a lump called sentinel pile, accompanied by pain and bleeding.

4. Rectal Cancer. The rectum is the last six inches of the body’s digestive system, exiting through the anus. One cause of a rectal lump is rectal cancer. Symptoms that require doctor’s attention include blood in the stool, change in bowel habits, tired feeling, abdominal discomfort, change in appetite, or unexplained weight loss.

5. Anal cancer occurs in the anal canal, it is account for 2% of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract. An external or internal mass may be palpable. Anal or rectal cancer generally do not produce any pain; Some lesions are so soft that they are missed on palpation. Anal cancer can take several forms including ulcers, polyps or verrucous growths.

If you feel a lump in the anal or rectal area, contact One Stop Medical Center in Edina or Shoreview to determine the cause and get treatment. You should seek immediate medical care if the associated symptoms are serious such as high fever, drainage of pus from a rectal lump, severe pain, or bloody stool.

Causes of Rectal Pain | Minneapolis

Rectal pain is a common sign of anorectal diseases in Minnesota. It can be caused by various conditions. Pain caused by an acute anal fissure may occur during intense, forced bowel movements that are often accompanied by rectal bleeding. Pain that begins gradually and becomes excruciating may indicate infection. In general, external hemorrhoid don’t cause significant rectal pain in Minneapolis and St Paul. They will cause pain, however, if the varicose vein complex ruptures, as blood clots occur and build up the pressure inside the lump. This condition, known as thrombosed external hemorrhoid, causes an extremely painful bluish anal lump. The somatic nerve in the anal canal (below the dentate line) can sense pain, this is why the patients feel significant pain with the immediate onset when they develop thrombosed external hemorrhoids.

Internal hemorrhoids, however, are not painful due to being located above the dentate line of the rectum that is supplied by the visceral nerve, like those found within the intestines, which sense pressure rather than pain. Similarly, rectal cancer typically does not cause pain unless the condition is advanced. The patients with chronic anal fissures usually have intermittent sharp rectal pain and bleeding with each bowel movement for a long time.

Proctalgia fugax (rectal pain) is a more serious anal pain condition that involves short spasms of intense pain. This condition may occur once each year or up to three or four times each week. The pain is typically accompanied by sweating and an urge to pass stool. There is currently no treatment for proctalgia fugax, but Botox may reduce the rectal pain by relaxing the sphincter, and placing oneself in warm water may provide symptomatic relief.

Causes of rectal bleeding in Minnesota

Rectal bleeding refers to the passage of red blood from the rectum and anus, often mixed with stool and/or blood clots. The severity of rectal bleeding varies widely. Most rectal bleeding is mild and intermittent, but it also may be moderate or severe.

Rectal bleeding can be caused by various conditions, but even the slightest amount of bleeding should be taken seriously. Common causes of bleeding are internal hemorrhoid, ruptured thrombosed external hemorrhoids, fissures, diverticulosis, colon cancer, colitis, polyps and angiodysplasias. Patients of older age or with significant family history of bowel disease or cancer should consider further examination. In addition, patients who were previously treated for rectal bleeding but continued to experience bleeding must be further examined.

Many patients in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas think rectal bleeding is always caused by hemorrhoids. When these patients come to the doctor’s office because of rectal bleeding, they tend to say they have hemorrhoids. The notion that rectal bleeding is the same as hemorrhoids is dangerous, as this may lead to a delayed diagnosis and treatment. The truth is that rectal bleeding in some patients could be caused by colon cancer with or without hemorrhoids.

The source of rectal bleeding is determined by history, physical examination and blood tests, assisted with anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, radionuclide scans, and angiograms.

Treatment of rectal bleeding includes correcting the low blood volume and anemia, determining the site and cause of the bleeding, and stopping the bleeding.

The common Causes of Anal Itching|Minneapolis

Anal itching is one of four common anorectal cardinal symptoms in the office visit in Minnesota, other symptoms are rectal pain, bleeding and bulging out. Anal itching may resolve spontaneously or with topical medications, but the initial relief of the itching does not necessarily mean the problem goes away. Continuous scratching or excessive cleaning of the anal area may further harm the sensitive tissues and worsen symptoms. The peri-anal dermatitis with or without yeast infection can complicate the problem. In addition, the area can be highly sensitive to perfumes, soaps, fabrics, dietary intake and superficial trauma. When chronic itching occurs, the perianal area becomes white with fine fissures.

Possible causes of anal itching include:

• Skin irritation: Moisture and friction can irritate the skin in the peri-anal area. Some products such as soap and toilet paper may also trigger irritation.
Hemorrhoids: Anal itching can be a symptom of hemorrhoids.
• Digestive problems: Diarrhea or fecal leakage or mucus discharge can cause anal irritation and itching.
• Skin disease: Anal itching could be related to a specific skin disease, such as psoriasis or contact dermatitis
• Infections. STD, yeast infections, and the parasite may also involve the anus and can cause anal itching.
• Anal tumors: Rarely, a cause of anal itching.

Mild anal itching can be easily relieved with Sitz bath and topical OTC hemorrhoid cream. If Pruritic Ani with chronic itching occurs, cyclic urge to scratch must be broken. Treatments for intensive and cyclic anal itching include wearing mitten and taking antihistamine as a sedative prior to sleeping to prevent the patient from unconsciously scratching, or using a topical corticosteroid to alleviate the itching. Underlying disorders such as hemorrhoids or infections must be considered and treated when diagnosing and treating anal itching.

Hemorrhoid Banding in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Rubber band ligation (RBL) is one of the common procedures to treat hemorrhoids in Minnesota. Hemorrhoid banding is an office procedure in which the prolapsed hemorrhoid tissue is tied off at its base with rubber bands. It works very well for prolapsed hemorrhoids, such as the advanced grade 2 and grade 3 hemorrhoids. It cannot be performed if there is not enough tissue to pull into the barrel in the banding device. Hemorrhoid banding treatment is almost never appropriate for grade 1 or mild grade 2 hemorrhoids (treated with IRC), or most severe (grade 4) hemorrhoids (treated with surgery).

The process involves a doctor inserting an anoscope into the anus and grasping the prolapsed hemorrhoid with a long clamp to place a rubber band around its base. With the rubber band in place, the hemorrhoid dies off in a few days or a week. The procedure is done in a doctor’s office and only a couple of minutes. Treatment is usually limited to 1 hemorrhoid each office visit and additional areas may be treated at 2 week intervals.

After the procedure, some patients may feel tightness, mild pain or have the feeling of bowel movement. Most patients in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas are able to return to regular activities (but avoid heavy lifting) almost immediately. If you feel some pain after banding, you may use Tylenol or Ibuprofen as needed and do a lot of sitz bath for 15-30 minutes at a time to relieve discomfort. Some patients may have slight rectal bleeding in a week. If you notice significant rectal bleeding, then you should call your doctor’s office.

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