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What Causes Hemorrhoids and Can I Treat Them?

What causes hemorrhoids? Can I treat them or am I doomed forever? 

By the time you reach 50 years of age, half of us will know what this is! HEMORRHOIDS! If you have been pregnant, you have an even higher likelihood of knowing what this is.

Hemorrhoids by definition are swollen veins in the anal canal and lower rectum.  They are caused by straining during bowel movements or increased pressure because of pregnancy.  Hemorrhoids are either internal or external.
 
Common symptoms include itching, discomfort, bleeding (painful or painless), swelling or lump around anus and sometimes leakage of feces.  Hemorrhoids can sometimes develop a clot (thrombus) and this results in severe pain, swelling and inflammation. Occasionally surgery is required on an emergency basis.
 
Causes of hemorrhoids include straining during defecation, sitting for long periods of time, chronic diarrhea or constipation, obesity, pregnancy, anal intercourse or a low fiber diet.
 
Treatment of hemorrhoids initially are geared at relieving pain and itch.  Dietary and lifestyle changes are a must. Diet changes should include a high fiber diet and increase in oral fluids (water).  Tylenol can also be used for discomfort. Sitz baths are the mainstay of treatment, and it is recommended to sit in about 3 inches of warm water for 15 minutes several times a day.  If these changes do not help or pain is severe, other options include: injection, banding, cauterization or surgery.  Hemorrhoid treatment is effective, but if diet and lifestyle changes do not happen, they can recur!

Tampa Bay Parenting 2014 Dr. Jill HechtmanJill Hechtman started her medical career at Ross University School of Medicine in Portsmouth Dominica. After medical school she started an anesthesiology residency in Chicago at RUSH University, where she met the love of her life, Dr. Jason Hechtman. After completing two years of Anesthesiology, Jill decided that she desired to be an OB/GYN, and transferred to Wayne State University for her four year residency in OB/GYN.  After completion, both Jason and Jill moved to Tampa. 

Since moving to Tampa, Jill has become the Medical Director of Tampa Obstetrics and is currently also serving as the Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital in Tampa. She is the past Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Brandon Regional Hospital and served on the hospital’s Board of Trustees for 2 years. She is a frequent face in local media as “Dr. Jill” and is also answers reader questions as our Dr. Mom. Jill was also recently appointed as a member of the Florida House of Representatives Medicaid Low Income Pool Council. She is also featured in various videos about pregnancy, which can be found on her website under “Patient Education”. One of her proudest moments was the birth of her daughter.  The two of them share a common interest in horses.

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