• 22 July 2014
  • Dr Jane Strang

What are haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoids or "piles" are enlarged blood vessels around or inside the anus. They can be internal or external, with external near the anus and covered by sensitive skin. If an external haemorrhoid develops a blood clot, it can become a hard painful lump. An internal haemorrhoid develops within the anus and can become painful if it prolapses and protrudes from the anal opening.

What are the symptoms?

You may experience bleeding from your bottom when you go to the toilet, pain or itchiness in the anal area, sensitive lumps or protrusions during bowel motions.

What causes haemorrhoids?

There is no exact cause for actually getting haemorrhoids, but contributing factors can include:

  • Aging
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Pregnancy
  • Straining when going to the toilet
  • Spending long amounts of time on the toilet (reading)

How are haemorrhoids treated?

Depending on the severity of the haemorrhoids, a change in diet to increase the amount of fibre and fluid intake can reduce the amount of pressure during bowel movements and may prevent them from protruding. However, if the bleeding or pain is severe or persistent, you may require medical, or even surgical intervention.

Make an appointment with Jane and discuss the options available to you. You may require “banding” where a small rubber band is placed above the haemorrhoid, causing the blood supply to be cut off which results in the haemorrhoid shrinking within a few weeks. Jane can perform this procedure in her clinic.

You could require surgery. This is done under anaesthesia and requires a hospital visit. Again, Jane can advise you on what is best for your circumstances.


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