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Gastroenterology Blog

4 Types of Hemorrhoids & How They are Treated

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Sat, Jun 29, 2019 @ 2:25 PM

types of hemorrhoidsYou may not like talking about them, but if you suffer from hemorrhoids, there is no escaping thinking about them.  The condition can be uncomfortable, embarrassing, and at times, downright painful.  The important thing to remember is that you are not alone.  As many as 1 in 20 Americans deal with hemorrhoids, and up to 50 percent of those over the age of 50 will encounter them.  Patients should also keep in mind that not all hemorrhoids are the same and that they may not always present with the same symptoms.  In fact, there are four distinct types of hemorrhoids, and determining which you have is key to finding safe, effective relief.

Signs & Symptoms of Internal Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum.  These types of hemorrhoids generally resolve on their own and due to their location, are often asymptomatic.  In instances when patients do experience discomfort from internal hemorrhoids, it is often because of their size.  Larger internal hemorrhoids may cause symptoms such as pain, itching, or burning.

Signs & Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids are what most patients envision when they think of hemorrhoids.  These occur at the anus as either visible or palpable lumps.  Location is the only distinguishing factor between internal and external hemorrhoids, but it can make a significant difference.  While internal hemorrhoids may go completely unnoticed, external hemorrhoids often produce a number of uncomfortable symptoms until they are resolved.  Most commonly, patients report itching, burning, and pain during activity, while sitting, or during bowel movements.

Signs & Symptoms of Prolapsed Hemorrhoids

Prolapsed hemorrhoids are internal hemorrhoids that have grown to the point that the protrude from the anus.  These may be accompanied by classic hemorrhoid symptoms or have no symptoms at all. All internal hemorrhoids are classified on a scale of Grade 1 – 4:

  • Grade 1 – No prolapse
  • Grade 2 – Prolapse under pressure such as straining during a bowel movement but return on their own
  • Grade 3 – Prolapse that can be pushed back in by the patient
  • Grade 4 – Prolapse that is too painful to be pushed back in

Signs & Symptoms of Thrombosed Hemorrhoids

Thrombosed hemorrhoids are internal or external hemorrhoids in which a blood clot (thrombosis) has developed.  Symptoms that accompany a thrombosed hemorrhoid are often more severe than normal and can include intense itching, burning, pain, redness, and swelling.  The area around the hemorrhoid may also take on a bluish color.  Quick treatment of thrombosed hemorrhoids is necessary to prevent loss of blood supply and damage to the surrounding tissue.

Hemorrhoid Treatment in Baton Rouge

If you are suffering from any form of hemorrhoid, seek the medical attention of a gastroenterologist.  These specialists can offer treatment recommendations to help you find relief and perform the necessary procedures should your hemorrhoids become severe or unresponsive to other methods.  In Baton Rouge, our team of gastroenterologists is fully prepared to treat all manner of digestive diseases, including hemorrhoids.  Simply click below to request an appointment.


Topics: Hemmorhoids

Baton Rouge Hemorrhoid Patient Questions: The Answers You Need

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Thu, Feb 22, 2018 @ 9:54 AM

Hemorrhoid Treatment at Digestive Health Center of LouisianaPatients suffering from hemorrhoids may have questions related to their condition.  However, most patients shy away from seeking answers and solutions due to embarrassment.  Over 3 million hemorrhoid cases are diagnosed annually, and physicians are able to offer various treatment options including topical ointments and hemorrhoid banding.


Why do I get Hemorrhoids?

Clusters of veins in the anus and rectum become swollen in a condition commonly referred to as hemorrhoids (also known as piles).  Up to 75 percent of Americanswill deal with the condition at some point as a result of pressure in the lower rectum.  Causes that may contribute to this pressure and resulting hemorrhoids include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Sitting on the toilet for extended periods of time

Additionally, older adults and those who do not get enough daily fiber may be at an increased risk for developing hemorrhoids.

Are Hemorrhoids Dangerous?

The major complications of hemorrhoids are discomfort and itching or no symptoms at all. In rare cases, blood loss from hemorrhoids could lead to iron deficiency anemia which would require further medical evaluation. 

Do I Need to See a Doctor for Hemorrhoids?

If you are experiencing the symptoms of hemorrhoids, particularly rectal bleeding, you should seek medical treatment. 

How can my Hemorrhoids be Treated?

In mild cases, home remedies are often effective at easing hemorrhoid-related symptoms.  These may include applying over-the-counter ointments or pads, eating a high-fiber diet, and soaking in a warm bath.  If hemorrhoids are persistent and unresponsive to home treatment, please contact a gastroenterologist.  You may be a candidate for a minimally invasive procedure known as hemorrhoid banding. During this procedure, rubber bands are placed around the hemorrhoid in order to cut off its blood supply thus causing it to die and fall off in roughly one week’s time. 

If you are experiencing the symptoms of hemorrhoids, schedule an appointment with a Baton Rouge gastroenterologist to discuss the best treatment options for your case.




Topics: Hemmorhoids

Hemorrhoid Prevention in baton rouge

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Jun 13, 2017 @ 12:59 PM

hemmorhoid prevention in baton rougeOh, no. Not again. Those burning, painful bumps that seem to itch at the worst times have reappeared down there. Hemorrhoids. You’ve put up with their sudden reappearance and disappearance for years, but now it’s time get serious about prevention.

Check out these tips for hemorrhoid prevention  and consult with a digestive specialist today.

Listen to your body’s natural digestive rhythm

If you don’t want to use the restroom at work, or outside home, be cautious as prolonged holding may disrupt your normal rhythm. Over a period of time, constipation may ensue, if you don’t follow “nature calls”. Straining at a bowel movement can cause prolonged, increased blood flow to the veins surrounding the anus, resulting in hemorrhoids. Your digestion has a rhythm and it’s time you started paying attention to it.

Increase your fiber intake

How much fiber do you get daily? Incorporating more fiber in your diet with vegetables and fruit can combat recurrent constipation. If naturally-occurring fiber is not enough, a gastroenterologist can recommend the right fiber supplement for your digestive needs.

While dietary fiber may help, each patient needs personalized attention and customized treatment. Some patients may need gentle laxatives, while others need stronger treatments. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to constipation and hemorrhoids. Let your gastroenterologist assess your condition in an appropriate manner, do the necessary testing and decide the right treatment for you.

If you are not having regular bowel movements, just increasing fiber may not help, and may actually.

Get moving to get your bowels moving

Does your job have you sitting at a desk for hours at a time? A sedentary lifestyle can slow down your digestion, leading to constipation, straining, and hemorrhoids. So get your heart rate up! Light daily activity, like walking, jogging, or yoga, can increase blood flow and cause waste to move through your digestive system more quickly. 

Consult with a Baton Rouge digestive health expert today

If you suspect that you have hemorrhoids, you should not be embarrassed. They are a natural occurrence in the human body and are more common that thought.  However, assumptions or self-diagnosis can be a slippery slope and consultation with a specialist in the field of gastroenterology will provide a more definitive assessment and personalized treatment plan. Contact the digestive health experts at Gastroenterology Associates today to get your digestion back on track.  

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Topics: Hemmorhoids

11 Common Causes of Rectal Bleeding

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Wed, Sep 14, 2016 @ 1:47 PM


Why is there blood in my stool?

It’s a question we never want to ask, but it’s one in vital need of an answer. Even a slight presence of blood in your stool or on the toilet tissue hints that bleeding is occurring in the digestive tract. The darker the appearance of the blood, the higher up on the digestive tract the blood entered the stool. Bright red blood can be the result of anal bleeding or problems in the lower intestinal tract. But this is not an absolute rule by which you can make decisions.

Although bright red blood may suggest that it is from hemorrhoids, sometimes there may be another serious underlying problem. If the physician performs necessary evaluation and decides that the bleeding is from hemorrhoids, that is acceptable. Assuming that the bleeding is from hemorrhoids because is it small amount or because it is bright red in color, or based on someone else’s experience is somewhat risky. There are some patients who may have colon cancer and have minimal or NO  bleeding. The most common symptom of colon cancer is …no symptom!

So please don’t ignore, postpone or assume something when a serious symptom like blood in the stool occurs. Appropriate evaluation gives you peace of mind and relief from your symptoms. Most of these underlying causes have effective management and there is no need to suffer.

The 11 most common causes of rectal bleeding are

  1. Anal fissures, which are small cuts or tears in the lining of the anus, can appear after passing a particularly hard stool.
  2. Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum, which can cause pain, itching, and difficulty sitting, as well as the appearance of bright red blood. The good news is that there is no need for painful surgery in most cases due to recent developments in non-surgical techniques which are easy, pain-free, in-office and very effective.
  3. An anal fistula is a small channel that forms between the anal canal and the skin surrounding the anus. Along with minor bleeding, it can cause swelling, tenderness, and persistent discharge/drainage. Currently, the only remedy for an anal fistula is surgery.
  4. Gastroenteritis is a sudden-onset intestinal infection, which can be viral, bacterial, or parasitic. In addition to blood in the stool, gastroenteritis is characterized by diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, fever, and body aches. If gastroenteritis recurs or lasts longer than 2 days, we recommend further evaluation by a trained digestive specialist.
  5. Peptic ulcers are sores in the esophagus, stomach, or the lining of the upper part of the small intestine. Depending on the location of the sores, the blood in the stool may appear darker, possibly even black. In addition, you may experience burning pain in the stomach, which worsens as the stomach empties, heartburn, nausea and vomiting, bloating, appetite changes, and weight loss. If left untreated peptic ulcers can cause severe damage to the lining of your digestive system, so please seek help immediately if symptoms of peptic ulcers persist.
  6. Diverticular disease is defined by the development of small bulges—or diverticula—in the lining of the colon. Along with rectal bleeding, diverticular disease—and diverticulitis—include severe abdominal pain, bloating, high fever, and frequent diarrheal bowel movements.
  7. Angiodysplasia occurs more often in older adults and is defined by swollen, fragile blood vessels in the colon. If the swelling worsens, small passages ways can form between the artery and vein, resulting in bleeding from the colon wall, which can manifest as bright red or black blood in the stool. Angiodysplasia is also characterized by weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath, and anemia.
  8. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, can cause ulcers, abscesses, and scarring in the intestinal lining over time. Blood in the stool is often accompanied by diarrhea, fever, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
  9. Bleeding varices: When dilated blood vessels (varices) in the esophagus and stomach rupture and bleed, they can be life-threatening. If your black, tarry, or bloody stool is accompanied by vomiting blood, low blood pressure, lightheadedness, or rapid heart rate, seek medical attention immediately. If not addressed, the sufferer can go into shock.
  10. Colon polyps are noncancerous growths in the colon or rectal lining. Though colon polyps are normally asymptomatic, they can cause rectal bleeding, sudden changes in bowel habits, and constipation or diarrhea that lasts for more than a week. Though colon polyps are not necessarily cancerous, they can develop into colon or colorectal cancer, so it’s vital to get screened by a skilled gastroenterologist immediately.
  11. Colon cancer may cause blood in the stool, anywhere from minimal bleeding to significant amount. Sometimes it may not cause any bleeding at all and be completely asymptomatic. Everyone 50 years and above needs SCREENING COLONOSCOPY (done in the absence of symptoms as a prevention/ wellness check) to identify precancerous polyps and remove them before they could become cancer. Sometimes cancer may cause abdominal pain, weight loss or anemia.

While rectal bleeding can be the result of many intestinal or anal issues that are not life-threatening and can resolve themselves, it can also be an early indication of a more severe digestive tract issue. If you are experiencing rectal bleeding, you may want to take the next step in protecting your future with preventative screenings, like colonoscopy.  The Gastroenterology Associates are specialized and highly experienced in screening for, detecting, and treating colorectal cancer and the precursors to colorectal cancer (ie polyps).  Contact the Gastroenterology Associates for an appointment today, either through our online appointment request here or by contacting our office here.


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Topics: Cancer, Hemmorhoids, Colon Polyps, Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Facts about Hemorrhoid Banding

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Tue, Dec 22, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

toilet_and_green_wall.jpgHemorrhoids are swollen tissue in the lower rectum and anus that are typically caused by too much pressure in the area. This condition affects roughly 10 million people in the US, according to a review published in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons. Some estimates indicate that over half of Americans will deal with hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. While some cases of hemorrhoids subside with home care, others require medication, surgery or other forms of treatment, such as hemorrhoid banding. 

 Types of Hemorrhoids

There are two types of hemorrhoids that occur:

  • Internal hemorrhoids: These develop inside the anus and usually cause bleeding while straining during bowel movements. In some cases, they can become large enough to fall outside the anus, these are called prolapsed hemorrhoids.
  • External hemorrhoids: These develop outside the anus and make it difficult to thoroughly wipe the area clean after bowel movements. Blood clots sometimes form inside external hemorrhoids, causing severe pain.

 Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids don’t always cause pain unless blood clots form inside them. Other symptoms of this condition include:

  • Itching in the anus
  • Painful bowel movements
  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • Pain in the anus that worsens when sitting
  • A hard lump or lumps close to the anus

 Causes of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids occur due to straining during bowel movements, sitting for prolonged periods of time, or being constipated. They commonly occur during pregnancy, although anyone can get them. Hemorrhoids are more likely to develop more often with age as tissue in the area weakens.

In fact, about half of adults in the US have had at least case of hemorrhoids by age 50, according to the Mayo Clinic. Hemorrhoids can also occur in individuals who are obese, those with certain types of diseases, such as cirrhosis of the liver, or those who eat a diet that is low in fiber. 

 Home Care for Hemorrhoids

Treatments for hemorrhoids usually start with home care, such as:

  • Applying topical hemorrhoid cream to the affected area
  • Soaking in a warm tub or using a sitz bath for 10 to 15 minutes to soothe the area
  • Cleaning the affected area thoroughly with warm water and no soap, which could irritate hemorrhoids
  • Wiping the area with damp toilet paper or moist towelettes instead of dry toilet paper, which can aggravate symptoms
  • Applying ice packs to the area to reduce swelling
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers to temporarily ease soreness

 Got A Minute? Hemorrhoid Banding

When home care doesn’t work, other forms of hemorrhoid treatment are available. Minimally invasive procedures are sometimes used to treat hemorrhoids that have formed blood clots. These procedures include hemorrhoid banding, which involves using a suction device to pull the affected tissue, then band the hemorrhoid to cut off blood supply. Older methods involve using a metal clamp to keep the tissue in place, which can be painful. 

The method of hemorrhoid banding used at Gastroenterology Associates is known as the CRH O’Regan method, which involves using small rubber bands to hold the tissue, which offers improved comfort for patients. This method of banding is also considered safer, since it has a complication rate of less than one percent.  Most hemorrhoid banding procedures take around a minute. Patients are able to get back to their daily lives right away.

 Those who have hemorrhoid banding done do not usually experience recurring hemorrhoids, although those with more than one hemorrhoid will need to have separate banding treatments done for each one. In most cases, three banding treatments are needed. Those who have banding done may have mild pain in the affected area for about 24 hours afterwards and recover quickly.

It is important to treat the cause, not just treat the hemorrhoids, so you will need evaluation with the physician for treatment of constipation and other associated problems as well as to prevent future relapses.

Since the development and widespread use of hemorrhoid banding as a safe, quick and effective treatment for hemorrhoids by gastroenterologists, we have drastically reduced the number of referrals for painful surgical procedures. Most patients are unaware of this simple solution and have been suffering unnecessarily for a long time. We are happy to see testimonials from patients in terms of referring their friends to us, to benefit from this technique.

If you have recurring hemorrhoids or hemorrhoids that do not respond to home care treatment, please contact us at Gastroenterology Associates. Our team of gastroenterologists can discuss treatment options with you, including hemorrhoid banding using the CRH O’Regan method.

hemorrhoids - what you should know

Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician.    Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.


Topics: Hemmorhoids

Hemorrhoids Baton Rouge - Why The Stigma?

Posted by Gastroenterology Associates on Wed, Nov 27, 2013 @ 11:24 AM

Hemorrhoids are one of the most common gastrointestinal issues in the world, affecting as much as 50% of the population by the age of 50. People with this condition may suffer from pain, bleeding, leakage of stool, inability to control bowels, and other symptoms which can be severe. Yet despite how common the condition is, there is still some stigma about it. Many people are embarrassed to admit that they have hemorrhoids, even to a doctor.

hemorrhoids baton rougeHemorrhoids are swollen veins in the rectal area. When you pass a bowel movement, more blood flows into the veins in the anus to help facilitate the process. If there is excessive straining or pressure on the veins, they can become swollen. Straining during bowel movements or sitting on the toilet for a long time, as can occur during constipation or diarrhea, can cause the condition. Being overweight or pregnant also increases the risk due to the increased pressure on the pelvis, and some women develop the condition during childbirth.

Treatment is Simple

Hemorrhoids aren't just common - they're also easily treatable. Over-the-counter creams may provide temporary relief from pain and itching, but they only address the symptoms, not the cause. Some types of hemorrhoids can be treated with lifestyle changes, such as adding fiber and water to your diet. Other types may need to be treated using a medical procedure called hemorrhoid banding, where the veins are tied off so that they will be cut off from the blood supply and fall off. In rare cases, surgery is necessary.

Common Concerns

Many people feel anxious about seeing a gastroenterologist for hemorrhoid treatment. The thought of talking to your doctor about bowel movements and hemorrhoid symptoms might be daunting. In addition, many people worry that the process of diagnosis and treatment will be embarrassing or uncomfortable.

Doctors deal with gastrointestinal issues each and every day. Although patients often feel embarrassed to discuss their issues, to a doctor discussing and examining the rectum and colon is similar to addressing an elbow injury. Your doctor will address your symptoms and treatment in a professional, non-judgmental manner - the goal is simply to relieve your symptoms.

Patients also worry about the treatment and diagnosis aspect of the process. To diagnose the cause of your symptoms, your doctor will probably need to perform a digital rectal examination and examine the rectum with a scope. If you are over 50 or have risk factors for colon cancer, a colonoscopy may also be needed. None of these procedures should be painful, and as you go through diagnosis and treatment, it's helpful to remember that doctors frequently do such procedures, and view them in a purely medical light.

If you have symptoms of hemorrhoids, it's important to seek treatment for the condition. Seeking treatment is especially important if you see blood in your stool - although blood is often a sign of hemorrhoids, it can also be a sign of more serious medical conditions.

To schedule a consultation about your gastrointestinal health, To schedule a consultation today, please contact one of the doctors at Gastroenterology Associates at (225) 927-1190.

hemorrhoids - what you should know

 Disclaimer: All information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and should not replace the consultative advice and experienced feedback from your physician.    Always consult with your physicians on any of your questions and concerns.

Topics: Hemmorhoids