• Brian Dooreck, MD

Hemorrhoids—A real pain in the ass!

Updated: Oct 4, 2020

What are hemorrhoids?

The term hemorrhoids refer to a condition in which the veins around the anus or lower rectum are swollen and inflamed. They can burn, itch, and bleed.

Who gets hemorrhoids?

You may have hemorrhoids and not even know it. You may have mild symptoms from hemorrhoids, or at times, severe symptoms warranting treatment.

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What causes hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids may result from straining to move stool. Other contributing factors include pregnancy, aging, chronic constipation, or diarrhea.

Hemorrhoids are either inside the anus (internal, which can bleed) or under the skin around the anus (external, which can cause pain when thrombosed or clotted).

How to treat hemorrhoids?

Eat more fiber. Fiber helps form a soft, bulky stool. It is found in many vegetables, fruits, and grains. Be sure to add fiber a little at a time, so your body gets used to it. Limit foods that have little or no fiber.

Eat more fiber.

Hemorrhoid creams or suppositories can be used. Generic or over the counter options are fine to start with as directed.

Drink plenty of water and other liquids like fruit and vegetable juices to keep the stool soft and easy to pass. It is important to drink enough fluids. Caffeine and alcohol tend to dry out your digestive system.

Drink plenty of water

Take tub baths with warm water.

Baby oil gel or lotion before using the toilet may help. Soft baby wipes can be used instead of toilet paper.

Options besides medical therapy (creams or suppositories) may include intervention (rubber banding or surgical removal).

How to prevent hemorrhoids?

  • Eat more fiber.

  • Eliminate straining.

  • Don't ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Listen to your body.

  • Get enough exercise. A 20- to 30-minute walk every day may help. Begin slowly and speak with your doctor first.

Remember that rectal bleeding should raise concern for Colorectal Cancer?

"Colorectal cancer is cancer that starts in the colon or the rectum. These cancers can also be named colon cancer or rectal cancer, depending on where they start.

A screening colonoscopy finds precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) so they can be removed before they have a chance to turn into cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death, claiming the lives of more than 50,000 people every year.

Be aware. Be seen. Be screened if warranted.


I eat a high fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.

"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

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