The most likely reason to have rectal bleeding is hemorrhoids. Visiting the experienced gastroenterologists at the Centers for Digestive Health can take care of these troublesome enlarged veins before they become too painful. The practice has offices in Highland, Merrillville, Gary, Dyer, Crown Point, and DeMotte, Indiana, where the team uses advanced treatments for hemorrhoids, including the HET™ bipolar system. For relief of hemorrhoids with minimal fuss and discomfort, call the Centers for Digestive Health today or book an appointment online.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that appear in your anus or rectum. They develop when excessive pressure on the veins causes them to weaken and become enlarged with blood. There are two types:
Internal hemorrhoids affect your lower rectum, so as long as they remain inside your body, you can't see them. However, you may experience some rectal bleeding during bowel movements. If an internal hemorrhoid prolapses and comes out of your anus, it can be particularly painful.
External hemorrhoids affect your anal tissues, and often cause itching, bleeding, and pain. Blood clots can sometimes form in the affected veins (thrombosed hemorrhoids), which can cause severe pain.
Hemorrhoids are quite common and can occur at any age, although they're more likely to develop as you get older. Regularly straining when passing stools – typically due to constipation – is a leading cause of hemorrhoids, but they can also develop during pregnancy or at any time when there's excessive pressure on the veins.
New hemorrhoids may clear up without treatment, especially if you take steps to relieve the pressure on your anal veins. You can achieve this by not straining when on the toilet and eating a healthy, high fiber diet with plenty of fluids to avoid constipation.
If your hemorrhoids don't go away within about a week, the Centers for Digestive Health team can assess them and advise on the best course of treatment. They can also check for other potential causes of rectal bleeding like colorectal cancer and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
There are various treatments for hemorrhoids, from banding, which involves wrapping a rubber band around the hemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply, to surgical removal.
The Centers for Digestive Health specializes in using an innovative, non-surgical approach called the HET bipolar system. The HET (hemorrhoid energy therapy) device captures the hemorrhoid, and your provider applies gentle heat to stop blood flow. The temperature is low enough to prevent damage to the surrounding tissues.
The HET system targets hemorrhoids in the dentate line area – where there aren't many pain receptors. That means the treatment causes minimal discomfort. You can go home after your treatment and resume normal activities within a day or so.
If you have hemorrhoids that aren't clearing up or you're worried about rectal bleeding, call the Centers for Digestive Health today or book an appointment online.