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SuperModelMD: My Haemorrhoids Keep Me From Doing My Job

Dear SuperModelMD,

I have a great career and enjoy my line of work. However, I have a health issue that makes getting through a day at the office quite difficult. I’ve been suffering from giant painful hemorrhoids that are now dangling out of my anal region. My job requires me to sit at a desk all day long, and I’ve noticed that the longer I have to sit, the more pain I experience. I’m not sure what more to do about my hemorrhoids. I’ve actually even tried pushing the hemorrhoids back in myself a few times, and they just pop right out again. Sometimes they even bleed a bit when I am using the bathroom. I can’t deal with this level of pain and discomfort anymore, and I don’t want this health problem to compromise my work performance. What options are available to treat my hemorrhoids once and for all?

~Hemorrhoid Hell

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Dear Hemorrhoid Hell,

First you need to understand that hemorrhoids (also known as piles) are enlarged veins in the rectum and anus that swell up. When a hemorrhoid now protrudes out of the anal region, it is referred to as a prolapsed hemorrhoid. Prolapsed hemorrhoids can cause a great amount of pain while in a seated position. The intensity of the pain may also increase if the hemorrhoid becomes thrombosed (meaning blood clot formation occurs in the hemorrhoid) or if the hemorrhoid blood supply is compromised and becomes strangulated. If you are dealing with painful prolapsed hemorrhoids that are affecting your quality of life, you should seek evaluation and treatment from your doctor immediately.

Conservative management may include increasing your dietary fiber intake to promote softer stools and lessen any pressure placed on the hemorrhoids with defecation. There are also topical creams and suppositories with analgesic and anti inflammatory properties available to help relieve the pain and irritation associated with hemorrhoids. Soaking the area via a sitz bath is another option that may alleviate discomfort.

When conservative treatment modalities fail, then you may have to seek consultation with a surgeon to determine if you are a candidate for procedures such as hemorrhoid banding or even hemorrhoidectomy. Hemorrhoid banding (also known as rubber band ligation) is a minimally invasive procedure involving the use of tight bands to help the hemorrhoid fall off. Hemorrhoidectomy is a surgery performed to excise hemorrhoids. The bottom line is that if your hemorrhoids are causing you such a heightened degree of pain and distress, then you should not be embarrassed to discuss the problem with your doctor and explore which treatment options may work best for you.

*** Disclaimer: Information on this Q&A column is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information to self diagnose or treat a health problem/disease, or prescribe any medication, or other treatment. If you suspect you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider immediately.***

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