According to Google’s Zeitgeist 2012, some of the most popular search trends for the year included Whitney Houston, Hurricane Sandy, Big Bird and… hemorrhoids. It seems as though we would rather ask our smart phones about those pesky little pains in our behinds rather than our family physician. On some level, it is not surprising as hemorrhoids are an unpleasant topic. However, how many Americans are suffering in silence when they could get much more tangible relief from their doctor than from Google (Source: News WHAS11)?
Hemorrhoids affect between 14 and 20 million Americans. These swollen blood vessels around the rectum and anus can develop during pregnancy or can be a result of straining to have bowel movements. Sometimes causing rectal bleeding, itching and discomfort, hemorrhoids are definitely a condition that your doctor should be made aware of because they can have some unwanted and harmful side effects.
Often, hemorrhoids are temporary, as in pregnancy. The vessels swell and protrude as the pregnancy progresses, but often the symptoms go away after the baby is born. However, some people suffer from chronic hemorrhoids. If left untreated, hemorrhoids can increase in size, bleed and even cause tissue death. Some hemorrhoids are internal and if allowed to grow, may prolapse.
Please, swallow your pride and shyness and talk to your doctor about hemorrhoids. Google might be able to answer your questions about what hemorrhoids are, but it can’t write a prescription for your relief!