Myths About Hemorrhoids
The condition known as hemorrhoids is one that will not normally be discussed in polite society, mainly due to the region of the body that is affected, and the embarrassing nature of the disorder. This has led to a number of myths developing, which many people will probably be inclined to believe, rather than carrying out further research or booking a consultation with a colorectal surgeon. Some of the most common myths, and the truths behind them, can be found here:
Myth#1: Hemorrhoids cause colon cancer
The most likely explanation for this is that hemorrhoids (swellings that occur in the veins of the anus and rectum) have been confused with polyps, which are fleshy growths found on the lining of the colon. Polyps, if not removed at an early stage, can eventually become cancerous, whereas hemorrhoids, although they will normally cause more obvious symptoms, are not dangerous. They do not mean that you are at a higher risk of developing colon cancer or any other condition of the gastrointestinal system.
Myth#2: Only older adults get hemorrhoids
While it is certainly true that age can play a role in the onset of hemorrhoids, and the condition is seen more frequently in those who are older, anyone may develop hemorrhoids. They are particularly common in pregnant women and anyone who spends the majority of their time sitting down, as both of these situations lead to an increase in pressure on the veins, which then swell. Men and women of any age can be affected by hemorrhoids.
Myth#3: Hemorrhoids cannot be prevented
While nothing can guarantee that you will remain free of hemorrhoids throughout your entire life (the majority of adults will suffer from the condition at least once), there are some steps you can take to dramatically reduce your risk. Speaking to your local Los Angeles colorectal surgeon will probably be the best way to find out about hemorrhoid prevention, but eating a high fiber diet, drinking plenty of water and participating in regular exercise will all help. These three simple steps will also help to prevent a wide range of other health problems, and also maintain a healthy weight. By following tips such as these, you can minimize your risk of developing hemorrhoids considerably, making it highly unlikely that you will experience this condition.
Myth#4: Hemorrhoid treatment requires surgery
This is certainly not the case but rather the exception. The majority of patients find that their hemorrhoids will heal simply by following the self-care advice given during their initial consultation with a proctologist. Others will use an over-the-counter remedy, allowing the symptoms to be reduced and giving the body a chance to heal by itself. If this is not successful, then a minimally invasive procedure, known as banding, will usually be offered. This involves an extremely tight elastic band being placed around the base of the hemorrhoid, which will cut off the blood supply and cause it to fall off. Surgery will only be required in the most severe cases, where the hemorrhoids are particularly large or have not been responsive to any other method of treatment. Speak to your doctor to find out more information about each of the forms of treatment, and which would be most appropriate for you.