What’s the number one search trend in the medical world? If you guessed hemorrhoids, you’d be correct. As absurd as it may sound, hemorrhoids are in fact the leading search term for 2012.

At Google’s annual roundup of popular search terms, hemorrhoids were the top trending health issue in the United States for 2012. GERD or gastroesophageal reflux was the second biggest trending term. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), these swollen and inflamed veins in the lower part of the rectum or anus affect 75% of people at some point in their lives. Additionally, hemorrhoids are most common in adults ages 45 to 65. Women during childbirth and pregnancy often deal with this condition.

To find out more about hemorrhoids and learn about treatment options, La Peer’s Hemorrhoid Center of Excellence can help. It’s always best to seek professional medical guidance from a trained and board-certified physician. Call us at (888) 742-2032.

Why Are Hemorrhoids so Popular on the Internet?

Most people seek out search engines to find out the basics of a condition. When looking for health information in 2012, 77% still started with a search engine like Google, Bing, or Yahoo; 13% started with a special site like WebMD; and 2% started at a site like Wikipedia. Most likely, people surfing the Internet for hemorrhoids are looking for the causes, symptoms and remedies.

So what about social media? While only 1% of the population use social media currently for health information, web searchers use these sites to get practical tips and talk to others dealing with similar conditions. (Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for health updates from La Peer!)

Since It’s So Popular What’s the Scoop on Hemorrhoids?

For the most part, hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure in the veins of the anus. Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:

  • Itching and pain (especially when sitting);
  • Bright red blood on toilet tissue, stool, or in the toilet bowl;
  • Pain during bowel movements; and
  • One or more hard, sore lumps near the anus.

To treat hemorrhoids, there are a number of over-the-counter creams and other products available to patients with hemorrhoids. You may also want to soak in warm water for 10-15 minutes regularly to ease the discomfort. If things don’t improve, you may choose rubber band ligation (cutting off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply with a rubber band) for internal hemorrhoids, sclerotherapy (the injection of a chemical solution into the hemorrhoid tissue to shrink it), or coagulation, which uses a laser or infrared light to harden and shrink hemorrhoids. And if you suffer from larger hemorrhoids or external hemorrhoids, you may be a candidate for a surgery known as a hemorrhoidectomy.

For the most part, the best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep your stools soft, so they pass easily. Some ways to do this are:

  • Eating foods high in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables and whole grains;
  • Drinking plenty of fluids;
  • Exercising and not sitting for long periods of time;
  • Using stool softeners; and
  • Using fiber supplements.

Need to Know More About Hemorrhoids

While searching online can be a great start to familiarize yourself with the condition, it is best to seek medical treatment from a board certified doctor. Here at the Hemorrhoid Center of Excellence, we can educate you and treat your hemorrhoids. Call us today at (888) 742-2032 or fill out our online contact form and a member of our friendly staff will contact you for an appointment.