How To Tell If You Have Hemorrhoids
You may shudder at the word hemorrhoid for many reasons. Perhaps you have experienced hemorrhoids first-hand, or have heard about them from someone who has experienced them. No matter the circumstance, you may not like to talk about it. However, hemorrhoids are quite common in middle and later life.1 In fact, most people by age 50 have experienced one or more of the symptoms of hemorrhoids, which include rectal pain, itching, and bleeding.2
If youve been wondering how to tell if you have hemorrhoids, here we explain more about the common causes and symptoms one can experience if they do have hemorrhoids. Read on to learn more about hemorrhoids and what to do if you have them.
Hemorrhoid Treatment In A Doctors Office With Or Without Surgery
Medical procedures may be needed for hemorrhoids that dont go away with home treatments.
Painful external hemorrhoids can be excised during an office visit following a shot of local anesthetic to numb the area.
For internal hemorrhoids, a few office procedures may be considered. In rubber band ligation, the most common hemorrhoid procedure performed in the United States, the doctor places a small rubber band around the base of the hemorrhoid, cutting off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply. The hemorrhoid typically shrinks and falls off within about a week, though several quick follow-up visits may be required to completely get rid of the hemorrhoid.
Other procedures include sclerotherapy, in which a chemical injected into the hemorrhoid causes scar tissue to form, shrinking the hemorrhoid and infrared coagulation, in which an intense beam of infrared light causes the scar tissue to form, cutting off the blood supply and shrinking the hemorrhoid.
If you have a large external hemorrhoid, both internal and external hemorrhoids, or an internal hemorrhoid thats prolapsed , a surgical operation called a hemorrhoidectomy may be necessary, though few patients require this procedure.
Another option that aims to reduce postoperative pain is a stapled hemorrhoidopexy, in which a device pulls the hemorrhoidal tissue upward and to its normal position, stapling it in place.
What Is The Connection Between Toilet Paper Wipes And Hemorrhoids
One of the methods of hemorrhoid prevention is to remove any traces of dirt and grime from the region with moist wipes or wet toilet paper to relieve inflammation. Alternatively, you might use a kitchen sprayer or a bidet toilet seat. Avoid delaying your departure for an excessive amount of time. Do not push yourself or strain yourself to get out of bed, since the pressure might make it worse.
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Diagnosis For Hemorrhoids Vs Rectal Prolapse
If you notice symptoms like blood in your stool or constant irritation around your anus, it is a good idea to see a physician. They can evaluate you and determine whether you have hemorrhoids or a rectal prolapse.
Diagnosis for hemorrhoids
Doctors typically diagnose hemorrhoids by performing a physical exam and asking you about your symptoms. They may also request additional testing like:
- Digital rectal examination : The doctor covers their hand with a lubricated glove, then inserts their finger inside your rectum to check for issues.
- Anoscopy: The doctor inserts a hollow, lighted tube inside your anus to get a view of any internal hemorrhoids.
- Proctoscopy: The doctor places a lighted tube inside your anus to get a view of your entire rectum.
- Sigmoidoscopy: The doctor looks at part of your large intestine with a small, flexible, lighted tube that blows air into your rectum so that it swells.
- Coloscopy: This test lets the doctor see the entire length of your large intestine, which allows them to check for abnormal growths, red or swollen tissue, ulcers, or any bleeding.
Diagnosis for rectal prolapse
In addition to performing a physical exam, your doctor may request the following tests when checking for rectal prolapse:
Hemorrhoid Symptoms: What To Look For
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that form in your lower rectum, usually as a result of excess strain. This strain can be caused by constipation, hard bowel movements, pregnancy, or jobs or other activities that involve long periods of sitting or standing. Being overweight or obese can also increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids, since the extra weight around your torso increases the pressure on your lower belly and bowels. Internal hemorrhoids form inside your rectum, while external hemorrhoids form in the skin around your anus. Sometimes, a clot will form in the hemorrhoid area, causing whats called a thrombosed hemorrhoid .
As noted, rectal bleeding can be a symptom of a hemorrhoid, but not all hemorrhoids bleed. When bleeding does occur, the blood will be bright red. Darker blood typically indicates a problem somewhere in your colon or small intestine. Since bleeding can also be a sign of rectal or colon cancer, it’s always a good idea to have bleeding evaluated by one of our team to determine what’s causing it.
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Bad Smell Around The Anus
Hemorrhoids can cause feces and mucus to leak out of the anus, which may lead to a foul smell. There may also be other causes for this though, among them:
Anal fistula or anal abscess
An anal fistula can result in a bad smelling discharge from the anus. Another symptom of anal fistula is a mild, intermittent pain around the anus. A constant, throbbing pain that is even more pronounced when sitting down, having a bowel movement or when coughing can be the result of an anal abscess that often precedes an anal fistula.
Proctitis and anusitis
Proctitis and anusitis are conditions where the rectum and anus become inflamed. These conditions can cause bad-smelling discharge. Someone with these conditions will also likely experience a frequent urge to have a bowel movement, pain and a feeling a fullness in the rectum.
Fecal incontinence and anal cancer
A bad smell could be caused by fecal incontinence, which can be a sign of anal cancer. Seek prompt medical attention in all cases where anal cancer is suspected.
How Can I Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are common as you get older. These steps can help prevent hard stools and constipation that can lead to hemorrhoids:
- Dont sit too long or push too hard on the toilet.
- Go the toilet when the urge hits dont delay bowel movements.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Eat more high-fiber foods or take supplements. Generally, women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day, while men should get 35 grams of fiber.
- Stay physically active. Being on the move keeps bowels moving.
- Take laxatives or use enemas only as recommended by your healthcare provider. Too many laxatives or enemas can make it hard for your body to regulate how you poop.
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The Only Way To Know With Certainty Is To Ask A Doctor
Whether youre feeling excess tissue around the anus or youre seeing a small amount of blood on the toilet paper, your symptoms may indicate a hemorrhoid problem. If youre still uncertain about whether you should see a doctor about your symptoms read out blog post titled Do I have to see my doctor if my hemorrhoids are bleeding?. Since the only way to know is to call a doctor near you and schedule a consultation, we recommend you search our database for a doctor near you that offers the CRH ORegan treatment. The CRH ORegan System is the only non-invasive, quick procedure designed to treat the source of your symptoms.
Heal Your Hemorrhoids
Treatments For Hemorrhoids Vs Rectal Prolapse
Treatments for hemorrhoids
More severe cases of hemorrhoids may require surgery. Your doctor may recommend treating milder cases of hemorrhoids with the following at-home remedies, including:
- Sit in a bathtub full of plain, warm water several times per day.
- Place ice packs on the hemorrhoids to help with swelling.
- Apply hemorrhoid creams or inserting suppositories.
- Add more fiber to your diet.
- Take stool softeners.
Treatments for rectal prolapse
Treatments for rectal prolapse usually focus on preventing constipation and straining. Kegel exercises and stool softeners can also help. Rectal prolapse will sometimes go away on its own. However, severe cases of rectal prolapse may require surgery, such as:
- Repair can be made through the abdomen to attach the rectum to the backbone to keep it in place.
- Repair can be made through the rectum to remove the prolapsed section.
- Some repairs combine both techniques through the abdomen and rectum.
Talk to your doctor about whether you have hemorrhoids and rectal prolapse so you can get the right treatment and relieve your pain and discomfort.
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What Causes Internal And External Hemorrhoids And Simple Ways To Treat Them
Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure due to pregnancy, being overweight, or straining during bowel movements. By midlife, hemorrhoids often become an ongoing complaint. By age 50, about half the population has experienced one or more of the classic symptoms, which include rectal pain, itching, bleeding, and possibly prolapse . Although hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous, they can be a recurrent and painful intrusion. Fortunately, there’s a lot we can do about hemorrhoids.
How To Tell If You Have Internal Hemorrhoids
This article was co-authored by Chris M. Matsko, MD. Dr. Chris M. Matsko is a retired physician based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of medical research experience, Dr. Matsko was awarded the Pittsburgh Cornell University Leadership Award for Excellence. He holds a BS in Nutritional Science from Cornell University and an MD from the Temple University School of Medicine in 2007. Dr. Matsko earned a Research Writing Certification from the American Medical Writers Association in 2016 and a Medical Writing & Editing Certification from the University of Chicago in 2017.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 97,045 times.
Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins that can be found either externally or internally around the anus. They are caused by increased pressure on the pelvic and rectal veins and are related to constipation, diarrhea, and straining to pass a stool. Internal hemorrhoids can be difficult to self diagnose, but there are some signs and symptoms that you can be aware of.
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What Are Hemorrhoids Vs Rectal Prolapse
People often question the relationship between hemorrhoids vs. rectal prolapse. Once you understand the difference between the two, you can get a better idea of what you might be experiencing.
What are hemorrhoids?
There are clusters of veins that lie beneath the mucous membrane lining of the lowest part of our anus and rectum. When those veins become swollen, it results in a condition called hemorrhoids. They are actually a varicose vein that forms in the rectum.
There are two common types of hemorrhoids:
- Internal hemorrhoids: Internal hemorrhoids are typically small, swollen veins found in the walls of the anal canal. They can sometimes grow large and bulge out of the anus. Those bulging veins can become painful if they are squeezed by your anus muscles or cut off from their blood supply.
- External hemorrhoids: External hemorrhoids are veins beneath the skin of your rectum that get irritated and start clotting. You may feel a hard lump in that area when this happens.
What is rectal prolapse?
Rectal prolapse is a medical condition where your rectum walls slide out of their normal position because of a loosening of their normal attachments inside your body. There are three different types of rectal prolapse:
What Happens If You Leave Hemorrhoids Untreated
Basically, youre leaving piles untreated and risk them getting worse and ultimately more problematic. If the hemorrhoid is small and treated soon then it may continue to get smaller until it eventually goes away but if a hemorrhoid is left untreated then over time it could become bigger and potentially cause more problems such as bleeding and discomfort.
Just because youve been given advice on how to treat piles doesnt mean that you can ignore them and put them off for later, as the longer you leave hemorrhoid untreated then the more likely it is that it could become more problematic.
If hemorrhoid persists for longer than 4 weeks or other symptoms such as pain and bleeding become apparent, please seek medical attention as soon as possible. Piles may not be life-threatening but it doesnt mean that they cant or wont become more problematic and this is why its so important to treat them sooner than later and take any necessary precautions for the future.
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Your Internal Hemorrhoid Problem
Visit your doctor to learn more about this issue and discuss the treatment approach thats right for you. To find a local colorectal specialist, try our Find a Doctor database.
As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.
Your healthcare provider will create a care plan for you based on:
- Your age, overall health, and past health
- How serious your case is
- Whether you have internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids, or both
- How well you handle certain medicines, treatments, or therapies
- If your condition is expected to get worse
- What you would like to do
The main goal of treatment is to reduce your symptoms. This may be done by:
- Sitting in plain, warm water in a bathtub several times a day
- Using ice packs to reduce swelling
- Using hemorrhoid creams or medicines inserted into your rectum
Your healthcare provider may also suggest that you add more fiber and fluids to your diet to help soften your stools. Having softer stools means you dont have to strain during bowel movements. This reduces the pressure on your hemorrhoids.
Adding more fiber to your diet means eating more:
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
Quick Relief Of Hemorrhoid Discomfort In San Antonio
You really donât have to go through another day putting up with the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids. Not when an advanced, yet simple solution is nearby: hemorrhoid banding in San Antonio. At Gastroenterology Consultants of San Antonio, our dedicated physicians perform a nonsurgical procedure in minutes that could bring you lasting relief from hemorrhoids. For all your gastroenterology needsâfrom colonoscopies to endoscopies to digestive disorders, to liver problems and even nutrition and weight lossâweâre here to support you every step of the way. And we strive to be where you are: In six convenient clinic locations and three accredited endoscopy centers across San Antonio.
To learn more or schedule an appointment, call 210-614-1234 or to use our online form.
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Signs Your Hemorrhoids Warrant A Doctor’s Visit
Your doctor may also check for blood in the stool, examine the muscle tone of your anus, and perform a rectal exam to diagnose internal hemorrhoids. This is done in the doctor’s office with a gloved, lubricated finger and an anoscope . Your doctor may also recommend additional tests to rule out other causes of bleeding, especially if you are over age 40.
When To Call A Doctor
Common symptoms of hemorrhoids may be a sign of other serious health problems. Colon or rectal cancer and other conditions have many of the same symptoms as hemorrhoids. Call your doctor if you have symptoms like these:
- Stools are black or tarry or change size and shape.
- A lump or bulge that isn’t tender and that doesn’t go away forms at the anal opening.
- Rectal bleeding becomes heavy or changes color .
If you have hemorrhoids, call your doctor if:
- Moderate rectal pain lasts longer than 1 week after home treatment.
- Pain or swelling is severe.
- Tissue from inside the body bulges from the anus and does not return to normal after 3 to 7 days of home treatment.
- A lump inside the anus gets bigger or more painful.
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Signs That You May Have Hemorrhoids
The H word: Hemorrhoids. If you think you have them, youâre not alone. In fact, theyâre so common that nearly three out of four adults will experience hemorrhoids at least once in their lifetime.
Hemorrhoids, or piles, are swollen veins in the anus and lower rectum. They may occur from straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy. Hemorrhoids can be located inside the rectum , or develop under the skin around the anus .
How Do You Know If You Have Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are a common ailment that can be painful and uncomfortable. Its important to know when you have them, how they affect your life, what you can do about it, and how to prevent them in the future.
Here are some questions to ask yourself if you think it might be hemorrhoids:
Do I often experience pain while sitting down?
Am I experiencing itching or bleeding after using the bathroom? Is my stool hard or difficult to pass? If so then read on for more information on hemorrhoids.
All of the above could be symptoms of hemorrhoids and it is best to seek medical attention. Your doctor will do a physical examination and can usually diagnose them very quickly.
In this article, we explore everything you need to know about hemorrhoids, including what they are and how to spot them:
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Whyovercleaning Can Lead To Feeling Dirtier
The problem is the chemicals in the wipes dry out your bottom. So your skin works to produce more oil. And it still feels dirty down there. Vigorous wiping causes irritation of the superficial layers of the skin, repeatedly causing itching and burning, says Dr. Zutshi.
So what are those extra skin flaps? Theyre normal for many of us as we age. Women whove had children often have hemorrhoids during pregnancy that resolve later. But the stretched skin loses its elasticity and those folds in the perianal area are what patients feel.
This is the point where you self-diagnose hemorrhoids, Dr. Zutshi says, and start using medicated wipes and creams adding more chemicals that continue to make the situation worse. Even the alcohol-free wipes contain chemicals. And so the cycle continues. Remember: The skin in that area is delicate, is never exposed to the sun and should be treated with gentleness.
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