Different Kinds Of Hemorrhoids Can Cause Similar Symptoms
When internal hemorrhoids do progress, they will often protrude outside the anus, becoming prolapsed hemorrhoids. You can read about prolapsed hemorrhoids in several of our blog posts: Prolapsed Internal Hemorrhoids, What is a Prolapsed Hemorrhoid, and Rectal Prolapse or Hemorrhoids?). An internal hemorrhoid that has reached this stage can cause some external hemorrhoid-like symptoms, such as itchiness and swelling. Since prolapsed hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids can cause similar symptoms, its sometimes difficult to know which is which without a doctors professional diagnosis. It is also not uncommon for both to be present at once.
Schedule An Appointment Today
Hemorrhoids are incredibly common and can be successfully managed with the right treatments. If youre concerned you have hemorrhoids or if theyre not improving, schedule an appointment with Dr. Heiman in Tampa, FL, today.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to substitute professional medical advice. Always talk with your doctor before starting or stopping medications or treatments.
What Happens When A Hemorrhoid Bursts
When a thrombosed hemorrhoid becomes too full of blood, it can burst. This can lead to a brief period of bleeding. Keep in mind that a thrombosed hemorrhoid will usually be very painful before it actually bursts. Once it bursts, youll likely feel an instant sense of relief due to the release of extra pressure from built-up blood.
If you have some bleeding but continue to also have pain or discomfort, you likely just have a bleeding hemorrhoid, rather than a burst hemorrhoid.
Learn more about bleeding hemorrhoids and how to handle them.
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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 Long Do Hemorrhoids Last
How long hemorrhoids last will vary from person to person.
In general, small hemorrhoids can go away on their own in a few days. Larger hemorrhoids, particularly ones that cause a lot of pain, swelling, and itchiness, cant go away on their own and may require treatment from a doctor to heal. Pregnant patients may find that hemorrhoids only go away after they give birth.
Its possible for hemorrhoids to return after theyve been treated. A gastroenterologist can help recommend solutions if you find youre struggling with hemorrhoids that dont go away or keep coming back.
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High Fat And Low Fiber: The Diet Behind Hemorrhoids
For men, hemorrhoids are commonly connected to the diet. It can be easy to slip into a bad diet and connectively, bad habits to go along with it.
Sometimes, though, men dont realize the impact the bi-weekly, high-fat burger has on their health, and ultimately, their hemorrhoids.
High-fat diets limit the number of nutrients you consume, and this can be detrimental to your health.
Yes, bacon every morning sounds good, but what is it really doing to your health?
Foods that are high in fat limit your metabolism and your ability to push foods through your body, hence the risk of constipation. A combination of constipation and meals that dont chalk up to the daily recommendation of fiber consumption leads to one thing for men, inflamed hemorrhoids.
And as you already know, constipation is one of the leading causes of a painful hemorrhoid flare-up.
Can Hemorrhoids Be Prevented
You can help prevent hemorrhoids by
- Eating foods that are high in fiber
- Taking a stool softener or a fiber supplement
- Drinking enough fluids every day
- Not straining during bowel movements
- Not sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
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When Should I Worry About Hemorrhoids
Lets say youve waited it out and tried home remedies to no avail. If your hemorrhoids are still bothering you after several days, it may be time to seek out a medical professional.
Your doctor will check to make sure youre actually experiencing hemorrhoids and not something else like a digestive disorder, inflammation of the colon, intestinal bleeding or colon cancer.
If its really just pesky piles that refuse to go away, you can ask about minimally invasive options to help them resolve more quickly. The most common of these procedures is a rubber band ligation, where a rubber band is placed around an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its circulation, but other choices range from an injection to use of an infrared light.
With the right amount of care, hopefully youll be back to your regularly scheduled programming in no time.
How Can I Treat Hemorrhoids At Home
Hemorrhoids often go away on their own without treatment. Symptoms like pain and bleeding may last one week or slightly longer. In the meantime, you can take these steps to ease symptoms:
- Apply over-the-counter medications containing lidocaine, witch hazel or hydrocortisone to the affected area.
- Drink more water.
- Increase fiber intake through diet and supplements. Try to obtain at least 20-35 grams of daily fiber intake
- Soak in a warm bath for 10 to 20 minutes a day.
- Soften stool by taking laxatives.
- Take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for pain and inflammation.
- Use toilet paper with lotion or flushable wet wipes to gently pat and clean your bottom after pooping. You can also use a tissue or washcloth moistened with water.
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They Don’t Go It Alone
If you’re a lone wolf, it’s time to join a pack. “Everybody needs some support, whether it’s emotional or logistical, so you stay accountable,” Hill says.
Try teaming up with family, friends, or co-workers, or sign up for a weight loss support group even if you’re already at your goal weight, Kahan says. If you slimmed down with help from a dietitian or other expert, keep checking in with that person every now and then.
What Do External And Internal Hemorrhoids Look Like
Normal hemorrhoidal tissue cannot be seen since they must first swell and become inflamed or develop a clot to cause symptoms. One can see swollen external hemorrhoids or internal prolapsed hemorrhoids exposed outside the anus but internal hemorrhoids cannot be seen because they remain inside the anus. A thrombosed hemorrhoid will appear as a lump at the anal verge, protruding from the anus, and will be dark bluish in color because of the blood clot contained inside the swollen blood vessel. Non-thrombosed hemorrhoids will appear as a rubbery lump. Often more than one swollen hemorrhoid appears at the same time.
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What Should You Know About Hemorrhoids
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are blood vessels located in the smooth muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus. They are a normal part of the anatomy and are located at the junction where small arteries merge into veins. They are cushioned by smooth muscles and connective tissue and are classified by where they are located in relationship to the pectinate line, the dividing point between the upper 2/3 and lower 1/3 of the anus. This is an important anatomic distinction because of the type of cells that line hemorrhoid, and the nerves that provide sensation.
What are the internal and external hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoids are located above the pectinate line and are covered with cells that are the same as those that line the rest of the intestines. External hemorrhoids arise below the line and are covered with cells that resemble skin.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Essential Orgs For Hemorrhoid Information
This site provides a comprehensive review of what hemorrhoids are, what causes them, and how to treat them. In cases when pain is severe and hemorrhoids aren’t healing with at-home treatment, in-office treatment by a healthcare provider is necessary. This can involve surgical and nonsurgical options.
The Mayo Clinic offers trusted guidance on symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment of hemorrhoids. You can also find answers to specific questions about home remedies and hemorrhoid treatment during pregnancy.
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Get Help For Your Hemorrhoids
Five years ago, childbirth brought Loriel Adams of Tampa, FL, a bundle of joy in the form of a baby boy. But it also brought painful hemorrhoids that she’s been dealing with ever since.
“I had an epidural. I couldn’t feel anything, so I was pushing in the wrong ways. And I think that’s what flared it up,” she says.
While hemorrhoids may seem embarrassing, almost everyone deals with them at some point in their lives. Lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments can bring relief.
Luckily, hemorrhoids usually clear up on their own in a week or two. And when they don’t, your doctor can help.
How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Hemorrhoids
You should see your healthcare provider if symptoms get worse or interfere with your daily life or sleep. Also seek help if signs dont improve after a week of at-home treatments. Your provider may treat hemorrhoids with:
- Rubber band ligation: A small rubber band placed around the base of a hemorrhoid cuts off blood supply to the vein.
- Electrocoagulation: An electric current stops blood flow to a hemorrhoid.
- Infrared coagulation: A small probe inserted into the rectum transmits heat to get rid of the hemorrhoid.
- Sclerotherapy: A chemical injected into the swollen vein destroys hemorrhoid tissue.
Surgical treatments include:
- Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgery removes large external hemorrhoids or prolapsed internal ones.
- Hemorrhoid stapling: A stapling instrument removes an internal hemorrhoid. Or it pulls a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid back inside the anus and holds it there.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids rarely cause pain unless they prolapse. Many people with internal hemorrhoids dont know they have them because they dont have symptoms.
If you have symptoms of internal hemorrhoids, you might see blood on toilet paper, in stool or the toilet bowl. These are signs of rectal bleeding.
Signs of external hemorrhoids include:
- Itchy anus.
- Hard lumps near the anus that feel sore or tender.
- Pain or ache in the anus, especially when you sit.
- Rectal bleeding.
Prolapsed hemorrhoids can be painful and uncomfortable. You may be able to feel them bulging outside the anus and gently push them back inside.
Classification Of Internal Hemorrhoids:
- Grade 1 – A hemorrhoid is present but only visualized by a doctor with ansocopy or colonoscopy. The hemorrhoid does not extend out the anus.
- Grade 2 – The hemorrhoid extends out of the anus with a bowel movement or with straining. After your BM, the hemorrhoid goes back inside on its own.
- Grade 3 – The hemorrhoid extends out of the anus with a bowel movement or with straining. You have to manually push the hemorrhoid back inside the anus. If you have this, you should seek medical attention, but it is not urgent.
- Grade 4 – A hemorrhoid extends outside the anus and are not able to be manually pushed back inside. If you have this seek medical attention immediately. There are significant potential complications.
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What Causes External Hemorrhoids
The most common cause of external hemorrhoids is repeated straining while having a bowel movement. Hemorrhoids develop when the veins of the rectum or anus become dilated or enlarged and can be either internal or external. External hemorrhoids are usually found beneath the skin that surrounds the anus.
There is a range of symptoms that can affect a person with hemorrhoids. Symptoms tend to vary depending on the severity of your hemorrhoids. Some of the symptoms that you may have include the following:
You may notice bleeding when using the bathroom. This includes seeing blood on toilet paper or in the toilet. Lumps around the anus may feel as if they are swollen.
These symptoms may also occur because of other conditions. But if you experience these symptoms, you should schedule an exam with your doctor.
Symptoms Of Prolapsed Internal Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids prolapse when their blood vessels swell and extend from their location in the rectum through the anus. In the anal canal, the hemorrhoid is exposed to the trauma of passing stool, particularly hard stools associated with constipation. The trauma can cause bleeding and sometimes pain when stool passes.
The presence of
- inflammation, and
- constant moisture
can lead to anal itchiness , and occasionally the constant feeling of needing to have a bowel movement. The prolapsing hemorrhoid usually returns into the anal canal or rectum on its own or can be pushed back inside with a finger, but falls out again with the next bowel movement.
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They Get Their Baggage In Check
Many people turn to food when they’re stressed. If that’s you, learning new ways to handle your emotions is a must.
Want more ideas? Consider booking a few sessions with a counselor who has experience working with people to overcome their emotional eating.
Internal Versus External Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids occur within the rectum. They arent usually visible and dont typically cause discomfort. They can bleed, however, and are the most common cause of bright red blood noted with bowel movements. They can also begin to interfere with bowel movements as they become larger.
Sometimes excessive straining can push an internal hemorrhoid outside of the anal opening. This straining can occur during a bowel movement but may be related to childbirth, heavy lifting, or certain sports activities. When an internal hemorrhoid falls outside the anus, it can cause significant discomfort and may bleed frequently.
External hemorrhoids occur in the sensitive anal region and often cause pain and bleeding with bowel movements. Because these hemorrhoids are exposed to external friction, they can also become itchy, irritated, and painful with routine activities such as sitting or walking.
Blood can sometimes pool in an external hemorrhoid and cause a clot . Thrombosed hemorrhoids can become extremely painful due to inflammation and swelling. You may notice a hard lump near the anal opening thats quite tender to touch.
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Whom Do Hemorrhoids Affect
Although most people think hemorrhoids are abnormal, almost everyone has them. Hemorrhoids help control bowel movements. Hemorrhoids cause problems and can be considered abnormal or a disease only when the hemorrhoidal clumps of vessels enlarge.
Hemorrhoids occur in almost everyone, and an estimated 75% of people will experience enlarged hemorrhoids at some point. However only about 4% will go to a doctor because of hemorrhoid problems. Hemorrhoids that cause problems are found equally in men and women, and their prevalence peaks between 45 and 65 years of age.
How Long Does A Hemorrhoid Last
There is no set duration for hemorrhoids. Small hemorrhoids may clear up without any treatment within a few days. Large, external hemorrhoids may take longer to heal and can cause significant pain and discomfort. If hemorrhoids have not resolved within a few days, it is best to see a doctor for treatment.
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What Medications And Other Products Treat Hemorrhoids
Medications are used to control symptoms by softening the stool, decreasing the inflammation of the hemorrhoids, and treating the pain. Stool softeners work by increasing the water and fat content within the stool allowing it to be passed more easily. Docusate sodium is the most often recommended drug in this class .
Inflammation can be controlled with over-the-counter creams or suppositories. Some brand ingredients include low dose topical anesthetics to help with symptoms. Others contain astringents that help shrink the swollen tissues. Both may contain low dose steroids to decrease inflammation. People with diabetes should check with their pharmacist or health care professional before using OTC hemorrhoid treatments. If the medication contains a vasoconstrictor it may elevate blood sugar levels if absorbed in large amounts. Prescription-strength lidocaine or hydrocortisone may be offered by the health care professional.
Grade 2 and 3 hemorrhoids are initially treated the same way, using techniques to destroy hemorrhoids. These include injecting the hemorrhoid vein to make it sclerose or harden, using rubber bands to choke off the blood supply and make the hemorrhoidal tissue shrivel, or other procedures that cause the mucosa to shrivel and die.
How Do Foods Influence Hemorrhoids Diet
Diet is believed to have a big impact in causingand preventinghemorrhoids. People who consistently eat a high-fiber diet are less likely to get hemorrhoids, while those people who prefer a diet high in processed foods face a higher hemorrhoid risk.
A low-fiber diet can leave you constipated, which can contribute to hemorrhoids in two way. For one, it promotes straining on the toilet. It also aggravates the hemorrhoids by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins.
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