What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor
You may want to ask your healthcare provider:
- Why did I get hemorrhoids?
- What is the best treatment for me?
- What lifestyle changes can I make to keep from getting hemorrhoids again?
- When will symptoms improve?
- Should I look out for signs of complications?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
An estimated 15 million Americans have sought treatments for hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. But many more suffer needlessly. Dont be too embarrassed to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. If hemorrhoids cause pain or discomfort, your provider has treatments that can help. You can also take steps to keep hemorrhoids from coming back.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/18/2021.
Prevent Hemorrhoids In The First Place
To prevent hemorrhoids, stay adequately hydrated and consume a diet rich in fibrous fruits and vegetables and whole grains to keep your bowels regular so you dont strain while on the toilet. Dont delay when you feel the need to defecate, as stalling can lead to hemorrhoids.
Work on achieving a healthy weight and we can help you with this. Exercise regularly, too, as it keeps things moving through your system. If you strain to pass stool, glide a little petroleum jelly around your anus to make it a bit easier.
If you suspect you have hemorrhoids and simple home treatments dont give you relief, dont hesitate to call us at Digestive Disorders Associates. We can rule out more serious causes of your symptoms and help you manage hemorrhoid pain in the least invasive way possible. .
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What Are The Types Of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids can happen inside or outside the rectum. The type depends on where the swollen vein develops. Types include:
- External: Swollen veins form underneath the skin around the anus. Your anus is the canal where poop comes out. External hemorrhoids can be itchy and painful. Occasionally, they bleed. Sometimes they fill with blood that can clot. This is not dangerous, but can result in pain and swelling.
- Internal: Swollen veins form inside the rectum. Your rectum is the part of the digestive system that connects the colon to the anus. Internal hemorrhoids may bleed, but they usually arent painful.
- Prolapsed: Both internal and external hemorrhoids can prolapse, meaning they stretch and bulge outside of the anus. These hemorrhoids may bleed or cause pain.
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How Are External Hemorrhoids Diagnosed
Because many of the symptoms of external hemorrhoids can also be caused by other conditions, it is necessary to have an in-depth exam. Your doctor may use a series of tests to confirm the presence of external hemorrhoids near the anus. These tests may include:
Your doctor may begin with a physical exam. In cases of external hemorrhoids, they may be able to see the hemorrhoids.
If your doctor suspects that you have internal hemorrhoids instead of external hemorrhoids, they may use an anoscopy to examine the inside of the anus. Internal hemorrhoids can also be seen with colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or proctoscopy.
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, theres a lot we can do about hemorrhoids.
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How To Diagnose An Infected Hemorrhoid
To diagnose a hemorrhoid infection, your doctor will review your medical history and your current symptoms. Symptoms such as fever, can help your doctor make a diagnosis.
A physical examination will also be done to check for visual signs of infection, such as redness around the hemorrhoid. If you have a prolapsed internal hemorrhoid, your doctor may decide to remove it before it gets infected.
Blood tests, like a white blood cell count, are also done if an infection is suspected. A low WBC can indicate an infection. Additional tests, such as a urinalysis or X-rays, may be done to look for infections that have spread to other parts of the body.
When Youre At Greater Risk
Hemorrhoids definitely have a genetic component. If you had parents with the swollen veins, youll likely develop them at some point, too. If youre obese or do a lot of heavy lifting, hemorrhoids can develop. If you experience chronic constipation or strain often during bowel movements, you may end up with hemorrhoids. Pregnancy can also be a time at which youre more susceptible to developing hemorrhoids.
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How To Tell If You Have Hemorrhoids
By | Submitted On January 16, 2010
Many people suffer with hemorrhoids and it is more common than expected as over half of the US population will experience this condition at some time throughout their life. If you have just typed in the phrase “how to tell if you have hemorrhoids” in to your search engine then the likely hood is that you have not had them before or are not 100 percent sure that this is the same as a previous occurrence of the disease. Either way you should be making an appointment with doctor or other medical professional to confirm your suspicions.
If you do have them then you are probably experience some of the following symptoms which are common among hemorrhoid sufferers. These can be severe itchiness, swollen lumps around the anus area, shooting pains around the affected area and possibly bleeding. If you have seen blood then it may have been after a bowel movement, leaving blood in the pan, or perhaps on the toilet tissue after wiping. These are typical signs that you may have hemorrhoids but they can also be associated with other diseases, for example bleeding from the anus area maybe a result of cancer so it is important to get this eliminated by a doctor.
If you do have hemorrhoids then the first objective is to contact a doctor to get a professional clarification. After this has been done a treatment plan can follow to cure ailment of which various options are available.
For further reading about hemorrhoids I suggest the follow links.
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 95,111 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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Getting Help For Hemorrhoid Symptoms
You should seek treatment for hemorrhoid symptoms if:
- You have rectal bleeding for the first time.
- You have heavy rectal bleeding.
- You have rectal bleeding that is not responding to home care.
- You have other hemorrhoid symptoms, such as pain, pressure, itching, and burning, that do not respond to home care after a few days.
- You have hemorrhoid symptoms along with other symptoms such as fever, weight loss, abdominal pain, or a change in bowel habits.
Hemorrhoids are common, but hemorrhoids symptoms that do not clear up quickly with home care or that keep coming back do need to be evaluated, Hall says. The best place to start is with your primary caregiver. In many cases, a primary caregiver can make the right diagnosis and start you on the best treatment. If you need a diagnostic evaluation by a specialist, you may be sent to a gastroenterologist or a colon and rectal surgeon. If you need any surgical treatment, it should be done by a colon and rectal surgeon.
Knowing the differential diagnosis of hemorrhoid symptoms can help you prevent a minor complaint from becoming a serious problem.
What Is The Difference Between A Swollen Perineum And Hemorrhoids
Although the perineum area is similar to where hemorrhoids form, there are many differences in which you can determine if your condition is perineum swelling or a case of external hemorrhoids.
The location of the problematic area is going to be the clue in deciding if what you have is swollen perineum or hemorrhoids. The perineum swells between the anus and the sex organs, and if you have damage or an injury to this area, it is likely that the entire floor of the muscle will swell.
Alternatively, hemorrhoids develop close to the anus. This condition is noticeably very different from swollen perineum, and you will know right away if you are experiencing external hemorrhoids.
Aside from location, there are a few other fundamental differences that will allow you to decipher between the two conditions.
The swollen perineum is going to appear much different than external hemorrhoids visibly.
External hemorrhoids are in the form of swollen sacs that are clustered around the anus. These sacs can be red in color, flesh-colored, or when there is a blood clot present, purplish, but these hemorrhoids are sharp protrusions.
Hemorrhoids are symptomatic and produce a number of noticeable side effects.
Unlike swollen perineum, which may be painful, hemorrhoids have been known to cause:
Hemorrhoids also cause pain and discomfort, but you should be able to tell if what you have is a hemorrhoid due to the number of other symptoms that are commonly associated with them.
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How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed
A visual examination of your anus may be enough to diagnose hemorrhoids. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may do a different examination to check for any abnormalities within the anus.
This check is known as a digital rectal exam. During this exam, your doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum.
Each of these tests involves your doctor using a small camera to diagnose any abnormalities in your anus, rectum, or colon.
An anoscopy examines the inside of your anus, a sigmoidoscopy examines the last foot and a half of your colon, and a colonoscopy explores the entire colon.
In these tests, a small fiber-optic camera fits into a small tube and then inserts into your rectum. With this test, your doctor gets a clear view of the inside of your rectum so that they can examine the hemorrhoid up close.
You can find a primary care doctor, gastroenterologist, or other specialist near you through the Healthline FindCare tool.
You can have hemorrhoids treated at home or at a doctors office.
Do Hemorrhoids Go Away After Pregnancy Or Delivery
Hemorrhoids often occur during pregnancy due to pressure placed on the anal region or as a result of straining and pressure during childbirth.
It would make sense that after birth things get back to normal a bit and that your hemorrhoid will go away.
Unfortunately, that is not always the case.
Of course, there are things you can do to help them go away after pregnancy. Instead of using over the counter drugs like Preparation H, we recommend HemRid Max which is an all natural solution that works wonders and is Amazon’s Top Selling hemorrhoid supplement.
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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.
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:
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What Are Hemorrhoids Exactly
Hemorrhoids, a.k.a. piles, are swollen, inflamed veins around the anus or lower rectum, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. And youre not weird if you em. Not at all.
Hemorrhoids are normal anatomy, like having hands, says Jeffery Nelson, M.D., a colorectal surgeon and surgical director of The Center for Inflammatory Bowel and Colorectal Diseases at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore. Everyone has hemorrhoidal tissue.
There are two types: Internal hemorrhoids form in the lining of the anus and lower rectum, while external hemorrhoids form under the skin around the anus, per the NIDDK.
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.
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So Can Anal Sex Cause Hemorrhoids
Since hemorrhoids are natural parts of your anatomy, the short answer is no, anal sex should not cause new hemorrhoids to pop up, says Dr. Ky-Miyasaka. However, the penetration could theoretically irritate hemorrhoids you already have, leading to symptoms like bleeding and tenderness, Suneeta Krishnareddy, M.D., a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Manhattan, tells SELF.
Anal sex can also irritate or tear the lining of your anus, causing anal fissures, according to the Mayo Clinic. Its important to do what you can to prevent this type of outcome, says Dr. Ky-Miyasaka.
That brings us to the key topic of how to have the best and safest anal sex possible. If youre experiencing hemorrhoid symptoms, you may want to hold off on anal sex to avoid increasing discomfort, says Dr. Krishnareddy. Otherwise, you can follow these tips from Jennifer Gunsaullus, Ph.D., a sociologist and sexologist in San Diego and author of the forthcoming book From Madness to Mindfulness: Reinventing Sex for Women.
Most of all, when dealing with anal play, try not to be embarrassed about anything that feels like it might be weird, such as the fact that, hey, hemorrhoids are just part of being human. Sex is weird and great and messy. Thats how its supposed to be. Trying to remember that will make it a lot easier to focus on the important stuff, like having a really, really great time in bed.
How Long Do Hemorrhoid Symptoms Last
If your hemorrhoids are small, your symptoms may clear up in a few days without treatment. You may also need to make simple diet and lifestyle changes.
Some internal hemorrhoids become so enlarged that they stick out of the anus. These are called prolapsed hemorrhoids. Prolapsed hemorrhoids can take longer to heal and may require treatment from a doctor.
Some women will develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy. This is because the increased pressure in your abdomen, especially in the third trimester, may make the veins in your rectum and anus larger.
Pregnancy hormones may also make it more likely for your veins to swell. If you develop hemorrhoids during pregnancy, your symptoms may last until you give birth.
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