Symptoms of hemorrhoids
Many anorectal problems, including fissures, abscesses, fistulae, or irritation and itching (pruritus ani), have similar symptoms of hemorrhoids and are incorrectly referred to as hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids usually are not severe or life threatening. In most cases, the hemorrhoidal symptoms will go away within a few days. Although many people have the hemorrhoids, not all experience symptoms of a hemroid.
The most frequent symptoms of internal hemorrhoids are bright red blood covering the stool, on toilet paper, or in the bathroom bowl. However, internal hemorrhoid may protrude through the anus outside the body, becoming irritated and painful. This is known as protruding hemorrhoid. (See Internal hemorrhoids symptoms)
Symptoms of the external hemorrhoids may include painful swelling or a hard lump around the anus that results when a blood clot forms. This condition is known as thrombosed external hemorrhoid.
Also, excessive straining, cleaning, or rubbing around the anus may cause irritation with itching or bleeding, which may produce the vicious cycle of symptoms. Draining mucus may also cause itching.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids may present with bleeding, prolapse, pruritus, soiling, thrombosis and pain.
External hemorrhoids are covered with anoderm innervated with sensory nerve endings. Pain sensation in the anal canal can be felt from the anal verge to 1.5 cm proximal to the dentate line. For this reason, thrombosis of external hemorrhoid is commonly associated with the painful perianal lump, which may evolve into a skin tag.(See Thrombosed external hemorrhoid)
Bleeding is more frequently a consequence of internal hemorrhoids, usually painless bright red bleeding which occurs at the end of defecation. Blood may be present on the tissue paper, in the stool or dripping into the toilet bowl.(See Hemorrhoid bleeding)
The bleeding may also be occult, leading in rare cases to anemia or more frequently to guaiac-positive stools. In this circumstance, different causes of bowel bleeding must be excluded before these problems are attributed to hemorrhoids.(See Prevent bleeding hemorrhoids)
Prolapse is commonly due to internal hemorrhoids sliding into the anal canal at the time of defecation. Initially, automatic reduction occurs, then manual replacement is necessary, and finally in the advanced cases, the prolapse is irreducible. (See Prolapsed hemorrhoid)
Chronic prolapse predisposes to mucus and fecal leakage that induces pruritus and excoriation of the perianal skin. Hemorrhoids that remain prolapsed may become strangulated and led to significant edema or gangrene-causing pain and occasionally systemic illness. Over time, prolapsed internal hemorrhoids may be associated with external hemorrhoids (combined or mixed hemorrhoids).
Hemorrhoids tend not to go from asymptomatic to severely symptomatic. They tend to go on a graduation that starts with minor irritation and goes on up to severe irritation. The progression of the disease process is like this:
- Itching usually comes first. The hemorrhoids become itchy when they get continually soiled. Also, hemorrhoids in the early stages will seep mucus. The mucus is irritating to the skin, and it creates itching.
- Skin irritation can then happen. This occurs when large hemorrhoids bulge from the anus (internal hemorrhoids). They, too, secrete mucus and cause irritation of the surrounding tissue.
- Discomfort happens next. It gives you the feeling of needing to pass a stool even if you have passed a bowel movement recently. This is caused by a bulging of hemorrhoid in the anal canal. The bigger hemorrhoid, the greater is the discomfort experienced.
- Pain is seen more in external hemorrhoids than in internal hemorrhoids. If internal hemorrhoid prolapses through the rectum and cannot be reduced, it can cause pain.
- Severe pain comes from a strangulated or thrombosed hemorrhoid. It tends not to get better unless there is medical treatment.
Causes of hemorrhoids
The Hemorrhoids are swollen but normally present blood vessels in and around the anus and the lower rectum that stretch under pressure, related to varicose veins in legs. Increased pressure and swelling may result from straining to move the bowel.
Other contributing factors include heredity, pregnancy, aging, and chronic constipation (Symptoms of illness can include a frequency of bowel movements, straining, pain, or unsatisfied defecation ) or diarrhea. (See What causes hemorrhoids)
Treatment of hemorrhoids
Medical treatment of hemorrhoids initially is aimed at relieving the symptoms of hemorrhoids. Measures to decrease symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Sitz baths or Warm tub many times a day in plain, warm water for approximately 10 minutes. (See Sitz bath for hemorrhoids)
- Ice packs to help reduce swelling.
- Application of hemorrhoidal cream or a suppository to the affected area for a limited time.
How to get rid of hemorrhoids
In some cases, The hemorrhoids must be treated surgically. These methods are used to destroy and shrink hemorrhoidal tissue and are performed under anesthesia. The doctor will carry out a surgery during an office or hospital visit. ( See How to treat piles by medical therapy)
Home remedies for hemorrhoids
The best home remedies for hemorrhoids to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep stools soft, so they pass easily, thus decreasing pressure and straining, and to empty bowels as soon as possible after the urge occurs. Increased fiber in the diet, including walking, and exercise help reduce constipation, symptoms of hemorrhoids and straining by producing stools that are softer and easier to pass. (See Home remedies for hemorrhoids)