Hemorrhoids are one of those conditions which it is absolutely vital to get treated as soon as you possibly can. This means the earlier the condition is spotted, the easier it is going to be for you to actually treat the condition. No bad will come from catching the condition too late. However, it is worth noting that advanced hemorrhoids are absolutely awful to treat. The swelling will take an age to go down and throughout this period you will be suffering from intense pain and general discomfort. On this page I wish to take a little look at some of the symptoms and signs of hemorrhoids.
Generally speaking, there is not a lot that you actually need to be on the lookout for when it comes to hemorrhoids. The signs of hemorrhoids and hemorrhoid symptoms should be fairly easy to spot. As you will see later though, not all of these signs or symptoms will actually be related to hemorrhoids. Whether are suffering from internal or external hemorrhoids you will at the very least suffer from one or two of these symptoms. Most people will actually suffer from all of them at once (this can of course be very uncomfortable!)
The Most Common Symptoms and Signs of Hemorrhoids
- Itching or Irritation around the anal area: This is a ‘tell tale’ sign that you are suffering from the condition. If you find that the area is constantly irritated and that it does not dwindle away then there is a good chance that you are suffering from hemorrhoids. It is important that you do not try to deal with the problem by scratching it on your own. This is going to make the inflammation a whole lot worse. Instead you are going to want to look into a few natural hemorrhoid relief techniques out there. This will help tide you over until you visit your doctor.
- Pain or Discomfort: Again, this is another symptom which tends to be a pretty big warning sign that you are suffering from the condition. The pain and discomfort will normally occur when you are trying to pass a stool. It may also continue a long while after that. Basically, if you are suffering any sort of pain in the anal area, at any point, then it is important that you head to a doctor as soon as you can.
- Bleeding when passing a stool: You may notice that blood appears in the toilet bowl or on your tissue. More often than not this is the earliest warning sign that you are going to be dealing with hemorrhoids. The majority of this bleeding will be painless. This means that if you are in an ‘at risk’ group for hemorrhoids you really do need to keep an eye out for this problem occurring. Quite often the bleeding will be completely painless. This means that if you do not check then you will not actually know that you are suffering from the problem before it is too late.
- Swelling around the anus or a lump appearing: This swelling may be painful or uncomfortable ‘to touch’. That is not always the case though. In fact in early stages of hemorrhoids it will not hurt in the slightest. If you spot any sort of lump around the anal area then it is absolutely vital that you head to the doctor as soon as possible. This is something which may actually be linked to a problem which is slightly more severe than hemorrhoids. The earlier it is caught then the better it is for you. Obviously, it is more than likely going to be a swollen blood vessel (i.e. hemorrhoids) and you are going to be thankful that you took the decision to head to the doctor sooner as opposed to later because you most likely are not going to have to deal with the pain and discomfort that the majority of other people are going to be having to deal with. Remember, the sooner that treatment is given to you, the better it is going to be in the long run.
- A leakage of feces: This is something that should be fairly easy to spot and I am probably not going to have to explain what this entails in greater depth. If you are 100% sure that you are wiping correctly and you still find feces from time to time then you really should talk to a doctor to help you out.
- A feeling as though your bowels are full but you have just emptied them: Again, this is something which is not always attributable to hemorrhoids and thus needs to be dealt with by a professional who can formally diagnose the condition.
- A discharge of mucus after passing a stool.
- A small lump leaves the anus: In the cases of internal hemorrhoids you may find that a small inflammed lump leaves the anus when you have passed a stool. This will have to be pushed back in soon after.
External hemorrhoids tend to have far fewer symptoms than internal hemorrhoids. This is because internal hemorrhoids will obviously be clogging up the anal exit and thus can end up causing a lot more problems in the long run.
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Four Main Groups of Hemorrhoids
When your doctor diagnoses you, they will be looking at the hemorrhoid symptoms that you are suffering from and categorize your hemorrhoids into one of four groups in order to determine the severity of the condition. This will help them to determine the best course of treatment for you.
First Degree Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids which bleed but will not prolapse when you are passing a stool. This case is pretty easy to deal with. Sadly the few signs of hemorrhoids at this point will mean that very few people will spot them soon enough.
Second Degree Hemorrhoids
The hemorrhoids WILL prolapse during this situation. However they will go back in on their own. Again, this means that the majority of people will not know that they are suffering from the condition as there is next to no interaction with it.
Third Degree Hemorrhoids
In this situation the prolapsed hemorrhoid will have to be pushed back in with a finger. This is the stage where the vast majority of people will start to seek treatment. Unfortunately at this point some of the other major hemorrhoid symptoms will start to have become apparent.
Fourth Degree Hemorrhoids
This will be a prolapsed hemorrhoid which can’t be pushed back in. Treatment options at this stage are highly limited. Thankfully the vast majority of people will not get to this point without seeking treatment. If you are in this position then you will need to be aware that surgery may be an option in a few cases.
It is important that you visit your doctor as soon as you believe that you are suffering from the condition. The vast majority of people will notice it as soon as they start to bleed from the rectal area. More often than not this will result in blood in the stool. This is most likely going to be hemorrhoids. However, it is worth noting that there are a number of slightly more serious conditions which will have the exact same symptom as this. Not checking quick enough could actually be deadly in the long run. If it is hemorrhoids then thankfully the problem is going to be slightly simpler to deal with.
A visual inspection is often all it takes for the doctor to diagnose the condition. They will then be able to suggest a variety of lifestyle changes and treatments that you can follow. This should hopefully ensure that the condition ends up clearing up sooner as opposed to later. There are a lot of people out there who suffer from some degree of embarrassment when they discuss the idea of them suffering from hemorrhoids. Please do not though. Your doctor will have dealt with the problem before. They absolutely want you to talk to them about this type of stuff. It is their job to get you healthy again after all.For more information about signs of hemorrhoids please watch this video:
Hemorrhoid signs and symptoms: MayoClinic
Piles illness: NHS UK