Hemorrhoids : Symptoms

03 Dec 2019

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids (HEM-uh-roids), also called piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum, similar to varicose veins. Hemorrhoids can develop inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).

Nearly three out of four adults will have hemorrhoids from time to time. Hemorrhoids have a number of causes, but often the cause is unknown.

Fortunately, effective options are available to treat hemorrhoids. Many people get relief with home treatments and lifestyle changes.

 

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids usually depend on the type of hemorrhoid.

External hemorrhoids

These are under the skin around your anus. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Itching or irritation in your anal region
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling around your anus
  • Bleeding

Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids lie inside the rectum. You usually can't see or feel them, and they rarely cause discomfort. But straining or irritation when passing stool can cause:

  • Painless bleeding during bowel movements. You might notice small amounts of bright red blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet.
  • A hemorrhoid to push through the anal opening (prolapsed or protruding haemorrhoid), resulting in pain and irritation.

Thrombosed hemorrhoids

If blood pools in an external hemorrhoid and forms a clot (thrombus), it can result in:

  • Severe pain
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation
  • A hard lump near your anus

When to see a doctor

If you have bleeding during bowel movements or you have hemorrhoids that don't improve after a week of home care, talk to your doctor.

Don't assume rectal bleeding is due to hemorrhoids, especially if you have changes in bowel habits or if your stools change in color or consistency. Rectal bleeding can occur with other diseases, including colorectal cancer and anal cancer.

Seek emergency care if you have large amounts of rectal bleeding, light-headedness, dizziness or faintness.

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