Hemorrhoids occur when excessive strain is placed on the veins in the anus and rectum. This might be because of weakening over time, or it might happen because of chronic diarrhea or constipation. Hemorrhoids come in several forms and levels of severity, and it is largely dependent on these how bad the symptoms will be.
In their beginning stage, internal hemorrhoids are perhaps the least severe of the types. While there may be some itching and discomfort, for the most part, you may not even realize they are there. However, the presence of bright red blood on the toilet paper or in the toilet, particularly after a difficult bowel movement, can be an indicator. If an internal hemorrhoid faces too much strain, it may be pushed outward, causing a prolapsed hemorrhoid. These are much more painful, and the itching and irritation will become more pronounced.
External hemorrhoids form under the skin outside the rectum, on the anus. These are usually more uncomfortable. There may still be bleeding, itching, and pain present, especially during periods of irritation. The area around the anus may swell. At this point, the hemorrhoid is usually visible, especially if a thrombus forms. A thrombus occurs when a pool of blood begins in one of the veins and then clots, creating a bump on the anus. A thrombus is extremely painful and itchy, and severe inflammation is usually present. If a case of hemorrhoids gets severe enough, it may weaken the rectum and anus to the extent that feces leaks out.
When to be Concerned
It can be embarrassing to see a doctor for hemorrhoids, but luckily cases that aren’t too severe can often be dealt with at home with over-the-counter remedies. Although this won’t necessarily cure hemorrhoids, it can send them into a sort of remission, and through lifestyle changes and careful management, future outbreaks may be prevented. However, if the pain becomes intense, it’s probably a good idea to make an appointment with a physician. In some cases, if there is enough blood loss, anemia can develop. Additionally, the blood supply can be cut off, causing a strangulated hemorrhoid, which can destroy tissue, causing gangrene.
If your symptoms aren’t going away, are getting worse, or you are developing more and more hemorrhoids, it may not only be time for a visit to the doctor but for a lifestyle change. Your doctor can provide more permanent options to a painful problem.