Hemorrhoid symptoms – what to look for

November 12, 2012

Hemorrhoid symptoms – what to look for

Hemorrhoids are the result of veins in the anus swelling and breaking, or bulging, through the anal wall. This may be due to increased pressure on the veins during bowel movements, as a result of chronic diarrhea, or even during pregnancy and labor.

During a normal bowel movement the anus tissue becomes filled with blood – this facilitates the body’s control of fecal waste. Excess pressure as a result of too much straining will mean the veins remain engorged for too long and become stretched, this may result in tears to the walls of the anus and the development of internal hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids and pregnancy

Hemorrhoid symptoms are very common during pregnancy due to the increased amount of pressure on the pelvic area. This constant pressure from the growing baby may cause the veins in the anal region to become enlarged, stretched and eventually to tear. Generally pregnant women who develop hemorrhoids find that they disappear following delivery.

Hemorrhoid symptoms

There are a number of Hemorrhoid symptoms which may be noticed by a sufferer of the condition -

  • Bleeding during a bowel movement

  • Visible blood on toilet tissue after wiping

  • Rectal discomfort such as itching, burning and pain

  • Discomfort when cleaning the affected area

  • Mucous residue on toilet tissue

  • A feeling of fullness even after the bowel movement.

  • Severe pain follows a hemorrhoid bulge and also if the blood supply is stopped.

Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are typically extremely uncomfortable but not necessarily painful. Diagnosis of internal hemorrhoids will involve your medical practitioner carrying out a rectal examination and asking a series of questions concerning your hemorrhoid symptoms which will confirm the presence of hemorrhoids and exclude other conditions such as colon or rectal cancer.

Aims of Treatment

Treatment is generally aimed at relieving hemorrhoid symptoms by reducing pressure on the pelvis and rectal region and implementing changes to bowel habits. Patients with hemorrhoid symptoms are generally advised to endeavor to keep their stools soft in order to facilitate easy bowel movements and avoid excessive straining and pressure. Patients are also instructed to evacuate the bowels as soon as they feel it is necessary rather than waiting.

Home remedies

Individuals suffering with hemorrhoids will generally try to treat the condition themselves. This can be done in a number of ways -

  • Increasing the amount of fiber in the diet

  • Increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in the diet

  • Increased consumption of water

  • Use of stool softeners to facilitate easier bowel movements

  • Use of topical creams to soothe any associated irritation, inflammation, itching or burning.

  • Bathing with warm water as often as possible

Medical intervention

In the event of the failure of home remedies to improve the hemorrhoids it may be necessary to seek the advice of your medical practitioner. Chronic hemorrhoids which do not respond to medication may require the intervention of a physician. There are a number of non-surgical treatments for hemorrhoids which can be carried out in the doctor’s office on an out-patient basis. These procedures all aim to do the same thing – cut off the supply of blood to the hemorrhoids.

  • Rubber band ligation

  • Sclerotherapy

  • Infrared coagulation

  • Laser coagulation

Some patients may require a more invasive treatment which requires a hospital stay and a longer recovery period – a hemorrhoidectomy will remove the hemorrhoid completely.

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