When hemorrhoid symptoms (or piles symptoms)begin to appear they can cause some worry and concern for most people. It's a little scary when you don't really know why some of the things that you are seeing are even happening.
Hemorrhoidal tissue lies within the anal canal and perianal area and consists of blood vessels, connective tissue, and a minor amount of muscle.
There are two main types of hemorrhoids: internal and external.
Because Internal hemorrhoids are covered with a lining called mucosa they are usually not sensitive to touch, pain, stretch, and temperature.
External hemorrhoids on the other hand, are covered by skin that is very sensitive.
These two types of hemorrhoids can have very different symptoms and treatments when problems do occur.
Those over 50 years old stand a 50% chance of having issues with hemorrhoidal inflammation to some degree. Patients may experience symptoms caused by either internal or external hemorrhoids or both.
Hemorrhoid symptoms are the most frequent complaint by the majority of patients with anal symptoms seen in a colon and rectal surgeon’s office but a correct diagnosis is made possible by a careful review of patient history and examination from an experienced physician.
Long-standing complaints from patients about hemorrhoids are often not attributable to hemorrhoidal disease.
Anal and colorectal cancer are some other serious
issues that should be ruled out by a consultation with a physician knowledgeable in
evaluating the anal and rectal area.
Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids can include painless rectal bleeding referred to as hematochezia or prolapse of anal tissue.
Prolapse is hemorrhoidal tissue coming from the inside that can often be felt on the outside of the anus when wiping or having a bowel movement.
This tissue often goes back inside spontaneously or can be pushed back inside the anal canal by the patient. The symptoms tend to progress slowly over an extended period of time and will often come and go.
The severity of Internal hemorrhoids is classified by the degree of prolapse. This is also an indicator of what management steps need to be taken.
The grades of prolapsed internal hemorrhoids are as follows:
Grade One: No prolapse
Grade Two: Prolapse that goes back in on its own
Grade Three: Prolapse that must be pushed back in by the patient
Grade Four: Prolapse that cannot be pushed back in by the patient (often very painful)
Not all patients with symptomatic internal hemorrhoids will have significant bleeding from the rectum, but where it is present, the bleeding caused by internal hemorrhoids is usually bright red and can be quite brisk.
It may be found on the wipe, dripping into the toilet bowl, or streaked on the BM itself.
Sometimes, prolapse may be the main or only symptom of internal hemorrhoids. Significant irritation and the sensation of an itchy rectum often occur where prolapsing tissue is present, although rectal fissures may also be present.
Patients may also complain of mucus discharge, difficulty
with cleaning themselves after a BM, or a feeling that their stool is “stuck” at the anus
when having a bowel movement. Rectal burning may also be experienced.
Appearance alone does not require medical treatment where other symptoms of internal hemorrhoids are not present.
Symptomatic external hemorrhoids often present as a bluish–colored painful lump just outside the anus and they tend to occur spontaneously and may have been preceded by an unusual amount of straining.
The skin overlying the outside of the anus is usually firmly attached to the underlying tissues.
If a blood clot or thrombosis develops in this tightly held area, the pressure goes up rapidly in these tissues often causing pain. The pain is usually constant and can be severe.
Occasionally the elevated pressure in the
Patients may also complain of intermittent swelling, pressure and discomfort, related to external hemorrhoids which are not thrombosed.
Patients often complain of painless, soft tissue felt on the outside of the anus.
These can be the residual symptom of a previous problem with an external hemorrhoid. The blood clot stretches out the overlying skin and remains stretched out after the blood clot is absorbed by the body, thereby leaving a skin tag.
Other times, patients will have skin tags without an obvious preceding event. Skin tags will occasionally bother patients by interfering with their ability to clean the anus following a BM, while others just don’t like the way they look.
Regardless of whether you are going to be seeking for internal hemorrhoid treatment or external hemorrhoid treatment, the best course of action to take is to look for a system that will allow you to exhaust all of the natural treatment options before you go on to more invasive treatments.