hemorrhoid symptoms - H.I.C.  Digestive Health

Hemorrhoid Symptoms

Hemorrhoid symptoms can be a direct result of increased pressure in the pelvic region. Growing pressure causes vein enlargement and inflammation resulting to common hemorrhoid symptoms seen with the disease. There are two types of hemorrhoids, internal and external, each type having its own unique hemorrhoid symptoms.

Internal hemorrhoids happen when veins located in the lower rectum or anal canal protrudes as a result of inflammation or swelling. Hemorrhoid symptoms for internal type’s maybe asymptomatic, people may have internal hemorrhoids without ever becoming aware of it. Common hemorrhoid symptoms associated with the internal variety include the following:

  • Blood in the stools “Hematochezia"

Friction caused by stools coming in contact with inflamed veins in the rectum or anal canal can destroy the integrity of the blood vessels causing ruptures. These hemorrhoid symptoms include the passing of bright red bloody stools which indicated bleeding in the rectum or anal canal. This should be differentiated from melena, another condition characterized by the passing of dark tarry stools which indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract or gastrointestinal ulcers.

  • Mucus discharge

The presence of mucus indicates infection. Because veins in the lower intestinal tract have been compromised, these areas are susceptible to infection. Mucus discharges coming out of the anus is one of the common internal hemorrhoid symptoms.

  • Prolapse

This hemorrhoid symptom happens when the internal hemorrhoid protrudes from the anus. There are two types of prolapse which occurs during hemorrhoids. One is when the hemorrhoid protrudes during defecation but return to the anal canal after stool is passed out. The next type is one where the hemorrhoid escapes the anal opening and remains outside even without defecation.

  • Rectal fullness

The patient may feel the urge to defecate even when there is no stool present in the rectum. The hemorrhoid symptom is due to severe inflammation of the veins in the rectum and anal canal. Severely inflamed veins touch the nerve endings in the area that the person is given false signals that stool is present and they need to defecate.

  • Stool Leakage

Another internal hemorrhoid symptom is caused by advanced cases of internal hemorrhoids that damage the integrity of the surrounding tissues around them causing feces to be passed out involuntarily. The anal sphincter which is supposed to control the passage of feces becomes dangerously inflamed, compromising its ability to completely close the anal canal.

  • Rectal Itching

Mucus and feces passing out of the anal canal uncontrollably comes in contact with the surrounding skin areas around the anal opening leaving them itchy and irritated.

External hemorrhoids are easier to detect because these hemorrhoid symptoms are more visible and pronounced. Hemorrhoids are considered thrombosed because the presence of blood clots stops blood from returning to normal circulation. If left untreated this leaves tissues deprived of nutrients and oxygen leading to cell death.

  • Pain

Cell death and nerve irritation of sensitive skin and internal tissues is the cause of pain in hemorrhoids. Extreme pain during defecation is due to the feces coming in contact with inflamed tissues and exposed veins in the area.

Other external hemorrhoid symptoms include those seen in internal hemorrhoids. Symptoms include mucus discharge, bleeding and infection.

Hemorrhoid symptoms should never be taken lightly. Some of these symptoms can also indicate other medical conditions like gastrointestinal diseases and cancer. Self medication is discouraged as this might only worsen the medical condition. A quick visit to your doctor can help you determine is these are just simple hemorrhoid symptoms or an indication of a more dangerous medical condition.

Written by,

Ronald Uy, RN

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