If you are wondering if maybe you have hemorrhoids there are several symptoms to look for. First of all, dont be embarrassed if you suspect you have hemorrhoids, because they are very common. In fact, 50% of adults, aged 50 and above, have had or will have hemorrhoids. When checking for symptoms you need to understand that some hemorrhoids can be internal and some are external. The main causes of hemorrhoids are straining during a bowel movement, pressure during pregnancy, or other types of pressure on the anus or lower rectum. This pressure causes veins to become swollen and inflamed. These swollen and inflamed veins are referred to as hemorrhoids. Lets take a look at symptoms of hemorrhoids to check for.
Symptoms of Internal Hemorrhoids
Most internal hemorrhoids do not have symptoms and many times you will not even know you have internal hemorrhoids. However, if you strain too much during a bowel movement you can irritate internal hemorrhoids and possibly cause bleeding. There are times if you strain extra hard when you can cause an internal hemorrhoid to push through the anus and become prolapsed, which is just a fancy way of saying protruded. Once this happens you may experience some pain and irritation.
Symptoms of External Hemorrhoids
Sometimes you will see some symptoms of external hemorrhoids. Lets break down each type of symptom since you may experience only one, all, or none of the symptoms.
Bleeding: Sometimes with external hemorrhoids you may experience some bleeding during a bowel movement. Many times you wont even realize it till you notice small amounts of blood on the toilet tissue. This is usually painless.
Itching or Irritation: Usually the first symptom you will notice is itching or irritation of the anus. This is caused from the inflammation of the swollen vein. Some people will have this symptom and some will not.
Pain: It is possible that you may experience some pain or discomfort while sitting, especially for long periods of time. This is caused by putting pressure on the swollen veins. If you do have to sit for long periods of time there are special cushions you can use to take the pressure off the anus.
Swelling: Some people may notice some swelling around their anus. This is caused again by pressure on the swollen veins.
Lumps: You may notice a lump near your anus that was not there before. It may be sore or painful to the touch.
Feces Leakage: It is possible that if your hemorrhoids are in certain positions that they can cause feces to leak. Now that you know what symptoms of hemorrhoids to check for, how do you know when to check with your doctor? Basically, if there is any blood involved call your doctor right away. There are many things bleeding could mean and you want to be sure the doctor can rule them out and diagnose hemorrhoids as the problem. Also, if you have had any feces leakage you also need to check in with your doctor. If there is no bleeding or leakage, but you have some other symptoms use your judgment as to when to call your doctor.