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Hemorrhoids are swollen veins at the bottom of the rectum or anus. When healthy, these veins assist with the elimination of stool, but when unhealthy they swell and stretch, protruding from the rectum. This can cause pain and itching. Increased pressure in the lower rectum is the primary cause of the condition, often resulting from prolonged sitting, poor diet, constipation, obesity, or pregnancy. Adults 45 to 65 are most likely to get hemorrhoids, but they can occur in any age group. Hemorrhoids that are located inside the rectum are called internal hemorrhoids, while those that develop under the skin around the anus are called external hemorrhoids.

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Rectal Bleeding

People with hemorrhoids often experience rectal bleeding. Usually, the bleeding is not severe and does not cause pain, however, in some cases, blood may coat the stool during bowel movements. Although alarming, blood in the stool is not a medical emergency, though anyone who notices this symptom should schedule a doctor visit.

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Itching in the Anal Region

In a lot of cases, proper cleaning of the anus is to maintain. As a result, the anal skin becomes irritated, leading to the desire to itch. Many people complain that the intense itching is the worst symptom of hemorrhoids. Larger hemorrhoids are the most difficult to keep clean. Therefore, they require more immediate treatment.

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Swelling

External hemorrhoids may lead to thrombosis, which occurs when a blood clot forms in the hemorrhoid. The clot obstructs blood circulation. As a consequence, extreme swelling and further growth occur. Thrombosed hemorrhoids protrude from the anus. They may take weeks to shrink, even with aggressive treatment. Surgery is often necessary to remove a thrombosed hemorrhoid.

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Pain

Patients experience extreme pain when a hemorrhoid becomes thrombosed, during actions ranging from sitting on flat surfaces to urinating and passing stool. In some cases, people report persisting pain even when standing. Over the counter medications are normally enough to relieve this symptom. The pain generally lasts no more than three or four days. If it persists further, one should report to the doctor as they may require surgery.

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Skin Tag

Skin tags can occur in the case of external hemorrhoids during the post-recovery period. As the hemorrhoid shrinks, a skin tag will sometimes remain in its place. The tags are typically harmless, though some may feel they prevent maintenance of optimal hygiene. Surgical procedures can remove the skin tags if the patient desires.

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Discharge

Some patients report white, mucousy discharge alongside bleeding in the case of internal hemorrhoids. This does not imply infection or other issues, though if rectal bleeding is present, a doctor visit should be scheduled. The discharge should cease within a few days of starting medication or other treatment.

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Presence of a Perianal Mass

Sometimes, internal hemorrhoids prolapse through the anus, which results in seeping from the orifice. Bowel movements may cause perianal masses to prolapse and may present unexpectedly at random times.

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Painful bowel movements

The passing of stool may become painful for those with either internal or external hemorrhoids. This is because the surrounding skin typically becomes irritated and bowel movements put further pressure on the nerve cells. This causes pain that ranges from mild to moderate in most cases. However, in some instances, the pain is severe. Proper medication and healing can effectively treat pain in a short period.

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Fecal Incontinence

Hemorrhoids can lead to fecal incontinence, the inability to control the movement of the bowels. This leads to the leaking of fecal matter from the anus. Fecal incontinence is treated with medications, dietary changes, bowel training, stool impaction therapy and if necessary, with surgery.

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Other Signs and Symptoms

Chronic blood loss may cause anemia, which leads to extreme fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and lack of motivation. Mostly, the symptoms and signs of a hemorrhoid are typical and easy to identify and confirm with blood tests. However, some people may not develop the obvious signs. Other symptoms include constipation, discolored stool, and skin conditions in the anal area.


Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.