Do you experience itching, irritation, or pain in the anal area? Do you notice a little blood on your toilet tissue or in the toilet after bowel movements? Then you may have hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels occurring in the lower muscle walls of rectum and anus. Those arising from the anal canal are called external hemorrhoids; those arising from the rectum are referred to as internal hemorrhoids. Although hemorrhoids are common, often itchy, sometimes painful, they are rarely dangerous and often are no cause for concern. Indeed, most hemorrhoid symptoms can be treated at home with over-the-counter creams and other products. Often changes in diet, such as an increase in fiber intake, can relieve the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Nevertheless, there are times when the symptoms associated with hemorrhoids may be serious, even dangerous. In such cases, a medical assessment is warranted. Below are four symptoms that, when present, suggest that you should pay a visit to a medical professional:
Bleeding: Stool that is a dark brownish-red is an indication that rectal bleeding may be occurring. Rectal bleeding is a common symptom of hemorrhoids. If excessive and not treated, it can result in iron deficiency anemia, although such excessive bleeding is rare. Excessive bleeding, if left untreated, can also result in the formation of blood clots. Although blood clots are not dangerous, they can be very painful can may require surgical intervention. Still, rectal bleeding can also be a symptom of a more serious condition. Such conditions include digestive tract conditions such as stomach ulcers due to H. pylori infection, diverticulitis, Crohn's disease, and even colon cancer. If excessive bleeding accompanied by dizziness or weakness is experienced, immediately seek medical care.
A Lump in the Anus. Hemorrhoid can take the form of lumps around the anus. However, such lumps can also be a symptom of anal cancer.
Rectal pain. Rectal pain can also occur with inflammatory diseases of the bowel such as Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, or a local infection.
Persistent Hemorrhoid Pain. Certain hemorrhoid conditions do not respond to over-the-counter treatment or dietary changes. In such cases, stronger medications or surgery may be indicated.
For many people, hemorrhoids are considered a minor problem and a mere annoyance. However, that should not prevent you from seeking medical advice. And if any of the four symptoms are present, it is imperative that one see a medical professional as soon as possible.