Painful and irritating, hemorrhoids are inflamed and swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum. In most cases, people can find relief through various home remedies; however, in certain instances, medical attention may be required.
There are a number of telltale symptoms that indicate the presence of one or more hemorrhoid. These include:
- Irritation or itching in anal region
- Discomfort or pain
- Swelling near anus
- Fecal leakage
- Painful or sensitive lump near the anus
- Bleeding during bowel movements
It’s important to note that some serious conditions cause symptoms that mimic hemorrhoids. With this in mind, you should seek medical attention if you notice any blood in your stool. While hemorrhoids are the most common cause of blood in the stool, colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease are also potential causes. Never ignore blood in the stool. Seek an evaluation from your physician to rule out other potentially serious issues.
When to Seek Emergency Care
Seek prompt medical attention of you experience weakness or lightheadedness, since this can be a sign of significant internal blood loss. Likewise, if you experience abdominal pain in conjunction with bleeding, seek emergency attention, since hemorrhoids do not cause abdominal pain.
You may also require medical attention to treat the following:
- Prolapsed Hemorrhoids: If you have prolapsed hemorrhoids that cannot be pushed back into the anus, seek medical attention.
- Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids: Because these types of hemorrhoids can cause significant pain, medical attention may become necessary.
Most people can reduce hemorrhoid symptoms by using warm sitz baths, OTC medication pain relievers, ointments, creams and suppositories. There are also a number of minimally invasive procedures available to alleviate pain, including rubber band ligation, injections and laser coagulation. To learn more about these treatment options, visit your physician.