Internal Hemorrhoid Symptoms
The vast majority of internal hemorrhoids do not cause symptoms unless quite advanced due to where they are located.
Internal hemorrhoids originate inside the anal canal, well above the dense band of sensitive nerves controlling the anal sphincter. Because they start in an area without many nerves, internal hemorrhoids symptoms normally do not include direct pain.
However, there are a few telltale internal hemorrhoids symptoms that usually occur before the problem gets completely out of control. Catch them early and you have a high chance of treating hemorrhoids at home successfully.
Fortunately, there are a few easily-overlooked symptoms of internal hemorrhoids that generally pop up before the hemorrhoid grows out of control. If you catch the problem early enough, you'll probably succeed in treating internal hemorrhoids at home.
Bright red bleeding on underwear, toilet paper, stool or in the toilet bowl is the most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids bleed frequently and easily for quite a few reasons. One of the primary reasons is that an internal hemorrhoid protrudes out into the anal canal, the walls of which are normally rather smooth. Any protrusion from a wall is going to get hit, squished, and traumatized more than the smooth wall around it.
Just to make bleeding more likely, the mucus membrane covering an internal hemorrhoid is much thinner and more delicate than skin. When that mucus membrane swells with blood, as happens in a hemorrhoid, the overlying membrane gets thinner still.
Internal hemorrhoids are also inflamed and swollen to some degree most of the time. Swelling and inflammation leads to more blood filling the hemorrhoid than in surrounding areas. Therefore if the hemorrhoid is cut, scratched or abraded, a higher volume of blood comes out.
The last reason internal hemorrhoids are prone to bleeding is that hemorrhoids are varicosities, or enlargements, of a relatively large vein. Enlargement of a vein brings it much closer to the surface of the mucus membrane than normal. If this large blood vessel is nicked, it's going to bleed quite a bit.
A less well-known symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bowel movements that don't fully evacuate the rectum.
If the internal hemorrhoid is sufficiently large, feces may have greater difficulty getting by them. This makes a bowel movement take far longer than usual.
This symptom also leads to internal hemorrhoid infection. If fecal matter collects around the hemorrhoid, and then the hemorrhoid is cut or scratched, infection is almost inevitable.
There is a difference between this symptom and the last one. While internal hemorrhoids can cause incomplete bowel movements, they can also trick you into thinking that you're not done yet as well. This continual feeling of needing to defecate occurs when an internal hemorrhoid gets large enough to put pressure on the anal cushions and nerves that normally tell you when you need to go.
Anal itching, or pruritis ani, is one of the most common and commonly overlooked symptom of internal hemorrhoids. It is caused by multiple effects of internal hemorrhoids, among other problems.
Internal hemorrhoids get irritated quite easily. When this inevitably happens, the mucus membrane around them lives up to its name and starts creating lots of mucus to try lubricating and soothing the hemorrhoid. This mucus eventually exits the body, getting onto the skin right around the anal sphincter. When mucus dries on skin, it itches like crazy.
As if that weren't enough, internal hemorrhoids can sometimes block the anal canal from completely closing. This can release a flow of intestinal fluid and a minute amount of fecal matter onto the skin around the sphincter, which further contributes to anal itching.
Never, ever scratch this area, no matter how it itches. Scratching only inflames everything more, leads to further itching, and spirals down into a reinforcing pattern from there.
Instead, wear loose-fitting cotton underwear to absorb excess liquid and keep it away from the skin. Either pat or wipe gently with soft, white unscented toilet paper to clean the area. If necessary or helpful, moisten the toilet paper with plain, clean water. Never use harsh or scented soaps or cleansers, they will only irritate everything further.
Should your internal hemorrhoids get far enough along, you could feel a soft lump protruding from the anal opening on occasion.
If the lump is moist, soft, and has the same sort of texture as the tissue on the inside of your cheek, you have a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
If you can only feel it during a bowel movement, it's classified as a stage two hemorrhoid.
If it progresses to stage three, it will come out during bowel movements but fail to go back in on its own. You have to push it back with a finger. At stage four, even if you push it back it soon comes out again, no matter if you're having a bowel movement or not, or you can't push it back in at all.
If you have a chronically prolapsed hemorrhoid, you need to see a doctor for help before the hemorrhoid becomes strangulated by a spasm of the anal sphincter. If the sphincter spasms, it can close too tightly around the hemorrhoid and crush the blood vessels inside. Should this happen, thrombosis, gangrene and systemic infection are all possible effects.
Remember these internal hemorrhoids symptoms, keep an eye out for them, and remember that most hemorrhoids are easily cured with home treatment, but only when found at an early stage. If you are prone to hemorrhoids or you have a condition that contributes to them, watch out for these symptoms and don't let internal hemorrhoids go on for long before getting treatment.
Research and main write by Loni L. Ice, editing and additional writing by D. S. Urquhart.
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All the best to you in your search for hemorrhoid relief and prevention
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