Hemorrhoids are very common. Most people don’t know they have them. Congestion and increased blood pressure often cause swollen veins in the anus – the first symptoms of the progressing disease. Many people don’t usually pay attention to its minor symptoms.
- itching or irritation in your anal region;
- constipation and the lack of urge to defecate;
- incomplete bowel movement;
- changes in the stool (thin-sized, dark-colored stool, mucus or blood in the stool).
People seek medical attention only when they have severe rectal pain and bleeding. However, even in such cases external changes are not always present.
The mentioned symptoms refer to internal hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids result in swollen veins in the anus. Initial stage hemorrhoids can be pushed back in, while later stage hemorrhoids, when they are more than 2 cm, cannot be pushed back manually. A person with such severe hemorrhoids can easily notice them.
What Hemorrhoids Look Like
If you are having any symptoms of hemorrhoids, you should talk to a proctologist. They perform a physical exam to check for hemorrhoids. After establishing a diagnoses and its causes, they will create a treatment plan for you.
The following hemorrhoid symptoms can also be a sign of:
- an inflammation of the colon – сolitis;
- polypoid tumors;
- anal fissures;
The doctor performs a number of tests and exams for an accurate diagnosis. They can help to determine the extent of the pathological condition.
Tests and procedures to diagnose hemorrhoids:
- Visual inspection. To diagnose external hemorrhoids, the doctor examines your anal area for any painful and tender lumps around the anus. To diagnose internal hemorrhoids includes the digital rectal examination.
- Anoscopy provides a more extensive exam, which is performed by using a hollow tubular instrument called an anoscope. It is inserted into the anus to identify quantity, sizes and type of rectal bulges.
- The most detailed examination provides sigmoidoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy examines the structure and veins of the rectum and the sigmoid colon.
External hemorrhoids examination allows to determine the extent of the impairment.
Grades of hemorrhoids:
- Blue in color, not prolapsed or enlarged hemorrhoids; occasional rectal bleeding caused by irritation of veins in the anus due to frequent constipation.
- Up to 3-5 enlarged and occasionally prolapsed hemorrhoids; veins are painful, tender, and purple or blue in color during exacerbations; considerable bleeding; lumps go back inside the anus spontaneously without interference.
- Enlarged and prolapsed hemorrhoids; can be pushed back only manually; acute pain and considerable bleeding during exacerbations
- Hemorrhoids cannot be pushed back inside; the vein walls become thin, very painful and prolapsed; excessive bleeding can cause chronic blood loss; pale skin color, exhaustion, weakness and light-headedness are symptoms of blood loss.
An exam can also show anal fissures, erosion, ulcerated and cancerous tumors.
Don’t ignore hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoid treatment measures are most effective at the initial stages. So, don’t delay seeing your doctor.