Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen blood vessels in the lower rectum and anus that can cause problems with bleeding, swelling and pain. They can broadly be categorised as internal or external and can cause symptoms that that can disrupt daily life. It is important to understand haemorrhoid symptoms for timely intervention and management.
Internal haemorrhoids typically manifest without noticeable discomfort or swelling, as the blood vessels reside inside the rectum. They most often manifest as bleeding during bowel movements. Blood may be seen on the toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl. The blood is usually bright red, indicating that it is originating from the lower digestive tract. While the bleeding itself might not be painful, it should prompt a visit to a healthcare professional to be certain it is from haemorrhoids and not another pathology such as a bowel cancer and to be offered advices to how they may be treated.
External haemorrhoids occur when the blood vessels become so engorged they protrude (prolapse) through the anal canal and become both palpable and visible. One of the most common complaints is itching and irritation in the anal area. This can lead to a persistent urge to scratch, which can often worsen the situation. Pain during bowel movements may occur as the external haemorrhoid become irritated and inflamed, resulting in discomfort or sharp pain.
In some cases, external haemorrhoids can form blood clots within them, leading to a condition known as thrombosed haemorrhoids. This can cause intense pain and swelling around the anus. The lump may be bluish or purplish in colour and can make sitting or moving around particularly uncomfortable. Thrombosed haemorrhoids often require medical attention for pain relief and potential drainage of the clot.
Less obvious symptoms caused by Haemorrhoids
Other symptoms associated with haemorrhoids include a feeling of fullness or incomplete evacuation after bowel movements. Indeed bowel evacuation problems can lead to excessive straining while in turn worsens the haemorrhoids and a vicious circle ensues.
How To Treat Haemorrhoids
Once other pathologies such as cancer or inflammation has been excluded, early less symptomatic haemorrhoids can be treated without the need for surgery. Various measures can be taken to help such as:.
● Adopting a high-fibre diet to soften stools and prevent straining during bowel movements
● Staying hydrated
● Practising good anal hygiene,
● Using over-the-counter creams or ointments to alleviate itching and irritation.
If surgery is required there are day case procedures with quick recovery that nay be offered such as rubber band ligation or the Rafaelo procedure. If prolapse predominates then more aggressive surgery might be required, performed under a general anaesthetic but again as a day case. The best option is a doppler guided ligation procedure with plication of the pouted cushions using an absorbable stich (HALO-RAR). Alternatively the haemorrhoid may need to be removed (haemorrhoidectomy). You doctor will be able to explain these operations and tailor them to your particular circumstance.If you think that you have Haemorrhoids and are suffering with symptoms, Mr Andrew Clarke offers Haemorrhoids treatment. If you have concerns about your symptoms and are worried about symptoms worsening, then please contact us for more advice and support.