Hemorrhoid Symptoms: How to Know If You Have a Hemorrhoid

The most common hemorrhoid symptoms are anal pain and bleeding that particularly occur during bowel movements. They can leave stool streaked with blood and you may notice blood on the toilet paper with wiping. 

Hemorrhoids can be visible on the exterior, or can occur internally. They tend to bulge when straining to poop, with bulging characterized by different stages of severity. Read more about the difference between external hemorrhoids and internal hemorrhoids.

It is important to consult a gastroenterologist for evaluation if you have hemorrhoid symptoms and suspect you may have one. Once confirmed, the doctor can indicate the most appropriate treatment approach. 

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Main symptoms

The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are:

  1. Anal pain, when the anus is rubbed by toilet paper or underwear
  2. A small lump on the anus, that may increase in size
  3. Discomfort that can be constant due to dilation of veins around the anus 
  4. Mucus and the sensation that you have not fully finished your bowel movement 
  5. Anal itching, due to difficulty of fully cleaning the anus because of pain

When the hemorrhoid is internal, the main symptoms is acute pain in the anal region any the presence of pain in the toilet or on the toilet paper after wiping. 

What causes hemorrhoids?

It is possible to have more than one hemorrhoid, and they can appear at any stage of life. Hemorrhoid are more common in adults and the elderly, and particularly affect people who suffer from constipation and need to strain forcefully. They also common in people who are overweight an in pregnant women. 

Hemorrhoids that occur during pregnancy will present with the same symptoms, and treatment can be directed by either the OB or a gastroenterologist.

Read more about the most common causes of hemorrhoids and what to do, 

Treatment options

Hemorrhoids can be treated using hemorrhoid ointments,sitz baths, and stool softeners. In more severe cases, the doctor may even recommend surgery. Read more about how to get rid of hemorrhoids using ointments and other home remedies.

Performing a sitz bath with chamomile tea, or clove tea to relieve pain and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids. Learn more about sitz baths for hemorrhoids and how to prepare them. 

You may benefit from avoiding spicy foods and soda. Instead, you should opt for fruits and whole grains, and ensure plenty of fluid intake to soften the stools and prevent pain with bowel movements. See the hemorrhoid diet that your doctor may recommend. 

When to see a doctor

You are advised to see a doctor if you experience hemorrhoid symptoms and suspect you may have one. The doctor will evaluate the signs and symptoms you report and perform physical assessment to indicate the most appropriate treatment approach.

Although a family doctor can diagnose a hemorrhoid, treatment and surgery are usually carried out by a gastroenterologist.