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Internal Hemorrhoids, How Do You Treat Them?

Man suffering from external hemorrhoids, anal pain on gray background

What Are Internal Hemorrhoids?

Internal hemorrhoids (also called piles) are swollen blood vessels in the anus and lower rectum. They may cause no symptoms or can be painful and itchy. Internal hemorrhoids usually occur inside the two anal cushions of skin that sit on top of your anal canal (posterior hemorrhoidal cushions).

Piles can also develop just inside the anal opening, sometimes called “budging” hemorrhoids. Piles often look like small bunches of grapes in your anus and rectum, but other times you can’t see them or feel them. They usually get worse and itchier over time and rarely shrink back to their normal position on their own. Piles don’t need treatment if they don’t cause symptoms or become large enough to push out from the inside of the rectum (prolapse).

What Causes Internal Hemorrhoids?

Internal hemorrhoids, which happen when small veins around the anus break down, often result from increased pressure during pregnancy, heavy lifting, long periods of sitting, chronic constipation, straining during bowel movements, and the aging process. But this does not mean that you have to acquire it. They are a common disease of the elderly and overweight population. They affect men and women, although they are more common in adult females.

 

What Are The Symptoms of Internal Hemorrhoids?

The symptoms can come with painless, bright red blood on the toilet paper after a bowel movement. They often look like small bunches of grapes in your anus and rectum, but other times you can’t see them or feel them. They usually grow larger and itchier over time, so they may need treatment before they bleed or cause pain. Piles rarely shrink back to their normal position on their own, so if it’s been several months since you’ve noticed any rectal bleeding, itching, or discomfort, talk to your doctor about an evaluation for treatment.

Symptoms include:

– Prolapsed Internal Hemorrhoid: Internal hemorrhoids that come out of the anus and can’t be pushed back in easily

– Bright red blood on toilet paper after a bowel movement (some bleeding is normal but if it occurs with symptoms such as itching or pain, see your doctor)

– Itching around the anus

– Painless lump near the anus

– A feeling of pressure around the anus

How Do You Tell The Difference Between Internal And External Hemorrhoids?

Some people do not know if they have internal or external hemorrhoids, but there is a difference between external and internal hemorrhoid symptoms. While both types may cause pain during bowel movements or bleeding, external hemorrhoids usually occur outside the anus, while internal hemorrhoids seem to be within the anal canal. However, internal hemorrhoids can protrude outside of the anus and cause discomfort. Theys may be caused by straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, or obesity.

Is There A Permanent Treatment Or Solution For Internal Hemorrhoids?

While there is no permanent cure for internal hemorrhoids, once you have had it, you can learn to prevent recurrences by changing your lifestyle and diet habits:

  • Avoid complex and spicy food and reduce consumption of alcohol and coffee.
  • Consult a doctor before taking analgesic medicines that irritate the stomach.
  • Keep the anal area clean after every bowel movement.
  • Take showers instead of tub baths.
  • Wear loose clothing such as cotton underwear.

It is important to know that straining to pass stools increases pressure in the anal veins and worsens the condition of internal hemorrhoids. Piles are also caused by pregnancy, obesity, aging, or chronic constipation.

When Should I See A Doctor About My Internal Hemorrhoids?

If you have internal hemorrhoids that do not go away after one month or if they bleed regularly, you should make an appointment with your doctor. Internal hemorrhoids may only worsen over time if left untreated, leading to more severe problems such as fecal incontinence (inability to control bowel movements).

Internal hemorrhoid symptoms usually improve within three weeks using OTC treatment options at home, but if you notice these symptoms persisting, make an appointment to see your doctor. Internal hemorrhoids can become painful and bleed, but it is at this point that many people seek medical attention. Internal hemorrhoids are either first degree (prolapsed), second degree (extending beyond the anal canal), or third-degree (protruding outside of the anus).

Ask your doctor about HemWell, an FDA-approved, pain-free treatment that’s permanent. If your provider doesn’t offer HemWell, we can assist you in finding one that does. Please visit our website to learn more about this life-changing treatment. Learn more about hemorrhoids.