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Everything You Need to Know about Hemorrhoids

Simply stated, there are two kinds of hemorrhoids - the external type which can be seen with the naked eye and the internal type which can only be examined by a doctor. If the tissue that supports the veins in the anal canal weakens, the swollen veins and tissue can bulge into the anal canal (internal hemorrhoids) or under the skin surrounding the anus (external hemorrhoids).

Both conditions are identical in nature, in treatment and they share common symptoms which include bleeding during or after bowel movements, itching or a burning sensation in the anus and rectal pain before, during or after bowel movements.

External hemorrhoids are the hemorrhoids visible to the naked eye. They most commonly appear as a cluster of grape-like, discolored skin surrounding the anus. While irritating and unsightly, this form of onset is the easiest to treat and is usually not the precursor to more serious conditions. However, rectal pain occurs mainly with this form of hemorrhoid outbreak. Also, because the swollen veins are on the outside of the anus, bright red blood streaks will appear on toilet paper after, and usually only after, a bowel movement. Blood spotting before a bowel movement would indicate that the patient is suffering from either internal hemorrhoids or both internal and external hemorrhoids, a rare but not impossible scenario.

In some cases of people suffering from external hemorrhoids, there is the possibility that a vein inside one of the external protrusions may break. In this instance, blood can possibly collect under the skin and may form a hard, painful lump. This lump is called a thrombosed, or clotted hemorrhoid. If this is present, the thrombosed needs to be shrunk or drained quickly to avoid further complications.

You should take the following credo to heart: Any irregularity you detect in or on or coming out of your body that does not go away for good, pretty much by itself and fairly quickly, should be checked out by a doctor.

The symptoms of hemorrhoids can very easily be mistaken for other, much more serious illnesses such as colon or rectal cancer, which if left untreated can be fatal. That being said here's what to watch out for in the case of hemorrhoids:

Any bleeding from the rectum before, during or after a bowel movement and especially any bleeding in the absence of a bowel movement.

Any noticeable change in the size, shape or color of your stools especially thin stools no wider than a pencil which would indicate a blockage or a forming block in the large intestine, or stools that are unusually dark and claylike.

Anything oozing out of your anus that shouldn't be - which is pretty much anything other than fecal matter.

Any fever combined with any gastrointestinal or other bowel movement irregularity.

Recurring diarrhea or constipation with abdominal bloating which cannot be controlled easily and quickly by a diet change or over the counter medicines.

Any lumps, bulgesFree Articles, rashes or sore spots in the area of the anus that do not completely disappear in a few days.

Any pain or swelling from the rectal area that does not disappear quickly and easily and can not be attributed to a physical injury.

Any tissue that bulges from the anus and does not return to its normal size and its normal place after a few days.

Any mysterious lump in the rectal area that you detect that does not disappear quickly and completely in a few days.

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