Hemorrhoids, which are also referred to as piles, are an uncomfortable and unpleasant condition that affects the anus and the rectum. A hemorrhoid occurs when one of the veins in these areas swells, causing discomfort, pain, and other symptoms. The condition is similar to varicose veins, which usually affect the lower limbs.
Hemorrhoids can be caused by a number of different things. In fact, so many different things can contribute to hemorrhoids that it’s often difficult to identify exactly what causes them for each patient. Something as simple as straining too hard during a bowel movement can contribute to a hemorrhoid, but they can also be indicative of a different problem. Hemorrhoids can be located both internally (an internal hemorrhoid) or externally developing under the skin by the anus (an external hemorrhoid). Both types are quite common, and nearly 75% of all adults in the United States will experience at least one hemorrhoid in their lives. Many people experience them quite frequently.
Some people report that their hemorrhoids don’t actually cause them to experience any symptoms, whereas other people report various symptoms such as itching and discomfort. Sometimes, people develop a clot in their hemorrhoid, and while these are not extremely dangerous, they can be very uncomfortable and may need to be lanced and drained by a professional. For less severe hemorrhoids, there are still many treatments available. Some people experience relief by using simple over-the-counter ointments, and many people report success after making simple lifestyle changes.
Symptom #1: Blood in Bowel Movements
One of the more common symptoms of a relatively serious hemorrhoid is blood in your bowel movements. The bleeding is usually painless, and often only spots appear on the toilet paper or in the toilet.
It’s important to note that while the bleeding itself does not immediately signify the need for medical attention, it can create a risk for developing infections. Care should be taken to keep the area clean.