Symptoms of HemorrhoidsThe symptoms vary among different people, and not all people with hemorrhoids experience symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms will go away within a few days. Symptoms also vary based on the type of hemorrhoid.
The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bright-red blood covering the stool, on the toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl.
Other symptoms may include:
- Feeling of vague anal discomfort
- Feeling of fullness after a bowel movement.
Pain is not a common symptom of this type of hemorrhoid.
Unlike internal hemorrhoids, which are usually not painful, the external type can be quite painful. For a person with an external hemorrhoid, symptoms may also include:
- Anal itching.
(Click Hemorrhoid Symptoms for more information.)
DiagnosisA thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis by the doctor is important any time bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool occurs. Bleeding may also be a symptom of other digestive diseases, including colon cancer or rectal cancer.
As part of making a diagnosis, the doctor will examine the anus and rectum to look for swollen blood vessels that indicate hemorrhoids, and also perform a digital rectal examination with a gloved, lubricated finger to feel for abnormalities.
In some cases, making a diagnosis may require closer evaluation of the rectum with an anoscope -- a hollow, lighted tube useful for viewing internal hemorrhoids -- or a proctoscope, useful for more completely examining the entire rectum.
To rule out other causes of gastrointestinal bleeding, the doctor may examine the rectum and lower colon (sigmoid) with sigmoidoscopy or the entire colon with colonoscopy. Sigmoidoscopy and colonoscopy are diagnostic procedures that also involve the use of lighted, flexible tubes inserted through the rectum.
(Click Diagnosing Hemorrhoids for more information.)