How Is a Diagnosis Made?In order to diagnose internal hemorrhoids, your healthcare provider will begin by asking a number of questions (known as the medical history) followed by a physical exam. He or she may also recommend certain tests.
A thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis by the doctor is important any time bleeding from the rectum or blood in the stool occurs. Bleeding also may be a symptom of other digestive diseases, including colon cancer or rectal cancer.
Closer evaluation of the rectum for internal hemorrhoids requires an exam 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.
- Relieving symptoms
- Relieving pressure by increasing fiber and fluids in the diet
- Modifying bowel habits.
Specific treatment options may include:
- Warm baths several times a day
- Increased fluids and fiber in the diet
- Stool softeners
- Over-the-counter medicines to help with itching or inflammation.
For most people, symptoms of internal hemorrhoids improve after several days. If symptoms don't improve, an internal hemorrhoid protrudes, or it causes repeated bleeding, surgery may be recommended.
Some surgical options to treat internal hemorrhoids include:
- Rubber band ligation
- Infrared coagulation
(Click Hemorrhoid Treatment for more information on how internal hemorrhoids are treated.)