What Do Hemorrhoids Feel Like?
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are extremely common. In fact, half the population will experience a hemorrhoid by the age of 50. Hemorrhoids occur when the blood vessels in and around the rectum and anus become swollen and inflamed. You may wonder what hemorrhoids feel like.
There are two main types of hemorrhoids: internal and external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum and often result in painless bleeding. External hemorrhoids are located on the skin around the anus. These hemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and bothersome if they become inflamed or irritated.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is not always clear, but they are generally caused by increased rectal or pelvic floor pressure. Certain factors like diet, lifestyle, and genetics may influence the occurrence of hemorrhoids as well.
Some common reasons you may develop a hemorrhoid include:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Sitting for long periods
What Do Hemorrhoids Feel Like?
Some people with hemorrhoids may not notice that they have them, and other people may experience one or many of these five uncomfortable symptoms.
Hemorrhoids can cause intense itching in or around the anus. The anal itching can be bothersome and persistent.
2. Pain or Discomfort
Hemorrhoids are painful and can cause significant distress both during and after a bowel movement. They can become particularly uncomfortable if they become inflamed. Many people with hemorrhoids describe the pain as a sharp, throbbing, or aching pain located in the rectum or around the anus.
One of the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids is bright red blood on the toilet paper after wiping, in the toilet bowl, or on the stool itself. Bleeding from hemorrhoids is usually minor and associated with bowel movements.
4. Swelling or Lumps on the Anus
A typical sign of hemorrhoids, mainly external hemorrhoids, is swelling or lumps around the anus. The lumps are usually tender to the touch and can be a bluish color. The swelling can make sitting or lying for long periods uncomfortable.
5. Pain With Bowel Movements
Many people with hemorrhoids experience a sharp or burning pain in their rectum or anus when moving their bowels. Some people may also experience a burning sensation or pain after bowel movements.
How To Manage Hemorrhoids at Home?
Although hemorrhoids can be bothersome, they can usually be easily managed at home. If you are dealing with an annoying hemorrhoid, try some of these methods to help manage your symptoms:
- Over-the-counter topical creams
- Dietary changes such as increased fiber intake
- Avoid strenuous or straining exercise
- Avoid scented wipes or sprays
- Keep the anus clean and dry
- Take pain medication like acetaminophen or ibuprofen
- Sit on a donut pillow to avoid pressure on the rectum
When To See Your Doctor
Hemorrhoids can range from mild to severe, and the associated discomfort can worsen and improve over time. If your hemorrhoids persist, despite at-home remedies, they may begin to bleed, interfere with your bowel movements, or make your life difficult or uncomfortable.
Don’t live with the irritation and discomfort of hemorrhoids – schedule an appointment to get personalized advice and recommendations.