Anal Bleeding? You Could Be Suffering From Internal Haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids or haemorrhoids, whichever way you spell it, they are equally unpleasant to suffer from. They have been with us for millennia and we’re still not sure exactly what causes them. There are two types of haemorrhoids: the internal kind and external kind. In this article you will learn more about the causes and symptoms of internal haemorrhoids.
Internal haemorrhoids actually form part every person’s natural anatomy. Everybody has them. Once they become the way we know them they have become symptomatic which could be a result of quite a few things. Internal haemorrhoids are a plexus of haemorrhoidal veins that form three separate cushions of tissue just inside the anus. These cushions form a water tight seal upon contraction of the anal sphincter. When these veins that form the cushions become irritated they become distended and engorged with blood and therefore the haemorrhoids or “piles” as we know them. The factors that may cause haemorrhoidal veins to become symptomatic include a diet lacking in fibre, straining when passing stool, pregnancy, long periods of sitting etc.
The biggest problem with internal haemorrhoids is the bleeding. The bleeding may vary between a few streaks visible on toilet paper to dripping into the toilet bowl after passing a stool. Internal haemorrhoids are graded into four classes depending on the severity:
I – The haemorrhoids are not protruding from the anus (i.e. not prolapsed). II – After passing of a stool, the haemorrhoids prolapse but shrink back spontaneously. III – After passing of a stool, the haemorrhoids need to be replaced manually into the anus. IV – Haemorrhoids that cannot be reduced or replaced manually that are chronically protruding from the anus.
A chronically prolapsed haemorrhoid can cause an anal leakage which will cause irritation and the soiling of the underclothes. Although pain and discomfort are more typical of internal haemorrhoids it can also occur with severe internal haemorrhoids that has a lot of inflammation and thrombosis of irreducible tissue. The thrombosis (clotting of blood) is caused when the haemorrhoids are prolapsed and the anal sphincter constricting the blood flow of the haemorrhoids. The symptoms that internal haemorrhoids present with could also be those of other diseases like ulcerative colitis, infectious proctitis or diverticular disease. It is therefore very important to get a definitive diagnosis by visiting your doctor.
Surgical removal (haemorrhoidectomy) is reserved for people with bleeding stage III and IV haemorrhoids and acute stage IV haemorrhoids with thrombosis.
Compared to external haemorroids, internal haemorrhoids appear to be much more dramatic, but the symptoms are rarely severe pain and discomfort. As with any case of haemorroids, the first step in treatment would be adding more fibre to the diet and taking more liquid to soften the stool. Medication prescribed for the treatment of haemorrhoids are usually only for symptomatic relief and will do nothing to cure them. Consult with your pharmacist about the different preparation available. As well as how you can put extra fibre into your diet.
Wilhelm Greffrath is a practicing community pharmacist in South Africa that has a grievance with bombastic medical explanations for simple things. Check out his website at project-33.com to learn everything you need to know about haemorrhoids in simple terms. You will also find ways to manage your haemorrhoids successfully.
An expert explains what haemorrhoids are, who gets them, and how to get rid of them. Part of a series on embarrassing conditions