Many problems of the rectoprostatic area, including anal fissure, anal fistula, perianal abscesses, or irritation and itchy anus/bottom (Pruritus Ani), have similar symptoms and are mistakenly identified as hemorrhoids. Usually, Hemorrhoids are neither dangerous nor life-threatening. Rarely, a patient may experience heavy bleeding or severe anemia. However, they have a major impact on the daily life of patients and degrade their quality of life.
Although, many people have hemorrhoids – swollen hemorrhoidal plexuses – not all of them show symptoms. For example, an internal hemorrhoid can protrude from the anus and become painful and irritating. These are known as prolapsed hemorrhoids (watch album). The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bleeding, with a light red tint that overlaps the stools and is seen on the toilet paper or in the pelvis, which is solely due to the mucosal cracks that covers the hemorrhoidal plexus.
Symptoms of external hemorrhoids may include painful swelling or the formation of a hard mass around the anus, caused by the formation of a clot within the hemorrhoidal plexus. This is a serious complication known as external hemorrhoid thrombosis or a hemorrhoidal thrombosis crisis. (watch album)
Hemorrhoids usually thrombose after an acute episode of constipation or repeated diarrheal stools, after sudden weight lifting and during pregnancy. Hemorrhoid thrombosis causes an acute and excruciating pain to the patient, so severe, that the later can neither sit down nor defecate. The thrombosis progresses to necrosis and ulceration of the hemorrhoidal nodule. The microbial infection and perforation of these thromboses is a particularly serious complication with high fever and requires immediate surgical treatment.
In other cases, hemorrhoidal symptoms disappear on their own within a few days. But,in most cases, the hemorrhoids recur, often in an aggravated form. In addition, strenuous exertion, running or rubbing around the anus can irritate the hemorrhoids with bleeding and/or itching and cause a vicious cycle of symptoms. Itching can also be caused by dried mucus.
It is necessary to stress that, in any case in which there is a loss of blood in the stool, the patient should consult his/herdoctor to exclude the possibility that the bleeding is due to another more serious disease of the large intestine.