Hemorrhoids Diagnosis – How do I Tell if I Have Them?

Hemorrhoids Diagnosis - How Do I Tell If I Have ThemSince the beginning of recorded time man has faced the inconvenience of hemorrhoids, yet, many misunderstandings about the origin and character of the condition exist. Today’s doctors and patients can thank advancements in technology and research to be able to make quicker, more comfortable forms of diagnosis of hemorrhoids. In this article we will discuss how someone with little or no experience dealing with hemorrhoids can recognize their symptoms and go on to receive appropriate medical attention from their Los Angeles colorectal specialist.

What causes hemorrhoids?

Before getting into the symptoms of hemorrhoids, we should address the reason that hemorrhoids occur in the first place. Hemorrhoids develop due to pressure on the veins around the rectum and anus. A low dietary fiber intake resulting in less frequent, tougher, and heavier stool contributes to this pressure. Remaining stationary in an upright position can contribute significantly to the pressure that develops hemorrhoids.

How does a hemorrhoid look?

Hemorrhoids can be internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids do not appear to the patient except when prolapsed or protruding outwardly from the inside.

External hemorrhoids look like a small pea or bump under the surface of the skin around the rim of the anus. Thrombosed hemorrhoids appear bluish or dark red from the clotting blood.

What else is different between internal and external hemorrhoids?

Internal hemorrhoids are typically less painful than external hemorrhoids because they do not have sensory nerve fibers that can sense pain. They present themselves by blood in the stool or prolapsing out during defecation. External hemorrhoids, however, are felt outside the anus and may become very large and inflamed as a result of blood clotting.

How are hemorrhoids diagnosed by a Doctor?

Ultimately, a doctor is the best person to be able to determine your medical condition. Getting help from your Los Angeles colorectal physician will not only help you figure out why you’ve been experiencing symptoms, but it will also help you receive the appropriate treatment for the stage of development and severity of your condition without wasting any time suffering from painful symptoms.  A doctor will conduct a physical examination of the anus to check for external hemorrhoids and then use an anoscope to assess the internal anal and rectal area. An anoscope is a small, tubular instrument that gets inserted a few inches into the anus to evaluate problems in the anal canal.

How does this procedure work?

The patient will be required to lie on their left side and raise their knees. The doctor will coat the anoscope with lubricant and gently push it into the anal canal. Shining a light through the tube gives your doctor a clear view of the lining of the lower rectum and anus. You may feel pressure during the examination and the sensation of an oncoming bowel movement, however, this is normal and patients do not report feelings of pain from the procedure. Once the test is finished, the anoscope is slowly retracted.