What Do Bad Hemorrhoids Look Like? Do Bad Hemorrhoids Go Away?
Posted on 11 November 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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Hemorrhoids are a rarely discussed topic amongst adults, and because of this, there is much information that is still unknown to the general public. You might not realize you have hemorrhoids, let alone “bad” hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids become increasingly more common as we age. While the exact cause is still undecided by the scientific community, research has suggested that our muscles weaken with age, and hemorrhoid inflammation becomes a given consequence.
Even if you aren't nearing your 50s, the average age one begins developing hemorrhoids, and it doesn't mean you are out of the clear from this anorectal disorder. Anyone can experience the symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Let our comprehensive guide on the severity of hemorrhoids assist you in figuring out how serious your hemorrhoids are.
Do You Have Really Bad Hemorrhoids?
Even if you have a mild case of hemorrhoids you might be asking the question: are my hemorrhoids really bad? Just how bad are they?
It can be a difficult task to decipher how severe your hemorrhoids are when you are wading through the many terrible symptoms of this anorectal condition.
You might be experiencing bad hemorrhoids if:
- Itching around or on the anus
- A burning feeling
- Protrusions around the anus
- A prolapsed hemorrhoid column
- Bleeding hemorrhoids
- Occasional to frequent pain and discomfort
- Trouble going to the bathroom
- Anal discharge
If all of these symptoms sound like severe hemorrhoids to you, you are not alone. These symptoms can occur all together in mild to serious hemorrhoid cases. Having anal itch or a burning sensation alone can make you wonder if your hemorrhoids are really bad.
Sometimes, you might experience a few of these symptoms, and with mild cases of internal hemorrhoids, you may see some rectal bleeding.
Other times, complications can arise with your internal or external hemorrhoids, like a blood clot or a prolapse through the rectum. For anyone, this can qualify as having a more severe hemorrhoidal condition.
Really bad hemorrhoids, however, are often seen as cases where the patient ignores these flare-ups and complications, leaving the hemorrhoids unaddressed and unresolved.
Severe hemorrhoids can be easily avoided with a quick conversation with your doctor. For most people, all it takes is tweaking their diet or daily routine to prevent hemorrhoids from developing again.
Are Hemorrhoids Bad for You?
Hemorrhoids are not necessarily “bad” for you, but rather are experienced when you could be doing something better in your habits. Meaning, your hemorrhoids could be telling you that you need more fiber, more water, or more exercise.
If you don't find any of these apply to your diet or lifestyle, then it could be another factor putting excess stress on your lower rectum:
- Labor and childbirth
- Lifting heavy objects frequently
- Being sedentary for long periods of time
These two factors, while out of our immediate control, can have a lessened impact on hemorrhoid development with a hearty, fibrous diet and a healthy, active lifestyle.
Whether or not your hemorrhoids are because of inexorable causes or a lacking of nutrients can be determined by a conversation between you and your primary care physician.
What Defines Really Bad Hemorrhoids?
The severity of hemorrhoids can be determined by the complications a sufferer can experience with internal and external hemorrhoids. For internal hemorrhoids, there is a risk of prolapse, meaning the hemorrhoidal column extends beyond the rectum.
Internal hemorrhoids are ranked via a grading symptom with a foundational basis of prolapse severity. Any hemorrhoid that is categorized Grade II and beyond consists of some form of prolapse.
A prolapse can be mild, or it can be severe, and as far as really bad hemorrhoids are concerned, any state of prolapse should be addressed right away with the help of your doctor.
External hemorrhoids have their own set of complications. The masses that form around the outside of the anus can trap blood, becoming thrombosed. But don't worry, these blood clots are not life-threatening, but they are incredibly painful.
People with thrombosed hemorrhoids are probably quick to claim to have really bad hemorrhoids. The pain can be intense and sharp, not to mention the possibility of it becoming ruptured. If they do burst, you could be at risk of infection.
Severe hemorrhoids can undoubtedly be defined by complications that arise, like thrombosis or prolapse, but they can also be categorized as such based on the severity of their symptoms.
Anal itch can be so interfering in daily activities that it may stop you from engaging in them. The pain that comes along with external hemorrhoids can make exercise even more of a challenge because of the throbbing and aching discomfort of chafing against the delicate and sensitive protrusions.
Are Bleeding Hemorrhoids Bad?
Most rectal bleeding is from the common cause of hemorrhoids, but there is a chance it could be from another undiagnosed gastrointestinal disorder. First thing's first, you will want to double check with your doctor if you experience bleeding hemorrhoids.
Rectal bleeding from hemorrhoids can be because a hard stool has grated against swollen hemorrhoid inside the lower rectum, which is why you might see bright red blood on the stools after a bowel movement. This isn't bad, but just an indication that your stools should be more moist and softer.
External hemorrhoids can burst and bleed if they become thrombosed. The blood clot can do this naturally in a few days, or your doctor may perform the lancing and draining in-office. Either way, make sure the area is cleaned and taken care of.
Bad Hemorrhoid Pain and How to Fight It
Having bad hemorrhoids mean having bad hemorrhoid pain, however, with this condition being so common, there is plenty you can do to manage the pain.
Topical treatments, a warm bath, and over the counter pain medication will be your best friends in managing bad hemorrhoid pain. By adding in a hemorrhoid supplement, stool softener, or fiber supplement, you can work to control stool consistency.
You might feel bad hemorrhoid pain and still only be experiencing mild hemorrhoids without complications. Still, this warrants a visit to your doctor because you shouldn’t force yourself to live in pain.
How to Treat Bad Hemorrhoids
There are a few things you can do on your own to treat your bad hemorrhoids:
- Sitz bath
- Topical creams with anti-itch and anti-pain
- Pain medication
- A hemorrhoid supplement
- Fiber supplements
While these actions can relieve the painful symptoms of hemorrhoids, bad hemorrhoids will require a trip to your doctor’s office for more aggressive treatment.
Before in-office, non-operative procedures, there’s a good chance your doctor will advise you to eat more fiber. Even with a slight modification of your lifestyle and diet, your bad hemorrhoids can go away.
Your doctor might suggest non-operative procedures like rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or infrared coagulation. These procedures are a little step beyond a conservative approach to treating and preventing hemorrhoids.
Really bad hemorrhoids most likely need to be treated with surgery. A hemorrhoidectomy is a common surgery that removes both types of hemorrhoids, typically performed when hemorrhoids are no longer responding to other non-operative procedures.
If you have bad hemorrhoids, don’t panic just yet because there are numerous ways to treat them. In this day and age, there are plenty of options for people with this common anorectal disorder.
What Do Bad Hemorrhoids Look Like?
We talked about what defines really bad hemorrhoids, but what do these cases look like?
A prolapsed internal hemorrhoid can be seen and felt, as the hemorrhoid column protrudes through the rectum. Mild prolapsed hemorrhoids can be guided back inside manually, but in particularly bad cases, the prolapse is too severe to do so without surgical intervention.
Bad external hemorrhoids can look purple or blue when they become thrombosed. Even if there is no presence of a blood clot, bad cases of external hemorrhoids have engorged protrusions.
Your hemorrhoids may not even look worrisome, but you feel severe pain. If this is your situation, you don't have to suffer in silence. Your doctor can guide you by establishing a treatment and prevention plan for your hemorrhoids.