Untreated Hemorrhoids Guide - How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last if Untreated?
Posted on 09 November 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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Believe it or not, some hemorrhoids resolve on their own without treatment. Because of the stigma that surrounds hemorrhoids, many patients are hesitant to talk to a doctor or even go to the store to buy products to treat their hemorrhoids.
But, in some cases, this could be a real problem for patients. While some hemorrhoids resolve on their own, others require treatment.
And, left untreated, they can cause a problem for patients. Let’s take a closer look.
How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last if Untreated?
Hemorrhoids are a common problem that affect 50% of Americans by the age of 50. Even younger patients can experience hemorrhoids at some point in their life. Most of the time, the problem doesn’t last long.
So, patients are ok to leave their hemorrhoids untreated rather than face the embarrassment found when they draw attention to the issue. How long hemorrhoids last if you don’t treat them truly depends on the type of hemorrhoid you have, its severity, and the cause.
There are two types of hemorrhoids: internal and external. Internal hemorrhoids commonly go untreated because they aren’t accompanied by the bothersome symptoms common in external hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids exist within the rectum and cannot be seen or felt. The main symptoms of internal hemorrhoids are painless bleeding and inflammation. In most cases, they heal on their own.
But, internal hemorrhoids can be a problem when they progress to grade III and grade IV prolapsed hemorrhoids.
External hemorrhoids are the most painful, bothersome hemorrhoids. They occur on, around, or just within the opening of the anus.
They can be accompanied by symptoms like pain, bleeding, itching, discomfort, and burning.
Some hemorrhoids resolve within a few days when left untreated. But, some can take weeks or longer to go away.
The main causes of hemorrhoids can affect the time it takes for them to resolve and can include:
- Bad diet
- Eating too much spicy food
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Lack of exercise
- Poor water intake
- Low fiber intake
Complications of Untreated Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are rarely dangerous. If you experience severe blood loss from your hemorrhoids, there is a small chance of anemia. Internal hemorrhoids can become strangulated. When left untreated, this can become a problem.
That’s because strangulated hemorrhoids can lead to blood clots, infections, and, in severe cases, gangrene or sepsis.
The main complication of untreated hemorrhoids is when you assume your symptoms are from hemorrhoids without getting checked by a specialist.
Yes, hemorrhoids are common. But, the symptoms can also replicate symptoms of a more serious condition, like colorectal or anal cancer or fistula disease.
Symptoms of Untreated Hemorrhoids
Symptoms of untreated hemorrhoids are the same as any other hemorrhoids:
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements
- Itching or irritation in the anal region
- Swelling around the anus
- Painful bowel movements
- Fecal leakage
While symptoms of untreated hemorrhoids are generally not a cause for concern if they are truly caused by hemorrhoids, there is no reason you should continue to suffer the bothersome symptoms.
Long Term Effects of Untreated Hemorrhoids
If you are dealing with long-lasting hemorrhoids, it may be time to see a doctor. It’s easy to understand that you may not want to get treatment for your hemorrhoids because of the embarrassing stigma that surrounds the condition.
But, you shouldn’t allow yourself to remain in agony if you have been dealing with them for a long time.
Any time you have symptoms of bleeding, feel a lump in the anal region, or have rectal pain you should consult a doctor.
But, if this occurs long-term it’s imperative you contact a doctor immediately. The long-term effects of having these go untreated can result in a severe health concern if you have a more serious condition that continues to go undiagnosed.
If you are truly dealing with hemorrhoids, the long-term effects of leaving them untreated is that you have to deal with unnecessary irritation and discomfort.
Do Untreated Hemorrhoids Lead to Cancer?
While untreated hemorrhoids don’t cause cancer, you should never try to self-diagnose. Anytime you have pain, bleeding, or changes in the anal area, it could be an indication of a different type of medical condition.
This includes cancer. The longer anorectal or colon cancer goes undiagnosed, the more difficult it is to fight the disease.
If you suspect that you have hemorrhoids, self-treatment is common. But, if the symptoms persist, you should consider talking to your medical provider. Since some of the more severe symptoms of hemorrhoids can replicate a more serious condition, like cancer, it is important that you receive the proper diagnosis.
If you have the common symptoms of hemorrhoids, you should seek treatment from a medical professional. Many patients try to treat hemorrhoids on their own because they don’t want to have to discuss the embarrassing condition with a medical professional. But, the fact remains, if you have ongoing symptoms, the best option to make sure you are safe is to talk to a medical professional.