Not everyone in Minnesota knows that hemorrhoids are actually part of the normal anatomy and that every human body has them, so hemorrhoids should not be embarrassing. When people in Minnesota complain about “hemorrhoids”, they are often referring to symptoms in the perianal and rectal areas. Hemorrhoid symptoms are the most common ailments affecting humans, almost everyone in Minneapolis and St Paul areas will develop symptoms at some time in their life, and significant percentage will develop chronic symptoms. Although hemorrhoids are usually not life threatening, they can certainly interfere with one’s quality of life.
Complications of hemorrhoids in Minnesota include:
Anal itching, or pruritis, is one of the most common symptoms related to hemorrhoid disease in Minnesota. Anal itching is instigated by the anal skin inflammation triggered by the hemorrhoids. Excessive wiping and scratching further damage the perianal skin and causes chronic dermatitis. Over use of OTC hemorrhoid cream containing steroid can cause the damage in the perianal skin. The patients may develop the true complication called Pruritic Ani with persistent cyclic anal itching.
Thrombosed External hemorrhoid
Thrombosed external hemorrhoid occurs when the enlarged hemorrhoidal venous complex ruptures, a blood clot can then form in the hemorrhoid. Thrombosed hemorrhoids are usually quite painful, and it requires immediate surgical intervention to remove the blood clot.
Chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids may cause anemia, resulting in fatigue and weakness. We had a few cases in Minnesota in the past few years that developed severe iron deficiency anemia due to hemorrhoidal bleeding, and their Hemoglobin dropped to as low as 5 or 6.
When the hemorrhoids are so severe that they prolapse, it leads to the anal sphincter spasm due to pain and irritation. Persistent sphincter spasm can cut off blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid which causes more swelling of hemorrhoid tissue, it turns into a vicious cycle. Eventually, the hemorrhoid may be “strangulated,” which can cause extreme pain and lead to tissue death.
The local inflammation triggered by the bulging hemorrhoids causes the swelling and erosion of anorectal mucosa, which may increase the chance of infection. Opportunistic bacteria and microorganisms established on feces and the surrounding might attack and flourish in the damaged tissue.