Do I have Internal or External Hemorrhoids? | Minnesota

You’re might be reading this because you saw blood on your toilet paper. Or maybe it was because it’s so itchy down there and it makes your life a living hell in public, or even worse- it hurts when you have a bowel movement. Well, you and 75% of the population are or will be wondering the same thing. Most likely, you have hemorrhoids.

Now, you probably want to know more about them. It’s your body, after all. Essentially, there are three types of hemorrhoids – internal, external, and mixed, which are usually the result of intrinsic weakness of local hemorrhoid tissue with other factors, including excessive or prolonged straining, pregnancy, constipation, heavy lifting, or just unfortunate genetics.
Internal hemorrhoids form above the dentate line, while external hemorrhoids form below the dentate line. Mixed hemorrhoids can either refer to lesions formed at the dentate line, or to the presence of both internal and external hemorrhoids. Luckily, all of them can be treated fairly easily in a clinical setting.

External Hemorrhoids
External hemorrhoids are pretty easy to figure out when you feel bulges or bumps around the anus. It usually affects the cleansing after the bowel movement and cause the skin irritation and itching. The thrombosed external hemorrhoids occur if the varicose veins rupture and the blood clots develop, it is often accompanied by severe pain and swelling. Lots of people can self-diagnose external hemorrhoids, but a doctor’s visit is required to make sure since there are several other medical conditions look similar to external hemorrhoids, such as anal warts, sentinel pile of anal fissure, anal polyp and anal cancer.

Internal Hemorrhoids
Internal hemorrhoids, while not as apparent as external hemorrhoids, are far more common. It is the root cause of hemorrhoid disease. In fact, they are so common that 100% of the population has them. Normal hemorrhoidal tissue is actually a physical part of your body, not an affliction. They only become a problem once the connective tissue around it weakens and the veins become swollen.

For many, the only sign of internal hemorrhoids might be bleeding. As the hemorrhoid grows, it may become prolapsed, which is certainly not a pretty sight. This means the hemorrhoid is bulging out of the anus. Prolapsed hemorrhoids will be pretty obvious and can be painful and itchy. They can often be pushed back in manually if they aren’t too big. Note that external hemorrhoids and internal prolapsed hemorrhoids are not the same thing, but many patients with external hemorrhoids also have internal hemorrhoids, and your doctor will be able to tell you which it is if you aren’t sure.

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