Determining the severity of hemorrhoids requires a medical evaluation by a healthcare professional. However, there are certain signs and symptoms that may indicate that your hemorrhoids are more severe or “bad” compared to milder cases. Here are some indicators to be aware of:
- Persistent or severe pain: Hemorrhoids can cause discomfort and pain, particularly during bowel movements. However, if you experience persistent or intense pain that affects your daily activities or is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medications, it may suggest a more severe condition. Severe pain can be associated with thrombosed hemorrhoids, which occur when a blood clot forms within an external hemorrhoid.
- Excessive bleeding: Hemorrhoids can cause bleeding, typically seen as bright red blood on toilet paper, in the toilet bowl, or coating the stool. While some bleeding is common with hemorrhoids, if you experience persistent, heavy, or recurrent bleeding, it may indicate more severe hemorrhoids or other underlying conditions that need evaluation.
- Prolapse: Hemorrhoids can prolapse, which means they protrude from the anus. Internal hemorrhoids that prolapse can be visible externally as swollen or enlarged tissue around the anus. If your hemorrhoids consistently prolapse or if they cannot be manually pushed back inside, it may suggest a more advanced stage.
- Chronic symptoms: If your hemorrhoid symptoms persist for an extended period, do not improve with self-care measures, or recur frequently despite treatment, it may indicate a more severe or chronic condition. Chronic pain, discomfort, itching, or bleeding associated with hemorrhoids should be evaluated by a healthcare professional.
It’s important to seek medical evaluation if you suspect your hemorrhoids are severe or if you are unsure about the severity. A healthcare professional can assess your condition, provide a proper diagnosis, and recommend appropriate treatment options based on the severity and individual circumstances.
Remember that self-diagnosis can be challenging, and other conditions, such as anal fissures, anal abscesses, or even anal cancer, can present with similar symptoms. Consulting a healthcare professional is essential for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.