Symptoms and Diagnosis of Piles or Hemorrhoid
Piles or Hemorrhoid is the ultimate penalty we pay as a result of our evolution that has made us to walk upright. We did see in one of our earlier post on how piles is caused and what are the factors that are responsible for it. Internal and External piles manifest different symptoms.
Symptoms of Internal Piles
(1) Often it starts as a painless bleeding when passing stools. You can observe red spots of blood in your stools. The bleeding is not profuse or uncontrolled. It is just that it is present.
(2) In the next stage, when the internal hemorrhoid swells, they can be felt like a lump outside the anus. They can be often pushed back inside.
(3) For the internal hemorrhoids that cannot be pushed back, they get stuck and sometimes it swells even more. This stage requires immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of External Piles
(1) There is a lump of tissue outside the anus. They are often painful and cause bleeding when passing stools.
(2) Tendency for the hemorrhoid to develop swelling as it heals is high and this causes more pain.
(3) Increased pain can be felt as the patient with external piles sits or is seated in a toilet.
Diagnosis of Piles
(1) The diagnosis of piles or hemorrhoid is best done by a gastro surgeon. The surgeon initially questions the patients on the symptoms.
(2) The surgeon then proceeds for physical examination of the anal region. Physical examination involves the surgeon wearing a glove, lubricating your anus and gently pushing his finger inside the anus to look for the presence of any lumps or other abnormal outgrowths. This examination is termed as DRE (Digital Rectal Examination).
(3) In some cases, a physical lump may not be presented and cannot be felt by the surgeon. In such cases, to rule out the possibility, the surgeon would perform a proctoscopy. An instrument that is like a tube called proctoscope is inserted into the anal region and checked for the presence of piles and assessing the grade of it. With this the surgeon can pinpoint the presence of piles or other medical conditions like tumor growth etc.
(4) The advantage of visiting a surgeon is, he is qualified to rule out other medical and surgical conditions that are causing discomfort or bleeding in the anal region. He may rightly prescribe other diagnosis methods if the medical condition is ruled out to be piles.