With most health conditions, the earlier you catch them the easier they are to treat. Internal hemorrhoids, of course, are no exception. The sooner you figure out that you've got them, the easier they are to fix up fast. However, most people run into a problem with this. How do you know internal hemorrhoids are there before they get serious? They start up inside the body and they originate from tissue that doesn't have a lot of nerves running to it. That means that you usually can't see or feel them until they are pretty far along. Fortunately, there are five big symptoms that ought to start you investigating.
The first big internal hemorrhoid symptom is bleeding. The vast majority of internal hemorrhoids will bleed at the slightest provocation. This happens because hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels surrounded by inflamed tissue. First off, the mucous membrane that they're covered by is very delicate and has blood vessels quite close to the surface. Second, that tissue is, as already stated, inflamed, which means that it has a lot more blood in it than it usually would. Third, it's a weakened portion of a vein sticking out into a passageway through which things have to move. Bright red bleeding is almost inevitable.
The second classification of internal hemorrhoid symptom is incomplete bowel movements. Internal hemorrhoids that are getting big can partially block off the passageway, meaning that part of the bowel movement gets stuck. You'll have to complete the bowel movement in two or three stages. In addition to being highly unpleasant, the problem of incomplete bowel evacuation also increases the chances of infection. The bowel movement is blocked by the hemorrhoid, which means that the hemorrhoid can get fecal matter stuck to or around it, which is never a good combination.
The third big internal hemorrhoid symptom is closely related to the second, and it's the feeling of having an incomplete bowel movement. The difference is that in the first example, you actually did not get everything out, while in this instance you just feel as though something is still there. It's caused by the hemorrhoid itself pressing on the hemorrhoidal cushions that tell you when something is there and needs to be gotten out. Of course, the hemorrhoid won't come out, but it puts that sort of pressure on the receptors all the same.
The fourth symptom you need to watch out for is persistent anal itching, the kind that lasts for days and won't stop. This itching can be caused by a variety of things. Even when it's caused by internal hemorrhoids, it still has a variety of secondary causes. To begin with, when internal hemorrhoids get irritated they start producing mucus. This mucus naturally exits to the outside of the body, sticks to the skin, dries out and itches terribly. Another way that internal hemorrhoids cause anal itching is by keeping the anal sphincter open just enough that a tiny bit of intestinal fluid and fecal matter can get out and irritate the skin.
The fifth and last early symptom of internal hemorrhoids is Stage II prolapse. This means that the hemorrhoid only leaves the body while you're straining and pops back in all by itself. You can occasionally feel it when you wipe. It feels like a small, fleshy, moist lump that retracts all the way back into the body if you're not straining.
These early warning symptoms can help alert you to a developing case of internal hemorrhoids. If you should have any of them and you've never had hemorrhoids before, you need to make an appointment with your doctor. Some of these symptoms, such as rectal bleeding, can also indicate much more serious health conditions. You need to make sure that you've got internal hemorrhoids and not something more serious. With luck, you'll find out about your hemorrhoids early and get rid of them at home quickly.