How do you know if you have a hemorrhoid?

Although many people have hemorrhoids, not all experience symptoms. The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bright red blood covering the stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl. However, an internal hemorrhoid may protrude through the anus outside the body, becoming irritated and painful. This is known as a protruding hemorrhoid. It may look like a swollen blood vessel or a small lump. NOTE: Blood in feces can also be a symptom of other medical problems. See a medical professional to be sure.

Symptoms of external hemorrhoids may include painful swelling or a hard lump around the anus that results when a blood clot forms. This condition is known as a thrombosed external hemorrhoid.

In addition, excessive straining, rubbing, or cleaning around the anus may cause irritation with bleeding and/or itching, which may produce a vicious cycle of symptoms. Draining mucus may also cause itching.

People over the age of 50 are more likely to develop hemorrhoids as the lack of elasticity in their bodies puts a strain in the bowel movement process. Pregnant women and individuals who do frequent heavy lifting should closely monitor for the above mentioned signs of hemorrhoids as they are at a higher risk.