Hemorrhoids are one of the most common, uncomfortable and annoying conditions that a person can suffer from. Indeed, more than half of all adults will experience this irritating occurrence at least once during their lifetime. Although hemorrhoids are usually by no means a medical emergency or a cause for any major concern, they can have some very unpleasant symptoms. One of the most frequent - and sometimes alarming - symptom of hemorrhoids is bleeding.
Bleeding hemorrhoids can throw a person into a total panic. After all, seeing blood on your toilet paper or in the toilet bowel just isn't something that one sees every day. The blood that is present with bleeding hemorrhoids is usually bright red, which makes it really stand out and make everything that much more alarming. Usually, this bleeding is first noticed when a person has a bowel movement.
After having a bowel movement, a person may notice bright red blood on their toilet paper after wiping. Although it is usually a small quantity, it may seem like more because it can spread easily on toilet paper. Also, people routinely see swipes of blood on the toilet seat after a bowel movement. Bleeding hemorrhoids may also cause blood to appear floating in the toilet bowel water, or it may even be seen on the feces.
No matter how it is first noticed, blood after a bowel movement is one of the most telltale signs of hemorrhoids there is. Bleeding hemorrhoids usually signify that they are internally located; indeed, internal hemorrhoids often go entirely unnoticed other than the bleeding that happens. Otherwise, internal hemorrhoids have few symptoms and are usually painless.
Hemorrhoids bleed because of the extra pressure that creates them in the first place. The veins around the anus and rectum are already under increased pressure when hemorrhoids are present. When a person strains to pass a bowel movement, this pressure increases even more dramatically. The sensitive, thin veins that are already stretched to their limits by the hemorrhoids then begin to bleed.
The quantity of blood that is present with bleeding hemorrhoids may look quite profuse, but is actually very minimal. The veins involved in the phenomenon of hemorrhoids are incredibly small. While the pressure has been built up within these veins due to various different factors, the actual quantity of blood within them is not very large. When they bleed, then, they only produce a very small amount of actual blood.
Mucus often mixes with the blood that a person sees with bleeding hemorrhoids, though. When the mucus mixes in with the blood, it can cause it to appear to be more copious. In reality, though, the actual blood present is very small; the majority of what is actually seen is simply mucus. When the blood from bleeding hemorrhoids falls into toilet water, too, it expands and appears to be a great deal more pronounced.
Should you experience bleeding after having a bowel movement, chances are good that it is the result of bleeding hemorrhoids. However, if you experience other symptoms that give you cause for concern, consult with your doctor. Hemorrhoids themselves are usually not major issues, and a change in diet or lifestyle can usually reduce them.