When it comes to internal hemorrhoids, there are four distinct stages to them. When you head to a doctor for a hemorrhoid diagnosis, one of their main jobs will be to establish which stage hemorrhoids you have.
Why is it important which stage you are at?
It is important for your doctor to determine which stage internal hemorrhoids you have as this will have an impact on the treatment plan that they can offer you.
Obviously, some stages of hemorrhoids are going to be a touch easier to deal with than others. If you have stage 1 hemorrhoids, for instance, then you are going to need nothing more than a few lifestyle changes, high-fiber diet plan and the issue should clear up incredibly quickly. If you have stage 4 hemorrhoids, then surgery may be one of the only options you have available to you.
How can your doctor determine which stage you are at?
For the most part, it is going to be very visual. Hemorrhoids are easy to spot when they are around the rectum. As you are about to see, the doctor will determine which stage of hemorrhoids you have by looking at the size of the hemorrhoids, the location, and the symptoms that you currently have.
You should never try to ‘self-diagnose’ hemorrhoids. There are a surprising number of people out there that do that. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- You will never know what the right treatment option is for you. This can make it exceedingly difficult to get the hemorrhoids to clear up quickly.
- Hemorrhoids do not just appear out of nowhere. There is a reason why they have popped up. If you self-diagnose your hemorrhoids, then you may be able to get the hemorrhoids to disappear, but without treating the underlying issue, they are just going to return. They may even return far worse than they did in the past.
When should you go to your doctor?
Ideally, you would go and receive that diagnosis as soon as possible. Any bleeding or discomfort around the anus is not natural. Even if you are not suffering from hemorrhoids, it is something which does need to be dealt with as soon as possible.
Stage 1 Hemorrhoids
With this stage of hemorrhoids, the hemorrhoids are completely internal. They will have not popped out of the rectum at all.
In an ideal world, it is at this stage you would spot that you have hemorrhoids. This is because stage 1 hemorrhoids are exceedingly easy to treat. With the right medication and changes to your lifestyle, you will be able to reduce the size of them incredibly quickly.
If you are dealing with stage 1 hemorrhoids, it is likely that you will experience some bleeding around your rectum. It will be incredibly light bleeding. Some people will not even experience bleeding. Instead, there will just be a small amount of discomfort around the rectum. Light itching and nothing more than that. This is probably the number one reason as to why there are so many people out there who fail to spot that they have hemorrhoids in the first place. It is just not that obvious.
Even your doctor may have trouble spotting that you are suffering from hemorrhoids at this point. This is because they will often mistake the hemorrhoids for anal fissures i.e. small cuts within the rectum.
Stage 2 Hemorrhoids
This is the point where most people can spot that they have hemorrhoids. For the most part, stage 2 hemorrhoids are going to be the same as stage one. They will still be within the rectum and, therefore, will be internal. The major difference between stage 1 and stage 2 hemorrhoids is the fact that there will be a LOT more bleeding.
When you have stage 2 hemorrhoids, you will notice the hemorrhoids a lot more. When you pass a stool, it will ever so slightly push the hemorrhoids out. You may be able to feel this happening. It may feel uncomfortable. They will go back inside without you doing anything, though. This will normally happen within a couple of seconds.
Stage 3 Hemorrhoids
The symptoms are going to start to get worse when you have stage 3 internal hemorrhoids. The itching will get worse. You will experience more bleeding. The only difference between stage 3 hemorrhoids and stage 2 hemorrhoids is that when the hemorrhoids pop out, they will not go back in on their own. You will need to push them in yourself.
If you do not realize that you have hemorrhoids by this point, you certainly will now. Remember; you have swollen blood vessels hanging out of your rectum. It can be painful to push them back in too. If you are treated for hemorrhoids at this stage, then not only are you needing to use treatment methods to reduce the size of the hemorrhoids, but you also need something to deal with the pain if needed. We do hope that you receive the treatment that you need before it hits this point.
Stage 4 Hemorrhoids
This is the final stage of hemorrhoids. Once again, all the symptoms that we have highlighted previously will be present. The only difference is that you will no longer be able to push hemorrhoids back into the anal cavity. They will stay out at all times.
As you may have guessed, the hemorrhoids at this point will be quite big in size. The pain may be intense too. In most cases, the only way in which you can deal with stage 4 hemorrhoids is if you undergo surgical options. Thankfully, most people are never going to get to this point. They are going to have their internal hemorrhoids treated at either stage 2 or stage 3 (as we mentioned previously, it is rare that you will be able to spot that you are suffering from stage 1 hemorrhoids)