Diagnosing Hemorrhoids

How Are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?

A visual examination of your anus may be enough to diagnose hemorrhoids. To confirm the diagnosis, your doctor may wish to do a different examination to check for any abnormalities within the anus. This check is called a digital rectal exam. During this exam, your doctor inserts a gloved and lubricated finger into your rectum. If he feels anything abnormal, he may order an additional test, called a sigmoidoscopy.

Complications of hemorrhoids

Complications of hemorrhoids are rare but include:Anemia. Chronic blood loss from hemorrhoids may cause anemia, in which you don't have enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your cells. This may result in fatigue and weakness. Strangulated hemorrhoid. If blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid is cut off, the hemorrhoid may be "strangulated," which can cause extreme pain and lead to tissue death (gangrene). Blood clots within the swollen vein

Preparing for your appointment

If you have signs and hemorrhoid symptoms, make an appointment with your regular doctor. Depending on your signs and symptoms, your doctor may refer you to one or more specialists — including a doctor with expertise in the digestive system (gastroenterologist) or a colon and rectal surgeon — for evaluation and treatment. You can help your doctor by being prepared with as much information as possible. Here are some suggestions to help you get ready for your appointment.

Tests and diagnosis hemorrhoids

Your doctor may be able to see if you have external hemorrhoid simply by looking. Tests and procedures to diagnose internal hemorrhoid may include:Examination of your anal canal and rectum for abnormalities. During a digital rectal exam, your doctor inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into your rectum. He or she feels for anything unusual, such as growths. The exam can give your doctor an indication of what further testing might be appropriate.

How Doctors Diagnose Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can usually be diagnosed from a simple medical history and physical exam. External hemorrhoids are generally apparent, especially if a blood clot has formed. Your clinician may perform a digital rectal exam to check for blood in the stool. She or he may also examine the anal canal with an anoscope, a short plastic tube inserted into the rectum with illumination.