In this article we will describe the main difference between a rectal prolapse and a hemorrhoid. They are two totally different conditions, but both affect the same area of the body. They also tend to cause very similar symptoms, that is why it is very hard and confusing to tell the difference, even for general practitioners who do not regularly deal with this type of health conditions.
What is rectal prolapse?
Rectal prolapse is when the rectum that is located at the end of large intestine before it exists the anus, looses up more than it should normally and partially escapes through the anus. It is quite an uncomfortable experience but it rarely ends up as a emergent medical problem. It is often a very nagging problem that can be embarrassing at times when we can’t sit in one spot without having to constantly adjust our position due to the discomfort.
A.) Prolapse B.) Hemorrhoid
- Feeling like you are “sitting on a ball” or like something is constantly trying to come out of your anus
- Feeling of discomfort or even pain
- Possible inability to control gas or stool
- Small percentage of people can also experience severe constipation
- Rectal mucosa might become thickened and cause bleeding
- Aging – rectal prolapse mostly affects people over 50 years old, more women than men.
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic hemorrhoids
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that got developed because of the tissue weakening in the lower rectum area. That allowed the blood to accumulate and develop little blown up balloons on the outer part of our skin.
You can develop either an internal or external hemorrhoid. When it comes to pain and discomfort, they are usually associated with external hemorrhoid. That is because the sensitive tissue is more exposed to irritation or rupture.
- Internal Hemorrhoids – appear deeper inside the rectal region and cannot be seen without proper analysis
- External Hemorrhoids – appear more on the outside area of the anus and are often visible and can be touched
- Consistent rectal discomfort throughout the day
- Possible pain in the rectum, often after sitting down too long in one position or on a hard surface.
- Irregular and odd bleeding
- Itching and irritation
- Over the counter or prescription creams
- Home remedies
- Regularly spending a lot of time sat down on an uncomfortable chair, for example in the office in front of a computer or, in a supermarket as a cashier
- Lifting heavy weights without a correct technique or enough strength
- Chronic constipation or a diarrhea
- Lack of regular exercises with an unhealthy diet that is high in refined sugar and preservatives, but low in vitamins, minerals, and fiber
- Pregnancy and giving a birth to a child