Untreated Hemorrhoids – What Could Go Wrong?
Hemorrhoids, is a disease that commonly happens. It doesn’t matter if you are young or old, male or female, there are some risks for you to develop this condition. The disease is often considered as something embarrassing and those who have it tend to keep it to themselves. There are a lot of people who are willing to seek treatments for hemorrhoids, while many others refuse to acknowledge their conditions and continue to suffer in silence. It may be true that those who choose not to seek treatment, either surgically, medically or even traditionally with the use of all kinds of ‘ubat buasir’, only suffer mild symptoms of hemorrhoids. But what are the effects if hemorrhoids are left untreated? What are the possible complications for this disease?
For those people with hemorrhoids, they definitely know what sorts of symptoms to expect. Swellings or lumps can occur inside or outside of the anus, as a result of swollen venous blood vessels. These swellings can bleed, by a little bit or by a lot. Patients can also come in with pain especially during defecation and straining. So, if hemorrhoids are not treated, in some cases, the patient may develop more severe symptoms. Just one thing to be clarified, hemorrhoids will not necessarily get worse when left untreated. This is because there are cases of hemorrhoids that will go away on their own, even more likely if the symptoms are just mild in nature.
The swellings in the anal region can become larger and in turn cause more problems such as inflammation, discomfort and itching. Some external swellings, those that extend out of the anus, can be pushed or reduced back into the anus. However, it depends on the severity and the degree of the hemorrhoids. As hemorrhoids progress and become larger, it is possible that these swellings can no longer be pushed back inside. So, the swellings will remain outside until an appropriate treatment is given. Larger masses also have the tendency to bleed more easily, often when the patient strains or upon contact with fingers or examination tools.
If we look further into the topic of bleeding, untreated hemorrhoids have some risks to bleed more severely or bleeding chronically, in small amounts for a longer period of time. Even though our body still produces new blood cells, they are still not enough and cannot compensate or keep up with the amount lost from the body if the patient is bleeding too much. This can lead to a condition where the concentration of red blood cells is low in the body, or as we like to call it, anemia. Anemia can cause the patient to develop symptoms such as palpitations, lethargy, shortness of breath, dizziness and even chest pain. Anemic patients also tend to have fainting episodes due to lack of oxygen reaching the brain, as a result from the lack of red blood cells that function as oxygen carriers.
Serious hemorrhoids complications are relatively rare. An example of these complications include the formation of blood clots in the hemorrhoids. This condition, while it is not very dangerous, can cause more severe pain than usual. Another complication that may occur is a condition where the blood vessels to the swollen hemorrhoids are restricted or cut off, causing oxygenated blood unable to reach the tissues in the affected area. This later would lead to injury or death of the affected tissues. It can also worsen the pain. Although these serious complications are not frequently heard of, the risks are there for every hemorrhoids patient.
Yes, it is true that hemorrhoids can resolve on their own. It is also true that many cases of hemorrhoids are not very serious with mild symptoms. However, patients still need to consider consulting a doctor for advice. A proper examination and treatments are needed so that this disease can be cured and more importantly, does not worsen to develop unwanted complications as time goes.