When should I seek medical care for my hemorrhoids?

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• Bleeding from the rectum or anus. This is a common effect of hemorrhoids but there are many other, very serious conditions that can cause blood to appear in the stool. Colon cancer and inflammatory bowel disease can be life threatening conditions so you should talk to your doctor in the case of bloody stools.

• Abdominal pain. Hemorrhoids do not cause abdominal pain so if you are experiencing pain in your stomach and blood in your stools you should get medical help immediately.

• Weakness. If you are experiencing symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness or weakness you may have lost a lot of blood through hemorrhoids and need serious medical help.

• Prolapsed hemorrhoids. If a prolapsed hemorrhoid can not be pushed back into the anus then you should seek medical help.

• Thrombosed external hemorrhoid. It usually appears as a bluish-purplish color and can be very painful if touched or rubbed. It may be necessary to have a doctor remove the clot.