Do Hemorrhoids Usually Feel Like Crawling: Does It Get Worse?

If you are someone who feels that hemorrhoids are crawling in your bum, and you do not know if it’s normal or not, or if it can get worse with time, then this article will be a lifesaver for you.

We all know how disturbing and irritating hemorrhoids can be. But they can feel like certain types depending upon some factors. These factors play an important role in managing or even better, avoiding these unpleasant feelings.

Hemorrhoids are the most common problem people of different ages face due to a lot of underlying reasons. Different people suffer from different types of hemorrhoids and the feeling can be described in a lot of ways.

What are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are the swollen veins in your lower rectum. They are more commonly known as piles. Hemorrhoids can feel like a lot of things. They can feel like crawling, tingling and even sometimes pulsating, mainly depending on its location in the rectum. Hemorrhoids can either be external or internal.So why do hemorrhoids feel like crawling? Here’s why.

Hemorrhoids are basically flaps of skin around anus which can definitely feel like crawling, like something is pushing against the anus, like something is hanging from the anus and mostly it can feel very uncomfortable while sitting down.

What are Hemorrhoids?

Types of Hemorrhoids

There are three types of hemorrhoids:

  • Internal hemorrhoids: They are located inside the rectum and painless but they tend to bleed.
  • External hemorrhoids:They are located outside the rectum and they are like small haemorrhages (bleeding).
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids:They are a more severe and painful form of internal hemorrhoids.
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids:In some cases a blood clot occurs inside the hemorrhoidal vein obstructing blood flow and causing serious agony, irritation and swelling which appears to be a hard lump close to the rectum.

Again internal hemorrhoids are divided into four grades.

  • Grade-1: No prolapse of hemorrhoid it will remain as a prominent blood vessel and there is possibility of bleeding
  • Grade-2: Prolapsing hemorrhoid but it spontaneously reduces
  • Grade-3: Prolapsing hemorrhoids, that are possible to reduce manually
  • Grade-4: The hemorrhoid completely prolapses with the inability to be manually reduced

Based on the types it is acknowledged that hemorrhoids can be felt like a lot of things including crawling depending on their position, if they will bleed or not, if they are prolapsed or not. Hemorrhoids can feel like:

  • They are crawling
  • They are pulsating
  • They are worms
  • They are stuck
  • They are tingling
  • They are pushing against the anus
  • Something is bulging from the anus
Types of Hemorrhoids

Why Do Hemorrhoids Feel Like Crawling?

Hemorrhoids can feel like crawling. It is very much normal. In several surveys and reports revealed from patients that in some cases while passing stool patients feel that something is crawling inside their anus and the stool is not completely passed.

Normally hemorrhoids can also feel like itching in many cases.Sometimes straining while using the bathroom pushes an internal hemorrhoid outside until it protrudes through the anus this condition is called prolapsed internal hemorrhoid.

When an internal hemorrhoid prolapses mucus  secretes which can irritate sensitive areas around the anus which causes the itching. If the hemorrhoid stays prolapsed then the mucus production continues thus causing irritation and itching.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

The veins around the anus tend to enlarge causing a swell or a lump.Swollen veins that is hemorrhoids can create weight in the lower rectum due to the following reasons:

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Straining solid amid substances
  • Sitting for a long time on the toilet
  • Permanent looseness of the bowels or blockage
  • Low intake of fibers
  • High intake of carbohydrates and protein
  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Anal intercourse
  • Regular heavy lifting
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Family history of hemorrhoids

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids can rarely cause pain and it cannot be felt unless it has prolapsed. Most people with internal hemorrhoids don’t even know that they have hemorrhoids because none of the symptoms are felt. Again if someone notices blood on toilet paper, stool or toilet bowl it is known as rectal bleeding which can also be regarded as the symptom of internal hemorrhoids.

In case of external hemorrhoids the symptoms are quite recognizable which include:

  • Itchy anus
  • Hard lumps around the anus that feel sore or tender
  • Pain or ache in the anus especially while sitting down
  • Rectal bleeding

Again prolapsed hemorrhoids can be severely more painful and uncomfortable which might feel like it is bulging out of the anus and can be gently pushed back.

Rectal bleeding

There are some types of conditions that can show similar types of symptoms in the case of hemorrhoids. Different gastrointestinal disorders can cause rectal bleeding and other symptoms similar to hemorrhoids. Some of the disorders are life threatening and that is why it is very important to acknowledge the symptoms.

Bowel diseases that can also cause bleeding are:

  • Crohn’s disease
  • Colon cancer
  • Ulcerative colitis

Diagnosis of Hemorrhoids

Diagnosis of hemorrhoids is based on symptoms and physical exam and the ways as follow:

  • Digital rectal exam: A glove is inserted with a lubricated finger into the rectum to feel for swollen veins.
  • Anoscopy: An anoscopy is inserted which is a lighted tube to view the lining of the anus or rectum.
  • Sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscope which is a lighted tube with a camera to view inside the lower part of colon or rectum.The procedures that are included are flexible sigmoidoscopy and rigid sigmoidoscopy.

These tests may be uncomfortable but they are not painful. Generally these tests are done in the doctor’s office without the administration of anesthesia. In case of colonoscopy, to confirm the findings of colon cancer anesthesia is administered.

Complications of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can be painful and uncomfortable. Many people having hemorrhoids undergo the same types of problems like itching, crawling, tingling. But rarely people with hemorrhoids develop:

  • Anemia
  • Blood clot in external hemorrhoids 
  • Infection
  • Skin tags in which flaps of tissue hang off skin
  • Strangulated hemorrhoid in which muscles of the anus cut blood to the prolapsed internal hemorrhoid.

Complications in case of hemorrhoids are very rare but they mainly occur due to ignorance, lack of treatment and improper diet. If the slightest amount of care is taken then the patient undergoes the common issues like pain, bleeding, crawling, tingling, itching and discomfort.

Treatment of Hemorrhoids

To usually get relief from the mild pain, swelling and inflammation of  hemorrhoids home remedies are very much useful.

  • Eating high fiber foods: By intaking fruits,vegetables and whole grains softens the stool and increases its amount which helps avoid straining and constipation that helps from increasing the risks of deteriorating the existing hemorrhoid.
  • Using topical treatments: Applying a hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone or numbing agent or pads containing witch hazel helps with pain and itching.
  • Soaking regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath:Soaking the anal area in warm water everyday for 10-20 minutes for two to three times a day minimizes the pain.
  • Taking oral pain relievers: Taking non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) helps with pain and inflammation. Using acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin helps with discomfort.
  • Taking laxatives softens the stool.
  • Drinking a lot of water helps with constipation.

Minimal Invasive Procedures

For continuous bleeding or painful hemorrhoids the doctor might recommend one of the available minimal invasive procedures that is done at the doctor’s office without administering anesthesia.

Rubber Band Ligation:

Two tiny rubber bands are placed at the base of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its blood circulation.Then within a week the hemorrhoid withers and finally falls off. Hemorrhoid banding can be painful, uncomfortable and can cause bleeding in two to four days which can cause severe damage.Rarely serious complications can appear.

Sclerotherapy:

A chemical injection is injected into the hemorrhoid to shrink it. This procedure is less effective than rubber band ligation.

Coagulation(Electrical, Infrared, Bipolar or Laser):

Coagulation techniques include laser or infrared or heat.They cause small, bleeding internal hemorrhoids to wrinkle and contract.This technique has some side effects and can cause discomfort.

Surgical Procedures

Hardly some patients require surgery to remove the hemorrhoid if other procedures have not been successful or the patient has a large hemorrhoid then the doctor suggests one of the following procedures:

Hemorrhoidectomy (Hemorrhoid Removal):

In this technique the surgeon removes excess tissue that causes bleeding in case of large external and internal prolapsed hemorrhoids. This procedure is done with local anesthesia with sedation, general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia.

Hemorrhoidectomy is the most effective and absolute way to treat severe and recurring hemorrhoids. Complications in this procedure include difficulty in emptying the bladder that can cause Urinary tract infection,this mainly happens after spinal anesthesia.Patients may feel pain and discomfort after the surgery, pain medications and soaking in water helps in that case. 

Hemorrhoid Stapling:

This process is known as stapled hemorrhoidopexy, which blocks blood flow to the hemorrhoidal tissue. This procedure is basically used in case of internal hemorrhoids. This process less pain than that of hemorrhoidectomy which comes with less recovery time.

In comparison to hemorrhoidectomy, stapling is associated with much higher risks like recurrence and rectal prolapse that is the rectume protruding from the anus. Complications from this procedure also include pain, bleeding, urinary retention and rarely sepsis that is a life threatening infection.

So the treatment process depends on the severity of the hemorrhoid or how much it has deteriorated. Every procedure includes more or less complications but most of the times the treatments are successful if it is done correctly and carefully taken care of.

Treatment of Hemorrhoids

Prevention of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are very common in old age. Hemorrhoids can be naturally prevented if one maintains a proper lifestyle and balanced diet. In some cases if someone in your family has history of severe  hemorrhoids then you can do the following things to prevent hemorrhoids:

  • Don’t sit too long or push too hard on the toilet.
  • Go to the toilet when the urge of going is felt and do not delay bowel movements. Because waiting may make the stool dry and make it hard to pass.
  • Eat high fiber foods. Adding fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains to your diet will soften the stool and increase its amount which will help reduce straining and thus it will prevent hemorrhoids. However adding fibers to the diet can also prevent gas.
  • Staying hydrated can prevent hemorrhoids. Drinking water and other fluids other than alcohol makes the stool soft. Everyday six to eight glasses of water is sufficient.
  • Take fiber supplements. Most people don’t get enough fiber from their diet so fiber supplements must be considered. For women, the recommended fiber intake is 25gm but in case of men it is 35gm. Drinking plenty of water is necessary if supplements are taken or it might cause constipation.
  • Do regular exercise. Even moderate exercise like walking, swimming can help prevent constipation that leads to hemorrhoids. Staying active and doing regular exercise can also prevent the development of existing hemorrhoids.
  • Take laxatives or use enemas recommended by the doctor. Taking too many laxatives or enemas can make it hard for the body to regulate bowel movement.

Hemorrhoids become manageable within a week of home treatment. But sometimes hemorrhoids can become severe and very uncomfortable within a short period of time so in that case you need to go to a doctor for immediate treatment. Those severe symptoms are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Fever are chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe rectal bleeding and pain

Conclusion

As you have understood by now, hemorrhoids can feel like crawling, tickling and also pulsating. They are swollen veins inside the rectum or outside the anus that causes pain, discomfort and rectal bleeding.

Hemorrhoids are very regular. Almost three out of four adults have hemorrhoids at some point of their life. Majority of adults experience hemorrhoids at occasional events due to many reasons.

Even though hemorrhoids are very common, they are very much manageable by proper lifestyle and balanced diet. Most of the hemorrhoids do not come with complications but even if they are severe, they can be treated accordingly. So if you have hemorrhoids and have crawling, itching and tingling feelings, you do not need to worry, you just need to follow a few instructions for it to not deteriorate. Even if it does, you should consult your doctor accordingly.

Above all, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can protect you from many health related problems and so it is better to be safe now than to regret later.

FAQs

  1. Why Does Something Feel Like Crawling in My Bum?

Somethings like hemorrhoids or pinworms can feel like crawling in the anal and rectum.It is quite normal to feel like something is crawling in your bum.

  1. Can Hemorrhoids Feel Like Worms?

Yes, hemorrhoids can definitely feel like crawling like it is moving and it can also cause tingling sensation.

  1. Why Do Hemorrhoids Tickle?

When an internal hemorrhoid prolapses it can bring along mucus that can irritate the sensitive area around the anus and cause itching and tickling sensation. If the hemorrhoid stays prolapsed then the mucus production continues and so does the itching.Then again if the mucus mixes with the stool then the combination causes irritation as a result causing itching and tickling.

  1. What Makes Hemorrhoids Shrink Fast?

Hemorrhoids can shrink or become smaller in size by maintaining proper diet and treatment. By eating high fiber foods, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, taking topical treatments like hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone or numbing agent, by soaking in a warm bath and by taking oral pain relievers. Maintaining all this can help to shrink a hemorrhoid.

  1. Can Hemorrhoids Cause Abdominal Pain and Bleeding?

Hemorrhoids can not  cause abdominal pain and bloating. Colorectal cancer causes continuous abdominal pain, discomfort, gas, bloating and cramps.

Anika Zuberi

I’m Anika Nawar Zuberi, a medical student and a fitness freak. Apart from studying medical science, I’m passionate about writing and learning new things side by side. I absolutely love maintaining a healthy lifestyle and like to inspire people to have a healthy life as well. Writing gives me immense joy and I really hope my readers find the same joy and health tips too to have a more easier blooming life. Anika Nawar Zuberi 4th year MBBS Armed Forces Medical College

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