What are Hemorrhoids?
Definition of Hemorrhoids: Swollen veins in the lower rectum and the anus. Hemorrhoids under the skin, around the anus can be painful. About half of all people have had hemorrhoids by age 50, according to the NIH. Below is a brief overview of the causes, symptoms and treatments, plus links to more information.
What Causes Hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids form when the veins in the rectum or around the anus swell or bulge under pressure. A number of factors can lead to hemorrhoids, including:
- Straining during bowl movements
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation
Are Hemorrhoids Contagious? No.
Medical Term: Also called piles.
Signs & Symptoms: Pain and itching around the anus. Hemorrhoids in the rectum rarely cause pain, but may leave bright red blood on toilet paper after a bowel movement. Blood in the stools can also be a symptom of more serious conditions such as cancer. Be sure to see your doctor.
Treatment & Remedies: A high fiber diet and drinking plenty of water helps. Creams, suppositories and pads can provide relief, but risk uncomfortable side effects if used for long periods. Chemical injections, applied infrared energy or rubber band ligation can shrink hemorrhoids. Very large hemorrhoids may require surgical removal.
- Exercise may help prevent constipation, and therefore help hemorrhoids.
- Hemorrhoids are most common in people age 45 to 65, according to the NIH.
- A blood clot can form in externals hemorrhoids, causing more pain and bleeding. This is called a thrombosed hemorrhoid.
Sources and More Information:
- Hemorrhoids: Details from MyHealthNewsDaily
- Related Information from the Mayo Clinic
- Related Information from the National Institutes of Health
- Related Information from the University of Maryland Medical Center
This information is not meant to provide specific medical advice. It is for educational purposes only. We recommend you consult a qualified health care professional for diagnoses and treatment advice, and call 9-1-1 in emergencies.
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