Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. Sometimes the walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that the veins bulge and get irritated, especially when you poop.

Swollen hemorrhoids are also called piles.

 

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Hemaway Seat of Relief

02 Mar 2020

What Are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. Sometimes the walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that the veins bulge and get irritated, especially when you poop.

Swollen hemorrhoids are also called piles.

 

Hemorrhoids are one of the most common causes of rectal bleeding. They're rarely dangerous, but you should see your doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious condition. Hemorrhoids often go away on their own, but treatments can also help.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids are far enough inside your rectum that you can't usually see or feel them. They don't generally hurt because you have few pain-sensing nerves there. Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids include:

  • Blood on your poop, on toilet paper after you wipe, or in the toilet bowl
  • Tissue that bulges outside your anal opening (prolapse). This may hurt, often when you poop. You might be able to see prolapsed hemorrhoids as moist bumps that are pinker than the surrounding area. These usually go back inside on their own. Even if they don't, they can often be gently pushed back into place.

External hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids are under the skin around your anus, where there are many more pain-sensing nerves. Symptoms of external hemorrhoids include:

blood clot can turn a hemorrhoid purple or blue. This is called a thrombosis. It can hurt, itch, and bleed. When the clot dissolves, you may have a bit of skin left over, which could get irritated.

What Causes Hemorrhoids

You may be more likely to get hemorrhoids if other family members, like your parents, had them.


Pressure building up in your lower rectum can affect blood flow and make the veins there swell. That may happen from:

  • Pushing during bowel movements
  • Straining when you do something that's physically hard, like lifting something heavy
  • Extra weight, like obesity
  • Pregnancy, when your growing uterus presses on your veins
  • diet low in fiber
  • Anal sex

People who stand or sit for long stretches of time are at greater risk, too.

You may get them when you have constipation or diarrhea that doesn't clear up. Coughingsneezing, and vomiting could make them worse.

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