Hemorrhoids are blood vessels, normally present in and around the anus and lower rectum, that have become swollen due to stretching under pressure. These are very common in both men and women, and about half the population have hemorrhoids by age 50. Hemorrhoids are also common in pregnant women due to the pressure of the fetus in the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes, which cause hemorrhoidal vessels to enlarge. The process of childbirth also puts severe stress of these vessels.Hemorrhoids are either internal (inside the anus) or external (under the skin around the anus).
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids may develop as a result of repeated straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, heredity, aging, and chronic constipation or diarrhea.
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
The following are the most common symptoms of hemorrhoids. However, each individual may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:bright red blood present on the stool, toilet paper, or in the toilet bowlirritation and pain around the anusswelling or a hard lump around the anusitchingThe symptoms of hemorrhoids may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.
How are hemorrhoids diagnosed?
The presence of blood in the stool can be indicative of other digestive disorders, including colorectal cancer, so thorough evaluation and proper diagnosis is important.Diagnosing hemorrhoids may include:physical examination (to examine the anus and rectum and look for swollen blood vessels that indicate hemorrhoids)digital rectum examination (DRE) - the physical inserts a gloved, lubricated finger into the rectum to check for abnormalities.anoscopy - a hollow, lighted tube useful for viewing internal hemorrhoids is inserted into the anus.proctoscopy - a lighted tube, which allows the physician to completely examine the entire rectum, is inserted into the anus.sigmoidoscopy - a diagnostic...