Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower rectum or anus. They may be internal (located inside the rectum), or external (forming under the skin around the anus).

Often the cause is unknown, but they can result from straining during bowel movements, or from pressure on the veins in the rectum or anus during pregnancy. This condition is common, with a majority of adults experiencing it at some point in their lives.

What are the symptoms?

In some cases, you won’t experience any symptoms, but in other cases you may experience: discomfort, itching, bleeding, blood clots, bleeding during bowel movements, swelling around the anus, and lumps in that area of the body. Blood in the stool is the most common symptom, but do not assume that this is always the result of hemorrhoids. Consult your doctor so that you can rule out a more serious illness.

What are the treatments for hemorrhoids?

Home treatments and lifestyle changes can be effective in most cases.* If you are experiencing rectal bleeding, see your doctor immediately so that the exact cause can be determined.

If you experience large amounts of rectal bleeding along lightheadedness or dizziness, call 911.

* Individual results may vary.

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