IN THIS ARTICLE
What Increases Your Risk
Bowel habits, physical stresses, and other conditions can raise the risk of developing hemorrhoids or make existing hemorrhoids worse. Some of these factors can be prevented.
Factors that increase your risk
Factors that may make hemorrhoids worse
Hemorrhoids may be made worse by:
When To Call a Doctor
If you have hemorrhoids, call your doctor if:
If rectal bleeding becomes heavy or changes color (such as from bright red to dark red), or if stools change color (from brown to maroon or black), be sure to see your doctor.
If you are younger than age 50 and sometimes have minimal rectal bleeding (bright red blood seen mainly on toilet paper) from hemorrhoids, you may try home treatment for a week or two if you are reasonably certain that the bleeding is caused by one of the following:
See the Home Treatment section of this topic for more information.
In most cases, bleeding caused by hemorrhoids should stop after 2 to 3 days. Continue home treatment to prevent bleeding from starting again. Call your doctor if bleeding:
If you are older than age 50 or have a family history of colon cancer, it is a good idea to tell your doctor any time you have new rectal bleeding, notice blood on your stools, have changes in bowel habits, or have anal pain. These symptoms may be signs of colon cancer or other conditions. Your doctor may recommend screening tests to see if you have a more serious problem. See the Exams and Tests section of this topic.
Who To See
The following professionals can evaluate and treat hemorrhoids:
If medical treatment or surgery is necessary, you may be referred to a:
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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