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Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoid Overview

Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins located in the lower part of the rectum and the anus. The veins become swollen due to increased pressure within them, usually from constipation or profuse diarrhea, and during pregnancy because of the pressure of the enlarged uterus.

Internal hemorrhoids are located in the inside lining of the rectum and cannot be felt. They are usually painless and make their presence known because blood is seen with a bowel movement. Internal hemorrhoids can prolapse or protrude through the anus.

External hemorrhoids are located underneath the skin that surrounds the anus. They can be felt when they swell and may cause itching, pain, or bleeding with a bowel movement. A thrombosed external hemorrhoid occurs when blood within the vein clots, and may cause significant pain.

Hemorrhoid Causes

Patient Comments

Hemorrhoids are associated with constipation and straining at bowel movements. Pregnancy is also associated with hemorrhoids. These conditions lead to increased pressure within the hemorrhoidal veins that causes them to swell. Other conditions, for example chronic liver disease, may also cause increased venous pressure and may be associated with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are very common and are estimated to occur in up to one-half of the population by age 50.

Picture of hemorrhoids

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/6/2013
Medical Editor:

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Hemorrhoids:

Hemorrhoids - Symptoms

What are your hemorrhoid symptoms?

Hemorrhoids - Causes

Do you sit too much? Not enough fiber in your diet? Please discuss the reason for your hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids - Surgery

Did you need surgery for your hemorrhoids? Please describe the experience.

Hemorrhoids - Effective Treatments

What kinds of treatments have been effective for your hemorrhoids?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hemorrhoids »

Hemorrhoids have plagued humankind since time immemorial, yet many misunderstandings regarding hemorrhoidal complaints and disease still exist.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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