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Hemorrhoids – Causes and Symptoms of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids refers to a condition in which the veins around the anus and rectum are abnormally swollen and inflamed. This condition may result from strained bowel movements or from increased pressure on the veins during pregnancy. The swollen veins cause the surrounding membranes to itch, burn, bleed and become painful.

The condition is observed in most of the adults above the age 50. They experience bleeding, discomfort and itching that can develop hemorrhoids.

Causes of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids develop as a result of increased pressure created on the veins around the anus and rectum. The factors that cause increased pressure on the veins include:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Child birth
  • Severe cough
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Anal intercourse
  • Obesity
  • Sitting on the toilet for longer time

The chance of developing hemorrhoids is even more as a person gets older. This is because the tissues that support the veins in anus and rectum weaken and stretch with aging.

Symptoms of Hemorrhoids
Following are the signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids

  • Leakage of feces
  • Sensitive or painful lump near the anus
  • Swelling around the anus
  • Hemorrhoids protruding from the anus
  • Discomfort and pain
  • Irritation or itching in the anal region
  • Painless bleeding during bowel movements

Depending on the location, there are two types of hemorrhoids, namely external and internal hemorrhoids.

External hemorrhoids – They lie under the skin around the anus. When irritated, they can itch and bleed leading to clot formation. This results in pain, swelling and inflammation.

Internal hemorrhoids – They lie inside the rectum that cannot be seen or felt. While passing stools, they become irritated and injure the hemorrhoid’s surface and cause intense bleeding. Occasionally it is protruded through the anal opening and can cause irritation and pain. Hence also called as prolapsed or protruding hemorrhoid.

When to see a medical professional
The most common sign of hemorrhoids is bleeding during bowel movements. This bleeding can also be a cause of other disease conditions. Hence, consult a doctor immediately so that tests can be performed to diagnose the actual disease. Seek an urgent medical advice without delay if the symptoms are of hemorrhoids.

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