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Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, occur when the veins in your anus and rectum swell up and cause a variety of symptoms, including bleeding or discomfort in varying degrees of severity. Hemorrhoids are common, and symptomatic hemorrhoids occur in at least 5 % of patients. They occur more commonly over the age of 50.

Types of hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids

Internal hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum and result from swollen veins within the rectum. You usually can't see or feel these types of hemorrhoids. The most common symptom is painless bleeding.

External hemorrhoids

External hemorrhoids occur under the skin around the anus. They often cause pain, itchiness, or discomfort in the anal area

Signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids

The signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids vary depending on the type of hemorrhoids you have. However, they typically involve some variation of the following:

  • Itchiness around the anus

  • Prolapse, where the hemorrhoids protrude or bulge outside of the anus

  • Bleeding

  • Pain in the anus

  • Swelling around the anus or inside of it

  • Severe pain and bleeding if a blood clot forms in a hemorrhoid, known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid

Risk factors

While anyone and everyone are subject to contracting hemorrhoids at some point in their life, certain people are at higher risk than others.

  • Sitting for long periods without breaks

  • Straining during bowel movements

  • Straining when you lift heavy objects

  • Obesity

  • Pregnancy

  • Not having enough fiber in your diet

  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation

  • Having anal intercourse

The most significant things that increase your risk of getting hemorrhoids are pregnancy, obesity, and age. As you get older, the tissue around the veins in your rectum and anus stretches and weakens. As a result, they're unable to support the veins, which causes them to bulge and swell, resulting in hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoid treatment options

While many cases of hemorrhoids go away on their own, there are things you can do to speed up the process.

Home remedies

Most of the home remedies for hemorrhoids are also good at preventing them in the first place. If you have hemorrhoids or you're worried about getting them, you should start by incorporating more fiber into your diet. You should also increase your fluid intake, try not to strain during bowel movements, and avoid lifting objects too heavy for you to handle. Sitz baths, which soak the rectal area in warm water, can relieve symptoms.

Creams and medications

If home remedies aren't doing the trick, many creams and suppositories are at your disposal. These range from over-the-counter to prescription and can ease the pain and discomfort caused by hemorrhoids.

Minimally invasive procedures

Doctors can place rubber bands at the base of internal hemorrhoids to remove them. They can also use laser or heat therapy to destroy internal hemorrhoidal tissue.

Surgical remedies

If your hemorrhoids refuse to go away on their own or with minimal interference, you may require surgery. A variety of surgical techniques are available to remove internal or external hemorrhoids that do not respond to medication or minimally invasive procedures.

If you have hemorrhoids or feel like you're at risk of getting them, you should talk to your doctor about your concerns. Medical professionals will give you the best advice about preventing hemorrhoids and what to do if you get them.


The information on this website is provided for educational and information purposes only and is not medical advice. Always consult with a licensed medical provider and follow their recommendations regardless of what you read on this website. If you think you are having a medical emergency, dial 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Links to other third-party websites are provided for your convenience only. If you decide to access any of the third-party websites, you do so entirely at your own risk and subject to the terms of use for those websites. Neither GI Urgent Care of Florida LLC, nor any contributor to this website, makes any representation, express or implied, regarding the information provided on this website or any information you may access on a third-party website using a link. Use of this website does not establish a doctor-patient relationship. If you would like to request an appointment with a health care provider, please call our office at 407-900-7184.

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