Hemorrhoids are swollen veins at the very end of the large intestine.
This common problem is almost never serious, but it can be painful.
Hemorrhoids may form either internally or externally, or it is possible
to have both types at the same time.
Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure on the veins in the
pelvic and rectal area, causing tissues in the lower colon to swell,
stretch and bulge.
- Straining to have bowel movements
- Pregnancy and childbirth
Internal hemorrhoids are usually small, swollen veins, but they can
be large enough to bulge out externally. If the blood supply to the
hemorrhoid is cut off by muscle pressure, they can be quite painful and
may bleed during bowel movements.
External hemorrhoids are bulges which cause hard painful lumps and may also bleed during bowel movements.
Your doctor can tell if you have hemorrhoids by asking you
questions and doing an examination. You may not need further tests,
especially if you are younger than 50 and your doctor can confirm that
your bleeding is caused by hemorrhoids.