Health A-Z


Clinical Definition

Hemorrhoids are dilated vascular structures under the rectal mucosa. Hemorrhoids may develop outside of the external anal sphincter or inside the anal canal. They are often due to increased pressure on the anorectal area. Increased pressure may be due to constipation and straining during bowel movements.

In Our Own Words

Very common among people in the 45 – 65 age group, hemorrhoids are enlarged veins in or around the anus. They are often harmless except for the itching and perhaps some bright red blood on the toilet paper; but they can be the source of a variety of problems.

Similar to varicose veins, hemorrhoids often occur because of an increase in pressure on the blood vessels. Straining during a bowel movement, which is often due to constipation, can cause increased pressure. The increased pressure causes the veins to swell and stretch, which leads to hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can develop externally, occurring under the skin around the anus. They can also develop internally, inside the anus.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Lump in or outside the anus
  • Anal itching
  • Blood in the stool
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