Hemorrhoids are veins that have swollen in the rectum or on the outside of the anus. They are a common issue and most adults can expect to experience hemorrhoids at some point in their life. They can be caused by various factors so typically the specific cause for an individual is unable to be determined.

Hemorrhoids are either classified as external (develop under the skin of the anus) or internal (develop within the lower rectum). Symptoms include itching in those regions, pain, swelling of the anus, or bleeding during bowel movements.

Causes include eating a low-fiber diet, weight gain, pregnancy, sitting for long periods on the toilet, or lifting heavy objects regularly. At-home treatments include over-the-counter medications (containing witch hazel, lidocaine, or hydrocortisone), baths, drinking more water, and upping your fiber intake.

If hemorrhoids are a persistent problem, a provider may recommend treatments to remove the hemorrhoids either through procedures or surgeries.

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