Hemorrhoids are swollen veins at the bottom of the rectum or anus. When healthy, these veins assist with the elimination of stool, but when unhealthy they swell and stretch, protruding from the rectum. This can cause pain and itching. Increased pressure in the lower rectum is the primary cause of the condition, often resulting from prolonged sitting, poor diet, constipation, obesity, or pregnancy. Adults 45 to 65 are most likely to get hemorrhoids, but they can occur in any age group. Hemorrhoids that are located inside the rectum are called internal hemorrhoids, while those that develop under the skin around the anus are called external hemorrhoids.
People with hemorrhoids often experience rectal bleeding. Usually, the bleeding is not severe and does not cause pain, however, in some cases, blood may coat the stool during bowel movements. Although alarming, blood in the stool is not a medical emergency, though anyone who notices this symptom should schedule a doctor visit.
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