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Internal hemorrhoids usually are first noticed when minor bleeding occurs with defecation. Pain occurs rarely, unless there is an associated disorder such as an anal fissure, thrombosis, or strangulation of the affected vein. External hemorrhoids produce varying degrees of pain, feelings of pressure, itching, irritation, and a palpable mass. Bleeding occurs only if the external hemorrhoid is injured or ulcerated and begins to break down.
Hemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure on the veins of the anus. Prolonged sitting, constipation, and hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass can lead to straining and sitting at stool for long periods of time, all of which add pressure on the anal veins. Failure to follow through on the urge to defecate can also lead to hemorrhoids. In women, probably the single most common cause is pregnancy.
External hemorrhoids can be treated by local applications of cold and an astringent cream, by sitz baths, and by avoidance of constipation. Internal hemorrhoids may require sclerosing or cryosurgery to obliterate the affected tissue. More advanced, chronic hemorrhoids usually must be removed surgically by ligation and excision (hemorrhoidectomy) or by barron ligation.
hem·or·rhoid(hem'ŏ-royd), Avoid the misspelling hemroid and its many variants.
hemorrhoid(hem'o-royd) [Gr. haimorrhois]
Therapy depends on the severity of the symptoms, not the extent of the hemorrhoids. In many instances, the only therapy required is improvement in anal care, adherence to appropriate fluid intake and diet if necessary, and administration of stool softeners to prevent straining to have a bowel movement. Measures to reduce local pain and congestion include the temporary use of local anesthetic agents, lubrication, cold compresses, warm sitz baths, and thermal packs. The necessity of surgery or other modalities of direct intervention (e.g., latex band ligation, sclerotherapy, cryosurgery, infrared photocoagulation, laser surgery) need not be applied until the acute process resolves except in cases of significant bleeding, intractable pain, recurrent episodes, and various individualized considerations. See: hemorrhoidectomy
mixed (or combined) hemorrhoid
Patient discussion about hemorrhoid
Q. What are hemorrhoids?
Veins can swell inside the anal canal to form internal hemorrhoids. Or they can swell near the opening of the anus to form external hemorrhoids. You can have both types at the same time. The symptoms and treatment depend on which type you have.
Q. What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids? My husband complains that when he goes to the bathroom he bleeds. Does this mean he has hemorrhoids?
Q. How to prevent Hemorrhoids? My brother is suffering from Hemorrhoids. I am very worried about getting them to and want to know how can I prevent them?