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FAQ Frequently asked questions
What are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids, or 'piles', are varicose veins of the anal or rectal area that can protrude into or hang from the anus. They can bleed when you are passing a stool, but are generally not painful unless they develop a blood clot inside the vein, or begin to hang from the …
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are caused by prolonged pressure on the veins of the pelvic and rectal area, causing them to swell and stretch. Factors that can increase the risk of hemorrhoids include pregnancy, heavy lifting, prolonged sitting, straining (such as with constipation …
Are there different types of hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids can be categorized as internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the anus, while external hemorrhoids are found outside the anus. Internal hemorrhoids can also sometimes fall out of the anus. These are called …
What are the symptoms of hemorrhoids?
Internal hemorrhoids can cause rectal bleeding and prolapse. The bleeding tends to be bright red and can be seen on the toilet paper, on top of the stool, or in the toilet bowl. Fortunately, the bleeding tends not to last long. Over time, internal …
How serious or dangerous are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are common. Fortunately, they are usually not serious, although they can be painful.
How are hemorrhoids treated?
In most cases, you can control hemorrhoids with lifestyle and dietary changes, such as avoiding constipation by eating enough fiber and drinking plenty of water. High-fiber foods include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Alternatively, consider using a fiber …
Are hemorrhoids painful?
Pain is unusual in internal hemorrhoids. However, if they protrude out of the anus, (prolapse) and can not be pushed back in the anal canal, they can be very painful. External hemorrhoids around the anus can also become painful if they develop blood clots inside …
Are hemorrhoids a sign of cancer?
Hemorrhoids are not a sign of cancer, but hemorrhoid symptoms may mask symptoms of bowel cancer. Typically, hemorrhoids cause rectal bleeding, but so can bowel cancer. It can be difficult to tell hemorrhoids from more serious conditions. Your doctor may …
About this article
Author: Karen McCloskey BHSc
First answered: 22 Sep 2014
Last reviewed: 19 May 2018
Rating: 4.2 out of 5
Votes: 203 (Click smiley face below left to rate)