Hemorrhoids

Alternative Names

Rectal lump; Piles; Lump in the rectum

Definition of Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

This condition is very common, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth. Hemorrhoids result from increased pressure in the veins of the anus. The pressure causes the veins to bulge and expand, making them painful, particularly when you are sitting.

Symptoms

Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:

Signs and tests

A doctor can often diagnose hemorrhoids simply by examining the rectal area. If necessary, tests that may help diagnose the problem include:

Treatment

Over-the-counter corticosteroid creams can reduce pain and swelling. Hemorrhoid creams with lidocaine can reduce pain. Witch hazel (applied with cotton swabs) can reduce itching. Other steps for anal itching include:

Expectations (prognosis)

Most treatments are effective, but to prevent the hemorrhoids from coming back, you will need to maintain a high-fiber diet and drink plenty of fluids.

Review

Todd Eisner, MD, Private practice specializing in Gastroenterology, Boca Raton, FL. Clinical Instructor, Florida Atlantic University School of Medicine. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 5/15/2009

Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoid surgery  - series

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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