Hemorrhoids are swollen and inflamed veins in the anus region. They can be caused by pressure and straining during bowel movements, obesity, anal intercourse, pregnancy or sitting for long periods of time on the toilet. Hemorrhoids can either develop internally or externally, with the external ones often causing extreme pain.

"Guys, don't read the sports page while you're there!" plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says.

Common symptoms:
• Pain, itching or discomfort
• Swelling around the anus
• Painless bleeding during bowel movements
• Leakage of feces.

"If you're having bleeding, it might be a hemorrhoid, but it also could be colon cancer," pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. "You've got to get it checked out."

Treatment options:
Treatments for hemorrhoids include warm baths, over-the-counter creams, ointments and pads, hydration, exercise and a number of minimally invasive procedures. In more extreme cases, rubber band ligation is used to cut off the hemorrhoid’s blood supply.
To prevent hemorrhoids, use moist or wet toilet paper instead of the dry variety, and keep the anal area clean.

How to Prevent Hemorrhoids:
• Stay hydrated
• Increase intake of fiber
• Exercise regularly
• Maintain an ideal body weight
• Improve posture
• Reduce bowel movement time and strain
• Use moist or wet toilet paper
• Keep the anal area clean


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