Hemorrhoids are swollen veins that may develop in the anus and rectum, they are classified as either internal or external. Internal hemorrhoids are located within the lower rectum and external hemorrhoids are on the outer skin surrounding the anus. Hemorrhoids may be the result of straining during bowel movements, they are common during pregnancy due to increased pressure on the veins in the anus and rectum, obesity and genetic factors play a role in their development, also implicated is heavy lifting and prolonged periods of sitting. Hemorrhoids area very common, effecting millions.
The symptoms of hemorrhoids depend upon their location and severity. Common symptoms of hemorrhoids include pain and itching around the anus, swelling, bleeding during bowel movements, anal leakage, feeling of a lump near the anus.
Internal hemorrhoids occur within the rectum and cannot be seen or felt without a scope. Internal hemorrhoids area painless, though commonly bleed with defecation. Occasionally, an internal hemorrhoid may prolapsed causing some pain and irritation.
External hemorrhoids are visible around the anus, they often itch and may bleed when irritated. A common complication of external hemorrhoids is thrombosis, which occurs when blood accumulates in the hemorrhoid and forms a clot. This generally causes severe pain, inflammation and swelling.