What are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus.
Internal hemorrhoids involve veins inside the rectum that can cause discomfort or fullness in the rectum.
External hemorrhoids involve veins outside the anus that may cause a pinching sensation, itchiness, pain, cracking and even bleeding.
Hemorrhoids range in size from very small, like the tip of a pencil, to very large, like half the size of a quarter.
Hemorrhoid symptoms with the greatest impact on the daily lives of sufferers are:
- Rectal pain
- Skin irritation
Who gets them?
In a nutshell—just about everyone.
Both men and women are likely to experience the discomfort of hemorrhoids.
About 75% of people will have hemorrhoids at some point in their lives.
By age 50, nearly half of adults have had to deal with the itching and pain that can signal the presence of hemorrhoids.
What can cause them?
Risk factors for hemorrhoids include:
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- A lack of fibre in the diet
- Being overweight
How often do they strike?
In market research, 3 out of 4 hemorrhoid sufferers reported suffering fairly often, around 3–6 times per year. But frequency varies from one person to the next. Some people may only suffer once in their life, while others will get them more often. And of course, some flare-ups may be worse than others.