Hemorrhoids can be a pain in the butt, literally! Studies show that 1 out of 20 Americans deal with hemorrhoids, and up to 50% of individuals over age 50 will experience them.
If you have experienced hemorrhoids, or have heard the horror stories, knowing how to avoid them may be high on your list.
What are Hemorrhoids & What Do They Look Like?
First, what are hemorrhoids? They are swollen veins, similar to varicose veins, that are in the anus and lower rectum. They may cause bleeding and discomfort.
Types of Hemorrhoids?
Two types of hemorrhoids are internal – inside the rectum – and external – around the anus.
Internal hemorrhoids are often asymptomatic (showing no symptoms) and may go unnoticed, as they tend to resolve on their own.
If there is discomfort or any sign of symptoms, it is most likely due to the size of the internal hemorrhoids.
When the internal hemorrhoids are prolapsed or protruding, they appear as red, swollen bumps or lumps that come out of the anus.
They are classified on a scale of Grade 1 through 4:
- Grade 1 – No prolapse
- Grade 2 – Prolapse with pressure
- Grade 3 – A prolapse that can be pushed back in
- Grade 4 – A prolapse that is too painful to be pushed back in
External hemorrhoids are on the anus whether as visible or palpable lumps. They can be a problem until they are resolved.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are connected to chronic constipation, prolonged time sitting on the toilet, and straining during bowel movements.
All of these causes can interfere with blood flow to the area, which causes the blood to