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Hemorrhoids

Swollen veins around the anus

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus, caused by straining on the toilet, or other factors such as pregnancy, obesity or liver disease. Hemorrhoids that are prolapsed, or have fallen outside the anus; or that bleed too much, may require surgery or other treatment.

Symptoms

Bright blood in the toilet bowl or on toilet paper with bowel movements, itching or painful swelling or a hard lump around the anus.

Diagnosis

Can be identified through a physical exam by a doctor.

Treatment

A diet high in fiber (fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains), and plenty of fluids (6-8 glasses a day); stool softeners; thorough cleansing after bowel movements. Avoid straining. Severe cases may require surgical removal, or use of freezing, heating or chemical injections to destroy the hemorrhoid.