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Enlarged Hemorrhoids

Swollen blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum. Continual straining to have a bowel movement causes them to stretch and swell. They cause itching, pain, and sometimes bleeding.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)

About Enlarged Hemorrhoids

We all have hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are normal "cushions" of tissue filled with blood vessels, found at the end of the rectum, just inside the anus. Together with a circular muscle called the anal sphincter, they help control bowel movements. But when people talk about "having hemorrhoids," they usually mean a medical condition caused by enlarged hemorrhoids — often associated with symptoms such as itching, mucus discharge, or bleeding without pain. This condition is also known as "piles."

Many people are ashamed of having enlarged hemorrhoids: They do not like to talk about their symptoms and might be reluctant to go to the doctor. Some might be afraid of being examined or finding out that they have a serious illness. But seeing a doctor about your symptoms is important if you want to have the right treatment.

Symptoms

Hemorrhoid problems can cause various symptoms. These often include itching, mucus discharge or burning at the anus. Painless bleeding is common too. This can happen if hard stool damages the thin walls of the blood vessels in hemorrhoids. Bleeding from hemorrhoids is usually visible as bright red or red blood, on toilet paper or in the stool. If you have blood in your stool, it is important to see a doctor rather than trying to diagnose the problem yourself.

Swollen hemorrhoids might come out of the anus and can then be seen as soft lumps of tissue. This is called a protruding or prolapsed hemorrhoid... Read more about Enlarged Hemorrhoids

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Referral Guidelines for Suspected Cancer in Adults and Children [Internet]

The guideline is divided into sections which cover in detail specific topics relating to twelve groups of cancers: lung, upper gastrointestinal cancers, lower gastrointestinal cancers, breast cancer, gynaecological cancers, urological cancers, haematological cancers, skin cancers, head and neck including oral cancers, brain/central nervous system cancers, bone and sarcoma, and children’s and young people’s cancers.

Postnatal Care: Routine Postnatal Care of Women and Their Babies [Internet]

This guideline has been written within a conceptual framework which places the woman and her baby at the centre of care, appreciating that all postnatal care should be delivered in partnership with the woman and should be individualised to meet the needs of each mother-infant dyad. The guideline aims to identify the essential ‘core care’ which every woman and her baby should receive, as appropriate to their needs, during the first 6–8 weeks after birth, based upon the best evidence available.

Faecal Incontinence: The Management of Faecal Incontinence in Adults

For many people faecal incontinence is the result of a complex interplay of contributing factors, many of which can co-exist. Some may be relatively simple to reverse.

See all (4)

Summaries for consumers

Enlarged hemorrhoids: How can you relieve the symptoms yourself?

There is a lot of advice out there about how to relieve the symptoms of enlarged hemorrhoids yourself – including things like avoiding constipation, and using special ointments or warm baths. Some of these approaches can actually help, but many of them have not been tested in good scientific studies.If someone has enlarged hemorrhoids (also known as “piles”), trying to prevent constipation and changing their toilet habits can make an important difference. Various medications and other measures can also be tried out to relieve the symptoms. But this will not make enlarged hemorrhoids shrink again.

Enlarged hemorrhoids: What procedures can be done?

Sometimes the symptoms of enlarged hemorrhoids are so bad that treating the symptoms alone is no longer enough. Then there are various procedures that can be done to remove the tissue that is causing problems.Hemorrhoids are normal “cushions” of tissue filled with blood vessels, found at the end of the rectum, just inside the anus. If they become enlarged, they can cause unpleasant symptoms. This is what most people mean when they talk about having hemorrhoids or “piles.” The most suitable type of treatment will depend on the size of the hemorrhoids and the severity of symptoms. Every approach has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the procedure, side effects can occur – some more severe than others.Sclerotherapy and “rubber band ligation” (“banding”) are generally carried out as day procedures, without an anesthetic. If someone has grade 3 or grade 4 hemorrhoids, doctors often recommend surgery. A general or local anesthetic is usually needed for this. You then have to stay in the hospital for a few days, and stay off work for some time too.

Enlarged hemorrhoids: Overview

Did you know that we all have hemorrhoids? Hemorrhoids are normal “cushions” of tissue filled with blood vessels, found at the end of the rectum. They are only a problem if they become enlarged. A lot of people have enlarged hemorrhoids: It is estimated that about half of all adults over the age of 30 are affected.

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More about Enlarged Hemorrhoids

Photo of an adult

Also called: Haemorrhoids, Piles, Hemorrhoidal disease

See Also: Constipation

Other terms to know:
Anus, Hemorrhoidectomy, Rectum

Related articles:
Hemorrhoid Self-Management
Hemorrhoid Surgery

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