What is a Hemorrhoid?
Hemorrhoids are a common, uncomfortable medical issue.
CREDIT: Embarrassed image via Shutterstock
It's a real pain in the …
Hemorrhoids, though hard to spell, are often easy to find. They sometimes stick out of that place with the same name as the 7th planet of the solar system, not so much for all to see but for the afflicted to definitely feel. They itch, they burn, they feel funny. However, more often they stay inside the anus, and some go mostly or entirely unnoticed.
Hemorrhoids are distended and swollen veins in the lining of the anus, and they are very common (which is why you see so many commercials for products to soothe them; a hot bath is supposed to help, too). About half the population gets them by age 50, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse.
Hemorrhoids are sometimes caused by a congenital weakness in those veins. Childbirth can encourage their formation, too, as can other types of straining that we're all familiar with on a daily basis. Often the culprit is the modern diet, loaded with refined foods and lacking enough fiber to make good stools.
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