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Hemorrhoids. Can't live without them, can't live with them.

Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anus and rectum that can cause bleeding, itching, pain, and discomfort. They can be internal or external, depending on their location. Hemorrhoids are usually caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum due to factors such as straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, obesity, aging, or chronic constipation or diarrhea 1,2.

The origin of hemorrhoids are our anal cushions, three cushions of blood vessels in the low rectum. Scientists note we are born with anal cushions and that they can contribute 10-15% of our fecal control. The anal cushion region is where we sense whether we are going to pass gas or stool. If anal cushion become swollen or breaks down with age, they become hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoids are not a serious health threat, but they can be bothersome and interfere with daily activities. There are various treatments available for hemorrhoids, depending on their type and severity. Some of the common treatments include home remedies (such as fiber supplements, sitz baths, ice packs, or over-the-counter creams and ointments), rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, hemorrhoid stapling, or hemorrhoidectomy 1,2.

Hemorrhoids can be prevented or reduced by avoiding or treating the underlying causes of increased pressure in the lower rectum. Some of the preventive measures include eating a high-fiber diet, drinking plenty of fluids, exercising regularly, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, and using the toilet as soon as the urge arises 1,2. Hemorrhoids are a common condition that affects many people, but they can be managed with proper care and treatment.

The surgeons at Phoenix Unified Surgeons PLLC can provide further information about management and treatment of hemorrhoids. Call (480) 707-9504.

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