Hemorrhoids (HEM-uh-roids), also called piles, are swollen and inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum. Hemorrhoids may result from straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy, among other causes. Hemorrhoids may be located inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids), or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external hemorrhoids).

Hemorrhoids are common ailments. By age 50, about half of adults have had to deal with the itching, discomfort and bleeding that can signal the presence of hemorrhoids.

Fortunately, many effective options are available to treat hemorrhoids. Most people can get relief from symptoms by using home treatments and making lifestyle changes.

Jun. 19, 2013