Definition & Facts of Hemorrhoids
What are hemorrhoids?
The two types of hemorrhoids are
- external hemorrhoids, which form under the skin around the anus
- internal hemorrhoids, which form in the lining of the anus and lower rectum
How common are hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are common in both men and women1 and affect about 1 in 20 Americans.2 About half of adults older than age 50 have hemorrhoids.2
Who is more likely to get hemorrhoids?
You are more likely to get hemorrhoids if you
- strain during bowel movements
- sit on the toilet for long periods of time
- have chronic constipation or diarrhea
- eat foods that are low in fiber
- are older than age 50
- are pregnant
- often lift heavy objects
What are the complications of hemorrhoids?
Complications of hemorrhoids can include the following:
- blood clots in an external hemorrhoid
- skin tags—extra skin left behind when a blood clot in an external hemorrhoid dissolves
- infection of a sore on an external hemorrhoid
- strangulated hemorrhoid—when the muscles around your anus cut off the blood supply to an internal hemorrhoid that has fallen through your anal opening
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