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Hemorrhoids can be particularly uncomfortable, even if they are not dangerous or life-threatening. However, the discomfort is easy to treat.
Hemorrhoids are caused by a movement of tissues, veins and arteries located in the anus and rectum. Although they can be painful and uncomfortable, hemorrhoids are usually not dangerous. You can suffer from hemorrhoids at any age, but they appear more frequently with aging. In younger people, they occur in pregnant women or women who have just given birth. More than 50% of North Americans suffer or have suffered from hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids vary depending on their location and the severity of the pain or discomfort they cause.
Internal hemorrhoids are located inside the rectum. They generally do not cause pain since this area does not have sensory nerves.
External hemorrhoids are located under the skin, very close to the anal aperture. They can swell, itch and be very painful, especially during a bowel movement. When the hemorrhoids are external and cannot be pushed back inside, a medical consultation is necessary.
Mixed hemorrhoids are a combination of internal and external hemorrhoids.
The exact cause is unknown, but many factors contribute to their development.
You are more at risk of suffering from hemorrhoids if:
Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
There are a number of effective, over-the-counter products that you can use to relieve your symptoms and treat your hemorrhoids:
When dealing with external hemorrhoids, it’s better to use creams and ointments rather than suppositories, which tend to float too far up the rectum.
Hemorrhoids can potentially lead to more serious complications like excessive bleeding, infection or thrombosis. If such problems arise, or if the hemorrhoids last more than 7 days, see your doctor.
Don’t hesitate to ask your pharmacist if you have any questions on the prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids.