Hemorrhoids (also called Piles) are blood vessels located in the muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus. They are normally located at the junction where small arteries merge. The presence of hemorrhoids is normal according to anatomy of the body, but most people refer them as an abnormal growth when they swell and cause problems such as bleeding.
The most common symptom of hemorrhoids is bleeding during bowel movements. Bleeding can however occur due to many other conditions as well. Your doctor will do a physical examination to rule out other serious possibilities. You may notice small amounts of bright red blood in your stool if you have hemorrhoids.
Opinions of scientists are divided on what exactly causes hemorrhoids. It is believed that hemorrhoids are associated with chronic constipation, straining of anal muscles during bowel movements, and prolonged sitting or standing. These conditions interfere with blood flow to and from the area, causing enlargement of the vessels.
Hemorrhoids are diagnosed by examining patient history and through physical examination. Your doctor will ask questions about symptoms such as constipation, hard bowel movements, and straining while going to the toilet. He will try to look for other causes of rectal bleeding such as tumors, inflammatory bowel disease, and gastrointestinal bleeding to rule out other conditions.
If you experience rectal bleeding, you should meet a doctor. Your doctor will find out the cause of bleeding to make sure it is not from a more serious condition such as colorectal cancer. If he finds hemorrhoids in the diagnosis, you will receive treatment for them which depends on severity of the hemorrhoids.