Understanding Hemorrhoids

Possible causes, ways to prevent them

Hemorrhoids are often painful swollen veins near the anus, the U.S. National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) says.They commonly are triggered by straining during bowel movements, the effects of pregnancy or childbirth, or constipation.

To relieve the pain of hemorrhoids, the NDDIC suggests soaking in a bathtub of warm water for about 10 minutes, several times daily. Use of a hemorrhoid cream or a suppository also can help relieve symptoms.

You can help lower your risk of hemorrhoids by drinking plenty of water and eating lots of fiber. Regular exercise can also help soften stools and make bowel movements easier.

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