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Definition of Hemorrhoid

Hemorrhoid: A dilated (enlarged) vein in the walls of the anus and sometimes around the rectum, usually caused by untreated constipation but occasionally associated with chronic diarrhea.

The symptoms start with bleeding after defecation. If untreated, hemorrhoids can worsen, protruding from the anus.

In their worst stage, they must be returned to the anal cavity manually. Fissures can develop, and these may cause intense discomfort. Treatment is by changing the diet to prevent constipation and avoid further irritation, the use of topical medication, and sometimes surgery or sclerotherapy.

Also known as piles.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=3702
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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