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Haemorrhoids, also known as piles are swollen veins in the anus or lower rectum. There are internal haemorrhoids and external haemorrhoids. The internal haemorrhoids are located in the rectum and the external haemorrhoids are located around the anus area, under the skin. Haemorrhoids are a very common problem and three in four adults will develop them at some point in their life.
Haemorrhoids are caused when there is large pressure in the rectum area and when the veins around the anus stretch. This could be caused by extra weight; pregnant women especially tend to suffer with haemorrhoids because of the extra weight or due to obesity. They can also be caused by straining if you are constipated. Chronic diarrhoea can also instigate haemorrhoids as well as a low-fibre diet.


Internal haemorrhoids can go unnoticed as they are not very painful and you cannot really feel them. However, straining on the toilet can cause damage to the haemorrhoid which may result in bleeding.
External haemorrhoids can cause irritation around the anus area, such as itching or bleeding. They may also cause some swelling around the anus and in some circumstances, a small lump may appear.