Straining to have a bowel movement, weight gain, and pregnancy are all common causes of hemorrhoids â€” swollen veins in the anus and rectum that can become tender and painful. Fortunately, hemorrhoids can be treated with medications to ease pain and help them heal. Hemorrhoids can also be prevented with a few diet and exercise tips. Hemorrhoids: Know the Symptoms Hemorrhoids may develop on the outside of the anus (external hemorrhoids) or inside the rectum (internal hemorrhoids). An internal hemorrhoid may become so swollen that it bulges outside the anus. Pain felt during bowel movements and upon sitting are classic signs that you may have hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can also cause: â†’ Itching in and around the anus â†’ Rectal pain or tenderness â†’ Bleeding that`s noticeable on toilet paper, in the toilet, or in stool Hemorrhoids: Know the Causes Hemorrhoids are very common and can happen to anyone â€” about 50 percent of all adults will have had hemorrhoids by the time they are 50 years old. There are several causes and risk factors for hemorrhoids, including: â†’ Pregnancy â†’ Constipation â†’ Straining during a bowel movement â†’ Anal infections â†’ Cirrhosis, or scarring, of the liver â†’ Lifting heavy objects â†’ Sitting for too long â†’ You may be more likely to develop hemorrhoids if your family members â€” particularly your parents â€” had hemorrhoids. Obese people are also more likely to develop hemorrhoids than people with a healthy body weight. Hemorrhoids: Diagnosis and Treatment Hemorrhoids should be diagnosed by a doctor to be sure that any bleeding you`ve noticed isn`t from a more serious digestive health problem or other issue. A simple physical exam can usually diagnose hemorrhoids, but your doctor may use a scope to look inside the rectum to confirm that hemorrhoids are the source of the bleeding. Typically, hemorrhoids aren`t serious health concerns. But, they can be very painful, so here are some tips to help treat and manage hemorrhoid pain: â†’ Use plain white toilet paper, since dyed or perfumed paper can cause irritation. â†’ Take over-the-counter pain relievers like acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen. â†’ Gently rub in a topical cream to help numb and soothe hemorrhoids â€” hydrocortisone creams or creams with witch hazel may help. â†’ Wear cotton underwear. â†’ Soak in a warm bath several times a day and avoid soaps with added fragrances. â†’ Avoid aggressive wiping after a bowel movement; gently pat the area clean with a baby wipe or moist towel. â†’ Resist the temptation to scratch Hemorrhoids that don`t go away on their own may ultimately require surgery. If your symptoms don`t improve in a week or two, talk to your doctor about other hemorrhoid treatment options. Hemorrhoids: Prevention When the hemorrhoid pain is finally gone, you can move on with your life. Once your hemorrhoids heal, stay free of pain by following these tips to prevent future hemorrhoids: â†’ Eat plenty of fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. â†’ Drink lots of water each day. â†’ Get regular exercise. â†’ Avoid laxatives, except those that encourage bulky stool like psyllium capsules (Metamucil, V-Lax). â†’ You can also prevent hemorrhoids and avoid unnecessary straining by not sitting on the toilet for too long trying to have a bowel movement. Don`t try to force bowel movements; return to the bathroom and try again later. When you do feel the urge to go, don`t ignore it â€” head to the bathroom right away. Avoiding constipation is the best way to minimize your risk of hemorrhoids. Eat a wide range of fresh fruits and vegetables, lead a physically active lifestyle, and drink plenty of water to help stave off this often painful condition. If you have the misfortune of getting a hemorrhoid then you may want to try some medication such as HemClear for Hemorrhoids. For best results, take 2 pills with a meal 3 times per day. With 5-7 days that yucky hemorrhoid should be gone. While I don`t see this as a miracle product, as it doesn`t work over night, it does help speed up the healing process. Taking the pills are rather easy. I experienced no ill side effects from taking these as directed. Overall, if you`re pregnant or just getting older - these are great to keep on hand!