What are hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are natural cushions of tissue and tiny blood vessels located at the junction of rectum and anus. Along with the sphincter, this normal tissue is responsible for complete closure of the anus and prevents any leakage. During a bowel movement, these cushions become smaller to allow stool to pass through. Everyone has them and, in most cases, problems only arise when they become larger than they should. Hemorrhoids are classified Grade 1 - 4 according to size, location and degree of prolapse.

What are the symptoms?

Hemorrhoids may often be quite painless and can even go quite unnoticed by the person affected. Other sufferers may experience any or all of these symptoms:

  • Bleeding during bowel movements.
  • Swelling protruding from the anus. In some cases, the hemorrhoids might feel like small lumps in the anus and project from the back passage only after straining on the toilet; in severe cases, the swellings will be constantly visible.
  • Itching, discharge or dull pain.