Haemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lowest part of your rectum and anus. Sometimes the walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that the veins bulge and get irritated, especially when you poop. Swollen haemorrhoids are also called piles.

Haemorrhoids are one of the most common causes of rectal bleeding. They are rarely dangerous and usually clear up in a couple of weeks.


There are two kinds of haemorrhoids:

1. Internal haemorrhoids: This occurs in the lower rectum and are typically painless even when they produce bleeding. You are able to detect you have an internal haemorrhoid when you see bright red blood on the toilet paper or dripping into the toilet bowl. In few cases, they may prolapse, or extend beyond the anus, causing several potential problems.

2. External haemorrhoids: This develops under the skin and around the anus. They are usually uncomfortable because the overlying skin becomes irritated and erodes. This is worse when there’s blood clot inside the external haemorrhoid, this clot usually dissolves leaving excess skin which may itch or become irritated.


Haemorrhoids have a number of causes, although often the cause is unknown. They may result from straining during bowel movements or from the increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy.

Other causes include;

  1. Physical straining like weight lifting.
  2. Standing or sit for long stretches of time.
  3. Constipation or diarrhoea that doesn’t clear up and this is often worsened by coughing, sneezing, and vomiting could worsen the situation.
  4. Weakening of the connective tissues that support and hold haemorrhoids in place as a result of old age.


Signs and symptoms of haemorrhoids may include:

1. Painless bleeding during bowel movements

2. Itching or irritation in your anal region

3. Pain or discomfort

4. Swelling around your anus

5. A lump near your anus, which may be sensitive or


Occurrences of haemorrhoids can be prevented by;

1. Eating fibre from plant foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans, and legumes.

2. Sufficient water intake which will help you avoid hard stools and constipation, so you strain less during bowel movements.

3. Exercise/physical activity such as walking a half-hour every day will help keep your blood and your bowels moving.

4. Use the toilet as soon as you feel the urge.

References: Harvard health, WebMD, Mayo Clinic,