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They may be embarrassing to talk about, but they are more common than one might think. And just about any woman who's given birth knows what they're all about. They are hemorrhoids, and they are a real pain in the rear.
What exactly are hemorrhoids? The journey begins in the large intestine, where the lowest part of the colon becomes the rectum and anal area. This area is lined by a thin membrane, and lying just beneath the membrane are clusters of veins collectively called hemorrhoids. For any number of reasons, these vessels may become swollen or inflamed, and when they do, they become the hemorrhoids we think of in those somewhat embarrassing commercials. Symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
Most cases of hemorrhoids can be self-treated with over-the-counter remedies. If, however, the problem persists or bothers you to a point that your normal daily activities are affected, seek medical attention. Treatment options exist that can alleviate the problem rather quickly so you no longer have to suffer, as the commercials say, "the embarrassing pain and itching of hemorrhoids."