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November 2009 Mayo Clinic Health Letter Highlights Self-Care Tips for Hemorrhoids, Interactive Video Games Improve Health and Heart Failure Treatments
Date:11/13/2009

ROCHESTER, Minn., Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Here are highlights from the November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter. You may cite this publication as often as you wish. Reprinting is allowed for a fee. Mayo Clinic Health Letter attribution is required. Include the following subscription information as your editorial policies permit: Visit www.HealthLetter.MayoClinic.com or call toll-free for subscription information, 800-333-9037, extension 9771.

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Horror, it's Hemorrhoids -- Self-care Tips for Common Problem

By about age 50, more than half of adults have dealt with hemorrhoids. The November issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter covers home treatments that can relieve symptoms of this common and embarrassing problem.

Hemorrhoids are blood-engorged veins in the lower rectum (anal canal) that form tiny sacs (anal cushions) when too much pressure is exerted on the veins serving the pelvic and rectal areas. Increased pressure can result from straining during bowel movements, sitting on the toilet for an extended time, chronic diarrhea or constipation, obesity, lifting heavy objects, sitting or standing for long periods and pregnancy.

Symptoms can include painless bleeding during bowel movements, leakage of feces and mucus, severe pain, swelling or inflammation. Embarrassment aside, it's important to talk with a doctor about any rectal bleeding. While hemorrhoids generally don't cause serious problems, other, more serious concerns, such as polyps, cancer or inflammatory bowel disease, can cause bleeding, too. A colonoscopy may be needed to determine the cause of bleeding.

Mild pain, swelling and inflammation from hemorrhoids
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