Everyone has internal hemorrhoids, also known as piles. They help prevent fecal incontinence and protect fragile veins in the rectal area. For some, they remain of normal size and present no discomfort.
- However, it is estimated that at least 50% of American adults will experience painful hemorrhoids at some point during their lifetime.
- Although they are not dangerous or life-threatening, they can be extremely uncomfortable.
If there is increased pressure in the rectal area (for various reasons), over time, delicate blood vessels can become enlarged, thin, swollen, and painful. In fact, hemorrhoids are often referred to as varicose veins of the rectum or anus. This is typically when a person says they “have hemorrhoids.”