Hemorrhoids are enlarged veins located in the lower part of the rectum and the anus. The veins become swollen due to increased pressure within them, usually from constipation or profuse diarrhea, and during pregnancy because of the pressure of the enlarged uterus. These conditions lead to increased pressure within the hemorrhoidal veins that causes them to swell. Other conditions, for example chronic liver disease, may also cause increased venous pressure and may be associated with hemorrhoids. The most common symptom and sign from hemorrhoids is painless bleeding. Hemorrhoids are very common and are estimated to occur in up to one-half of the population by the age of 50. The risk of hemorrhoids can be decreased by eating a high fiber diet, staying well hydrated, getting regular exercise, and trying to have a bowel movement as soon as possible after the urge arises. Most people with hemorrhoids have an excellent prognosis. While symptoms of bleeding or discomfort may flare from time to time, they don’t last long and can be relieved with symptomatic care at home.