Yes, that’s right. At the top of the list, accompanying Whitney Houston, Hurricane Sandy, Presidential Election, Kate Middleton, etc., as the most frequently searched terms this year, were “hemorrhoids,” according to Google’s annual “zeitgeist” report.
Analysts speculated that this could be due to the personal nature of the condition people prefer to cure hemorrhoids at home, rather than talk to their physician about it.
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels that are found in and around the anus and lower rectum. They can be internal, which means inside the anus. Or, they may be external, which means they are found outside the anus.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Hemorrhoids are dilated blood vessels, but the reasons why they occur are not always clear. Some types of hemorrhoids run in families.
Other factors that increase a person’s risk for hemorrhoids include:
- anal intercourse
- chronic diarrhea
- cancer of the rectum or colon
- a diet that lacks fiber
- frequent coughing and sneezing
- liver disease, such as cirrhosis
- loss of muscle tone in the rectum due to aging and rectal surgery
- jobs that require standing or sitting for long periods of time
- straining due to constipation