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Hemorrhoids are masses or clumps ("cushions") of tissue within the anal canal that contain blood vessels. Although most people think hemorrhoids are abnormal, they are present in everyone. It is only when the
hemorrhoidal cushions enlarge that hemorrhoids become susceptible to trauma
from passing stool and cause problems (such as bleeding or anal discomfort) and
are considered abnormal or a disease. Like anal fissures, bleeding from hemorrhoids usually
is mild and does not cause anemia or low blood pressure.
Rarely, a person may develop
iron deficiency anemia as a result of repeated hemorrhoidal bleeding over several months to years,
especially if the dietary intake of iron is low.