According to the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, hemorrhoids can be caused by a variety of factors, including pregnancy, chronic constipation or diarrhea, overuse of laxatives, and straining during bowel movements. Age and heredity can also contribute to the onset of hemorrhoids. Symptoms include bleeding during bowel movements, itching, and painful bumps around the anus.
Dietary changes -- adding plenty of fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables and whole grains -- are recommended by the ASCRS to help prevent or reduce hemorrhoids, as is drinking plenty of liquids. You can soothe the itching and burning by soaking in a bath of plain warm water for about 10 minutes. Ointments and other over-the-counter remedies may also help.