Nowadays, it’s common for people to do an Internet search to learn more about medical conditions, symptoms and possible relief options.

A consumer report from the Food and Drug Administration said that in a yearly roundup of popular search words, hemorrhoids were among the top trending health issues in the United States.

According to LiveScience, Google search data found that interest in searching “hemorrhoids” more than doubled between 2008 and 2013. The term was searched approximately 40,000 a week between 2004 and 2008, the number rose in the middle of 2008 to about 80,000 times weekly. In some weeks in 2013, the search reaches almost 120,000 times.

The National Institutes of Health explains that hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed veins in the anus or lower part of the rectum, and they affect 75 percent of people at some point throughout their life, reported USA Today.

People may be embarrassed to ask their doctors about hemorrhoids
“One of the misconceptions about hemorrhoids is that ‘nobody has it but me,'” Moore told LiveScience. “Actually, everybody has hemorrhoids, but not everybody has symptoms of hemorrhoids.”

ABC News said that doctors believe the increase in searching for hemorrhoids could be because people would rather look online than ask a doctor about the condition.

“I’m not exactly surprised that it is something people would rather Google as opposed to discuss it with their doctors,” Dr. Patrick Okolo, chief of endoscopy at Johns Hopkins Hospital, told ABC News. “Even though it is very common and affects anywhere from 14 to 20 million Americans, most people do not discuss it with their doctors for those reasons.”

When too much pressure is put on the blood vessels, hemorrhoids can become swollen or inflamed, leading to symptoms like bleeding or pain. Heavy lifting, pregnancy, obesity and long hours of sitting can cause symptomatic hemorrhoids.

Elizabeth Ward, registered dietician, told USA Today that most people don’t get enough fiber in their diets, which can lead to constipation and cause symptoms.

“When it comes to prevention, think fiber and fluid, but make sure to increase both of these together,” Heather Mangieri, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, told USA Today. “Water is essential if you’re eating a higher-fiber diet. And the fact that they can be painful to sit on might be a good thing, since movement is another important prescription for prevention and healing.”

Treating hemorrhoids
Read about the latest relief options for both internal and external hemorrhoids.