About half of those over 50 suffer from hemorrhoid symptoms, including bleeding or pain and itchiness around the anus, according to Harvard Women's Health Watch. Constipation and straining can make the cluster-like veins in the rectum swell and protrude, and older adults are more likely to be constipated for a variety of reasons, says Dr. Messinger-Rapport. Medications, like blood pressure meds, can slow down your digestion. So can a lack of fluids, exercise, and fiber in your diet, including too few fresh fruits and vegetables.
What to do: Topical creams can minimize the swelling and itchiness, as can sitz baths in warm water, says Roshini Rajapaksa, M.D., a gastroenterologist and co-author of What the Yuck?! The Freaky and Fabulous Truth About Your Body. To combat constipation, eat plenty of fiber (beans, brown rice), exercise, and up your fluid intake (even if it makes you pee more). If that doesn't work, you can ask your doctor about surgical removal.