Hemorrhoids Causes: What They Are and How to Treat Them
If you’re one of the many people who suffer from hemorrhoids, you know how uncomfortable and embarrassing they can be. Even if you haven’t, it’s worth learning strategies for prevention, especially if you’re in a risk group for the disease. In order to understand solutions for hemorrhoids, let’s first learn what they are and what causes them.
Everyone has “hemorrhoidal cushions,” which are anatomical pads along the anal canal. These cushions are necessary for maintaining proper intestinal continence, and as long as they remain healthy, you won’t even know they’re there. Hemorrhoidal disease is a rectal condition that happens when the vascular tissue of veins on these cushions becomes inflamed from excess pressure, resulting in itching, swelling, pain, and even rectal bleeding. There are various hemorrhoids causes that can trigger this inflammation.
Hemorrhoids can be internal (inside the anus) or external (on the skin around the anus), and they are primarily caused by one of these factors:
- Improper nutrition. A poor diet can result cause inflammation anywhere in the body, and hemorrhoidal tissue is no exception. Avoid over-consuming irritating foods like coffee, alcohol, sugar, and processed foods.
- Hereditary factors. Often, your genes can increase your risk of getting hemorrhoids. No matter your age group or nationality, make sure you research your family’s medical history!
- Laxative abuse. Sometimes people attempt to forcibly lose weight by taking laxatives. This is terrible for your health in general, but especially for your digestive system, as it stresses and irritates the sphincter.
- A sedentary lifestyle. Physical inactivity is linked to a host of negative health symptoms, so it’s not overly surprising that this is on the list as well. Sedentary lifestyles often increase pelvic pressure and the risk of constipation, both of which contribute to hemorrhoidal disease.
- Excess weight. Hemorrhoids are far more common in those who are overweight or obese, because the extra pounds put pressure on blood vessels and hemorrhoidal veins.
- Pregnancy. As if pregnant women don’t already have enough to deal with, baby weight causes excessive pressure on the hips. Future mothers should be extra-careful to avoid additional risk factors.
- Constipation. The strain of trying to force yourself to go to the bathroom when constipated can irritate the sphincter and put pressure on hemorrhoidal veins, causing inflammation.
Identifying hemorrhoidal disease isn’t always easy. Sometimes you won’t even feel pain or discomfort during the beginning stages, especially if your hemorrhoids are internal. The main warning bell should be seeing bright red blood on the toilet paper after defecating. Rectal bleeding is never a good sign!
Don’t let internal hemorrhoids go untreated, even if they’re not causing you pain, because this can make your situation much worse. Basically, the inflammation and pressure will increase until the hemorrhoids undergo a “prolapse.” This means that the hemorrhoid is forced out of the rectum, typically from the strain of defecation. Usually prolapsed hemorrhoids can be pushed back inside the anus manually, but in severe cases they cannot and will require surgery to fix. This is why you should take steps as promptly as possible to prevent the need for an operation!
However, if you do end up needing to address your hemorrhoidal disease through surgery, also don’t make the mistake of thinking your problem is completely solved afterwards. Returning to your old habits is a great way to cause a relapse, since the factors that triggered you before can easily start causing problems again.
Sustainable lifestyle changes are the only way to make sure hemorrhoidal disease leaves you alone for good. Eat a diet high in fiber (ideally from fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), make a point of exercising every day, and stay up to date with your medical examinations. These things will not only help stave off hemorrhoidal disease in the future, but will have you feeling happier and more energetic in other areas of your life as well. Health is a holistic process!
If your hemorrhoids causes are hereditary instead of lifestyle-based, your job might be a little harder. However, you don’t necessarily need doctors and prescriptions to keep your hemorrhoidal disease in check. Natural remedies are a great way to go, and your body will thank you for treating it the way it’s supposed to be treated instead of taking artificial measures to solve your problems. Everyone deserves to live healthy and hemorrhoid-free. Home remedies and lifestyle changes will help make sure you do.