What Causes Hemorrhoids

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The causes of hemorrhoids are myriad and vary from person to person. Here are some of the most common reasons cited for the cause of mild to severe hemorrhoidal flare-ups:

Anorectal Pressure: when the rectal veins or the veins inside the anus are exposed to added pressures, they can become inflamed, irritated, and swollen. Pressure can be caused by straining when using the toilet, heavy lifting, too much exercise, standing too long, sitting too long, pregnancy, or from weight lifting. It can also occur during anal intercourse.

Reactions to Certain Foods:  If you have digestive issues, it can lead to slow moving bowels and constipation; in turn, you can end up with piles. Alternatively, some foods are well known for their binding properties including things like dairy products, red meats, cheeses, and eggs.

Reactions to Medications: An array of medications, both prescribed and over the counter, are cited for the cause of constipation, which can lead to the formation of piles. You will want to refrain from using such products if you are dealing with a hemorrhoid flare-up or if you suffer from chronic hemorrhoids.

If you absolutely must take certain medications and you know they are contributing to your condition, talk with your doctor for advice on what you should do to alleviate your issue with hemorrhoidal flare-ups. Medications known for causing constipation and hemorrhoids include things like:

  • Narcotics/pain medications
  • Iron pills
  • Drugs for treating Parkinson’s Disease
  • Diuretics
  • Calcium-containing antacids
  • Calcium channel blockers/blood pressure meds
  • Antispasmodics
  • Antidepressants
  • Anticonvulsants
  • Aluminum-containing antacids

Chronic Diarrhea: this condition can not only cause a lot of pressure on the anorectal veins, when you have chronic diarrhea, it serves to further aggravate and prolong the existing condition. If you abuse laxatives, you may also find that it can contribute to the onset of internal and external hemorrhoids.

Not Enough Fiber: when you eat fiber containing foods the fiber helps to bulk up the bowels so that they can be more easily removed and evacuated. A lack of fiber containing foods in your diet can cause digestive issues and bowel irregularities that eventually contribute to the formation of piles.

Health Conditions: health conditions like Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Crohn’s Disease, liver disease, and even strokes can lead to irregular bowel movements, which later lead to hemorrhoid formations.

Life Changes: Aging, extended travel, and pregnancy are all live changes that are associated with a greater risk for getting hemorrhoids.

Identifying the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids*

The type of symptoms a person suffers with will be highly dependent on several factors. First, the type of hemorrhoids developed plays a role in the types of symptoms one will see.

For example, in some instances, a person can have internal hemorrhoids without any notable symptoms. Secondly, the degree of severity of hemorrhoids also plays a role in the symptoms you might experience. Some symptoms you might note with a hemorrhoidal flare-up include:

  • Mild to severe skin irritation
  • Mild to severe bleeding/the appearance of blood on toilet paper
  • The presence of mucus on toilet paper after cleansing
  • Brownish/red skin discolorations around the anal area
  • Mild to severe itchiness/burning
  • Stools streaked with bright red lines of blood
  • Rectal discomfort, pain, and burning
  • Sharp stabbing pains when walking or sitting
  • Mild to moderate discomfort when sitting or standing
  • Difficulty finding a comfortable position when walking, standing, or sitting
  • Difficulty cleansing the anal area following defecation
  • Thrombosed formations are accompanied by piles that feel like hardened lumps

*Please Remember: some internal hemorrhoids have no symptoms

A Few Other Reasons You Probably Have Hemorrhoids

Hypertension is another major reason, which strains the link between the vena cava and the portal vein in the rectal wall.

Obesity, prolonged sitting, poor posture and muscle tone that create undue pressure in the rectal area will lead to hemorrhoids. Pregnant women with hypertension are prone to it. Consumption of caffeine and even alcohol can help cause it.

Hemorrhoids Misdiagnoses

Hemorrhoids must not be confused with anal fissures though they exhibit similar symptoms. Hemorrhoids are normally temporary and not fatal. They disappear through proper treatment. The symptoms are not always apparent. You may notice blood in your stools and sense itching and pain. In such a case of ‘thrombosed hemorrhoids’, the patient will find a stiff lump in the anus.

The Importance of Healthy Diet and Exercise

Vitamin E deficiency and lack of fluid along with excess intake of dairy products can responsible for hemorrhoids. However ‘probiotic’ food like yogurt may prevent inflammation. Since internal hemorrhoids occur inside the rectum and are often not painful, the patient may not even be aware of it. However irritation may cause it to bleed.

By exercising, increasing fluid and fiber intake, and correcting posture one can prevent hemorrhoids. The use of laxatives and wearing of tight underwear will aggravate the condition. Women should increase their intake of fluids and dietary fiber just before menstruation. The use of squat toilets also brings relief.

The approach to hemorrhoids varies from person-to-person and even culture-to-culture. To many, hemorrhoids are temporary. Mild and home treatments are enough. Bidet, warm bath, analgesic are used for relief.

In the case of external hemorrhoids a warm compress can be applied which causes the rectal area to relax. Treating Hemorrhoids, in the early stages, with medicated cream proves beneficial. You might want to avoid steroid preparations, as they may aggravate the condition. The affected area should be kept dry and clean with adequate lubrication. Suppositories will also help.

Natural or herbal remedies should be tried under proper guidance to avoid drug interaction. Use of horse chestnut, witch hazel, aloe vera, Japanese pagoda plant extracts, and honey has proved to be effective. Consumption of plantain, seed husks, chamomile tea is encouraged for soft stool. Surgical treatments for Hemorrhoids include ‘Galvanic electrotherapy, rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, cryosurgery etc.

Just knowing the answer to the question, what are hemorrhoids is not enough. A thorough knowledge of its causes is essential if one intends to avoid it for good.

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