We don’t yet know the exact causes of hemorrhoids – but contrary to popular belief, everyone has hemorrhoids. It is only when they enlarge that they become a problem. Many theories as to what makes hemorrhoids enlarge and cause pain have developed over time.
Top 9 Causes of Hemorrhoids:
- Pregnancy. Pregnancy is a major cause of hemorrhoids. In addition to a large (and growing) pressure on the abdominal, pregnant women tire easily and sit more than usual for prolonged periods of time. (Read about natural remedies for hemorrhoids here.)
- Fiber. Or lack thereof. Hard stool can irritate the hemorrhoid veins in the rectum. By increasing the amount of fiber intake one can assume that stool will soften, taking less of a toll on the hemorrhoid veins. In addition, straining on the toilet can put increased pressure on the abdominals which will make the hemorrhoid veins more susceptible to irritation.
- Age. Hemorrhoids tend to develop most in those who are between the ages of 45 and 65 years old.
- Obesity. Carrying around extra weight creates extreme abdominal pressure. This pressure blocks the blood flow to the hemorrhoid veins and makes them susceptible to irritation.
- Heavy Lifting. People tend to hold their breath when lifting heavy objects. This will create extreme abdominal pressure.
- Sitting for extended periods. While the pressure is not extreme on the abdominal, sitting for extended periods puts a constant pressure on the abdominal. It is thought that this constant pressure can be just as damaging as heavy lifting.
- Diet. High processed foods in the diet will put one at a higher risk for hemorrhoid enlargement. In addition, lack of liquid intake will have an effect on the stool, making the stool harder and increasing one’s risk of hemorrhoid enlargement.
- Anal intercourse. For obvious reasons the hemorrhoids can be irritated, stretched, and torn during anal intercourse.
- Chronic Diarrhea or Constipation. Both diarrhea and constipation will create immense pressure on the abdominals from straining and frequent bathroom visits. Not to mention the extended amount of time spent sitting on the toilet will contribute to the irritation.
Research suggests that extreme abdominal pressure is one of the many causes of hemorrhoids. Anything from vomiting, straining on the toilet, excessive sitting on the toilet, sneezing, coughing, and lifting can be considered “extreme.” These are all natural things that everyone does. It is important to know, however, that any of these activities can make one more susceptible to hemorrhoid irritation.
In addition, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding processed foods, having a diet high in fiber and in water intake will put you at a lower risk of developing irritation in the hemorrhoid veins.
If you suspect that you might have a hemorrhoid you should seek out a physician to eliminate the possibility of any other illnesses that have similar symptoms such as cancer, skin irritations, and polyps.