Causes of Hemorrhoids
It is still unclear as to the exact causes of hemorrhoids but there are many theories which attempt to explain this medical phenomenon.
We do know that pressure in the anal sphincter, which is the muscle that sorrounds the anal canal, is more than likely the culprit. However, it is not clear if this pressure results in actually causing a hemorrhoid, or if it is the pressure which enlarges an already present hemorrhoid. If the latter is the case, then straining or forcing a bowel movement, would more than likely pull the hemorrhoids with the stool and the force of the stool, passing through a tighter sphincter, would in essence cause hemorrhoids by enlarging the vein itself.
Pressure in the Anal Area
It is pretty certain that with existing hemorrhoids, pressure in the anal area will simply make the condition worse and may enlarge the hemorrhoid until it may actually protrude from the anus. This is then known as a prolapsed hemorrhoid. Enlarging a hemorrhoid can also cause hemorrhoids to rupture or tear which in turn causes bleeding. Pressure may also cause anal fissures, which is a tear in the anal canal. This condition will also normally result in bleeding from the rectum.
Continuing on with the theory that pressure in the anus causes hemorrhoids to enlarge and presuming that this theory may also be the reason for hemorrhoids to occur in the first place, lets look at a number of lifestyle activities and possible causes for this pressure and the existence of hemorrhoids.
Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Not enough fiber - It is thought that not having enough fiber in your diet will cause harder bowel movements which will be more difficult to expel and therefore produce pressure in the anal area.
Not enough fluid intake - Not drinking enough water or any other fluids may also result in harder, more compacted stools and this in turn, results in constipation and would cause additional pressure in the anus.
Pregnancy - Constipation is very common in pregnancy, and the act of giving birth will also cause tremendous pressure in the area. It is very common for pregnant, or new mothers to experience hemorrhoids.
Weight lifting or lifting heavy objects - This exerts pressure on the sphincter. It is also thought that other types of training and exercise will cause hemorrhoids due to additional pressure from the extra physical excursion.
Tumors - The existence of tumors in the pelvis cause hemorrhoids to enlarge by pressing against veins which drain upwards from the anal canal.
There are many myths surrounding the cause of hemorrhoids. These are some examples of factors which DO NOT cause hemorrhoids:
• Anal Sex
• Sitting on a hard, cold surface.
• Wearing a wet bathing suit
• Only older people get hemorrhoids
• Black pepper causes hemorrhoids
It is important to remember that hemorrhoids are also thought to be a hereditary condition, therefore making some people more prone to hemorrhoids than others.
The exact cause of hemorrhoids is not known, but factors such as your diet and certain activities may result in the cause of hemorrhoids and will almost certainly assist the growth of already present hemorrhoids.
Go to our H-hemorrhoids page