Hemorrhoid Causes and Prevention
To understand hemorrhoid causes and hemorrhoid prevention is to first understand what a hemorrhoid is. Hemorrhoids are known as the varicose veins of the rectum and anus. Veins carry blood throughout the body. When a vein becomes a varicose vein, that means it becomes swollen and fills with blood.
Pressure on veins can reduce the blood flow. This is a big contributing factor to hemorrhoids developing during pregnancy. Because of the pressure placed by the growing fetus, many women develop hemorrhoids or varicose veins for the first time.
Other hemorrhoid causes are:
- Pressure and straining during a bowel movement
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Too much standing
- Too much sitting
- Spending long periods of time on the toilet reading
Hemorrhoid Prevention Tips
- Make sure that your diet is rich in fiber
- Drink enough water
- Move your body – exercise
- Don’t resist to urge to have a bowel movement.
You should be consuming 25-30 grams of fiber per day in the form of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains.
Hydration is important for hemorrhoid prevention. It’s optimal to drink 60-80 ounces of fluid per day, preferably water. Caffeine and alcoholic beverages can dehydrate the body. (Check with your doctor if your drinking is limited because of existing health issues.)
Move your body. Your body needs exercise for good heart health and colon and rectal health. Don’t sit or stand for long periods of time. If you have a sedentary job, get up every hour and walk around the office for a few minutes.
When you have the urge to have a bowel movement, don’t put it off. Of course, if a bathroom is unavailable, you will need to hold off on that urge. However, if you constantly ignore that urge, over time, your body will ignore its signals. This can result in constipation and hemorrhoids.
Getting adequate fiber and fluids will allow you to pass softer stools and eliminate straining. Straining while having bowel movements causes pressure in the rectum and anus which can result in hemorrhoids.
Even with the best health habits, hemorrhoid prevention may not be possible. It’s important to receive treatment, especially if the hemorrhoids are interfering with your quality of life with symptoms of pain or bleeding. Something more serious may also be going on.