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10 Causes of Hemorrhoids

By By NRI Staff • Updated November 18, 2022

Hemorrhoids are a condition that can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. They are caused by veins in the rectum or anus that have become swollen and inflamed. Hemorrhoids can cause pain, itching, and bleeding and can be very irritating and embarrassing. Hemorrhoids are a common problem, and they can be caused by many things. Here are ten of the most common causes of hemorrhoids.

1. Lack of Dietary Fiber

Fiber helps to keep stools soft and easy to pass. When there is not enough fiber in the diet, stools become hard and dry. This can cause constipation, which leads to straining during bowel movements. Straining puts pressure on the veins in the rectum and anus, which can cause them to become inflamed and swollen.

hotdog sandwich on brown wooden table

2. Heavy Lifting

Heavy lifting is one of the leading causes of hemorrhoids. The pressure from heavy lifting can cause the veins in the rectum and anus to swell and stretch. This can lead to hemorrhoids. Heavy lifting can also cause constipation, which can lead to straining and further aggravate hemorrhoids.

black adjustable-weight barbell

3. Diarrhea

Diarrhea causes straining, which leads to increased pressure in the veins of the rectum and anus. This pressure can cause hemorrhoids to form. In addition, diarrhea can cause irritation and inflammation in the tissues around the rectum and anus, leading to further discomfort and exacerbation of symptoms. If you are experiencing diarrhea and also have hemorrhoids, it is important to take extra precautions to avoid worsening your condition.

man in grey sweater experiencing diarrhea

4. Aging

While hemorrhoids can occur at any age, they are most common in people over 50. There are several factors that contribute to the development of hemorrhoids as we age. One is that the tissues around the anus tend to lose their elasticity as we get older, which makes them more prone to swelling and inflammation. Additionally, aging can also affect our muscles and ligaments, which can lead to a weakening of the pelvic floor muscles.

smiling woman in gray cardigan

5. Straining During Bowel Movements

One of the most common causes of hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements. Straining puts pressure on these veins, which can cause them to bulge and swell. Over time, this can lead to hemorrhoids. If you find that you’re having trouble passing stool, take some time to relax and try again later. You may also want to consider using a stool softener or laxative if you have difficulty with regularity. Exercising regularly and eating plenty of fruits and vegetables can also help keep your bowels moving smoothly.

Tensive female in warm sweater sitting on bench and clenching fists and grinning

6. Constipation

Constipation is a common problem that can lead to hemorrhoids. When you are constipated, your stool becomes hard and dry. This can cause pressure and straining when you go to the bathroom. This pressure can cause the veins to swell, which leads to hemorrhoids.

constipated stick figure

7. Excessive Sitting

When you sit for long periods of time, the pressure on your veins increases, which can lead to hemorrhoids. One of the best ways to prevent hemorrhoids is to be active throughout the day. If you have to sit for long periods of time, take breaks every hour or so to get up and move around. When you do have to sit, make sure you use a cushion to support your lower back and keep your feet flat on the floor.

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8. Pregnancy

When a woman is pregnant, the weight of the baby and the added pressure on the pelvic area can cause hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can also be caused by constipation, which is common during pregnancy. Pregnant women should eat plenty of fiber to avoid constipation, and they should also drink plenty of water. If hemorrhoids do occur during pregnancy, they can usually be treated with over-the-counter medications or by home remedies such as ice packs or warm baths.

pregnant woman in seashore

9. Genetics

Hemorrhoids can be hereditary, meaning that if one or both parents have them, their children are more likely to develop them as well. This is because hemorrhoids are caused by weak veins in the anus and rectum. These veins can become swollen and irritated when pressure is put on them, such as during a bowel movement. Genetics can increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids because it can cause the veins to be weaker and more susceptible to swelling.

woman holding test tubes

10. Obesity

When you’re overweight, the extra pressure on your abdomen puts stress on your veins. This can cause them to bulge and become swollen, resulting in hemorrhoids. In addition, the increased heat and humidity near the rectum caused by excess fat can create an ideal environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. This can lead to irritation and inflammation of the tissues around the anus, another common cause of hemorrhoids. Obesity can also make it difficult to move your bowels properly, which can put added strain on your rectal veins. 

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Lohsiriwat, Varut. “Treatment of hemorrhoids: A coloproctologist’s view.” World journal of gastroenterology vol. 21,31 (2015): 9245-52. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i31.9245

Staroselsky, Arthur et al. “Hemorrhoids in pregnancy.” Canadian family physician Medecin de famille canadien vol. 54,2 (2008): 189-90.

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