There are some myths and misconceptions about what hemorrhoids are exactly, and what causes hemorrhoids to flare up.Often the first thing people think about is sitting on a cold hard surface (or a job that demands a great deal of sitting) as being the cause. But there are a host of causes commonly (and not so commonly) cited for this unpleasant condition. The reality is, they is no one answer as to why hemorrhoids flare up.
We can only talk in terms of probable causes and risk factors. But there are certainly things we need to avoid doing in order to avoid a hemorrhoid problem and (also) maintain a better general state of health.
What Causes Hemorrhoids to Flare Up?
Can Constipation Cause Hemorrhoids ? : Officially, one of the most likely causes for a hemorrhoid flare up, constipation necessitates straining during bowel movements which aggravates the veins in the lower rectum due to trying to pass overly hard and less than ideal stools, caused by poor, low fiber diets and probably ongoing dehydration to some extent. Such a problem (especially in the case of ongoing habitual straining when defecating) could be a likely cause of hemorrhoids.
Are There Particular Foods That Cause Hemorrhoids to Flare Up ? : Proceed with caution here. There is all kinds of advice on what to eat and what not to eat and what food might be causing a hemorrhoid problem. Focus on foods that don’t overwork your digestive system. Stick to smaller portions than you feel you could normally indulge in. And drink plenty of good quality water. Failure to do these things could impact negatively on one’s health and increase the risk of developing a hemorrhoid problem.
Pregnancy / Postpartum Hemorrhoids : Undoubtedly a fairly common occurrence (as if the process of childbirth wasn’t difficult enough) is for women to experience the indignity of hemorrhoids during times of pregnancy and after child birth.
Can Sitting Cause Hemorrhoids ? : The correlation between sitting (or extended periods of sitting) and the development of hemorrhoids is down to the idea that any downward motion of pressure on the veins that happen for long enough, may put a person at a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids.
Too much sitting can reduce circulation, weakening your pelvic floor and anal muscles. Kegel exercises are often advised. Regular sitting may not be the only cause of hemorrhoids, but could be a contributing factor.
Can Poor Anal Hygiene Cause Hemorrhoids ? : Poor hygiene is unlikely to be the cause, but the presence of an external hemorrhoid can make it difficult to maintain good perianal hygiene. This may lead to infection and a degeneration in the condition of the skin surrounding the hemorrhoid. This can result in the condition known as pruritus (extreme itchiness). So poor hygiene is not the cause of hemorrhoids, but it can cause further complications when you have an external hemorrhoid.
A Congenital Problem (Genetics/Heredity) ? : It is believed that the cause of hemorrhoids may partly be attributed to some kind of genetic component. However, it seems hard to reference any study which proves the link. Evidence for the link seems to originate from studies of varicose veins (a hemorrhoid is merely a type of varicose vein).
Can Exercise Cause Hemorrhoids ? : In most cases exercise in itself should not be the cause of a flare up. However, if you are naturally more prone to a hemorrhoid problem, and find yourself taking exercise to excessive levels, then a problem may arise. The two most common activities said to possibly cause hemorrhoids are daily bicycle riding and frequent heavy lifting.
Can Diarrhea Cause Hemorrhoids ? : Diarrhea (particularly chronic diarrhea) is often cited as a likely cause of hemorrhoids, perhaps due to excessive straining during bowel movements, or as a result of the dehydration which often occurs, or some other side effect of diarrhea, or whatever caused the diarrhea in the first place. There is some evidence that diarrhea may well cause hemorrhoids.
Ageing : Hemorrhoids is an age related problem to some extent. As we age the effects of any dietary deficiencies and the increasing likelihood of a less active lifestyle can lead to a host of degenerative diseases. Older people are in a higher risk category for hemorrhoids.
Can Anal Sex Cause Hemorrhoids ? : There is no evidence to point to, which would suggest this is true. However, the act of anal sex can cause the kind of friction which may result in micro tears in the rectum. The effects can be unpleasant and can lead a person to believe that a hemorrhoid flare up has happened as a result of having anal sex. This can happen all to easily in cases where the practice of anal sex is regularly featured in a person’s life, and especially when anal sex happens without sufficient lubrication.
Obesity and Hemorrhoids : Obesity is linked to poor overall health, often caused by lack of physical activity and poor diet. Sedentary lifestyles and bad diets are both risk factors for hemorrhoids. Obesity also adds pressure on the veins, making a person more susceptible to this condition.
Does Drinking Alcohol Cause Hemorrhoids ? : As is the case with other possible causes, the link between alcohol and hemorrhoids is indirect, but real. Drinking alcohol causes diuretic effects (meaning it can lead to dehydration / loss of bodily fluids). This in turn effects bowel movements (problems with constipation and straining). Therein lies the connection. Also (if you already have hemorrhoids) sufferers often report a worsening of symptoms after consuming alcohol.
Previous Rectal Surgery : Postoperative hemorrhoid occurrences can be attributed to complications from the surgery itself, or simply attributed to the factors that originally caused the problem. The later is probably true. In more severe cases, where a haemorrhoidectomy has been performed, immediate and longer term complications from the haemorrhoidectomy do occur.
Colon Cancer : There is no evidence to link hemorrhoids with colon cancer or vice versa, in terms of any cause effect relationship. The only connection is that the symptoms can seem similar, causing some confusion, until a proper diagnosis is made by a doctor.
Why Hemorrhoids Flare Up
The most common and authoritative reasons stated for what causes hemorrhoids to flare up, include straining during bowel movements (as sometimes happens with diarrhea or constipation), pregnancy, obesity and a deficiency of diet. Remember, that understanding the cause can often help indicate the proper treatment.