Does Running Cause Haemorrhoids

Running is a popular activity that delivers many great benefits for your health. However, it doesn’t keep you protected against everything.

With all the excitement around the London Marathon earlier this month, it’s not surprising that many of us have been inspired to put on our trainers and get out there. Like everyone, though, runners can also experience embarrassing issues such as Haemorrhoids. Here’s what you need to know about running and Haemorrhoids.

What are Haemorrhoids?

Commonly referred to as piles, Haemorrhoids are harmless lumps that develop around the lower rectum and anus. They develop due to swollen vessels underneath the skin just inside the anus. The blood vessel walls become too thin as they stretch, causing the veins to become irritated and bulge outwards.

There are different types of haemorrhoids you can develop, measured in degrees. First degree Haemorrhoids don’t tend to be visible from the outside. Instead, they develop inside of the anus and remain small. Second degree Haemorrhoids are larger and may protrude out of the anus whenever you use the lavatory.

If you have third-degree Haemorrhoids, they will protrude from the anus, but you will be able to push them back in. With fourth-degree Haemorrhoids, they are large lumps that you can’t push back inside.

The type of Haemorrhoids you have will determine the type of treatment required. Most Haemorrhoids tend to clear up by themselves, but treatment may be required.

Can running cause Haemorrhoids?

Despite popular belief, running does not cause Haemorrhoids. However, it can aggravate them. Instead, they tend to be caused by one, or a combination of the following:

  • Chronic diarrhoea
  • Obesity
  • Straining too hard during bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Heavy lifting

As you run, it may irritate the Haemorrhoids, causing them to flare up. However, this largely only becomes a problem if you are running long distances. Shorter, less intensive running may not cause you any issues at all. When you are running longer distances, you’ll also become more dehydrated. This is another thing that can cause Haemorrhoids to worsen.

Female athletes are known to be at a greater risk of developing Haemorrhoids if they exercise shortly after giving birth. This is because the progesterone hormone can cause the veins to swell up and running shortly afterwards can cause a flare-up.

Is running when you have Haemorrhoids a good idea?

Although you may be able to run safely with this condition, most of the time it can cause it to flare up. Rather than running, Mr Michael Stellakis often advises his patients that they may wish to take up a safer exercise such as cycling. This tends to be gentler on the area than the pressure generated while running.

So, running doesn’t cause a Haemorrhoid, but it may cause problems if you have one. If you have a Haemorrhoid that isn’t going away, call us on 01926 492969 to book a consultation today and see what treatment options are available.