What Causes Haemorrhoids

Commonly referred to as piles, haemorrhoids are thought to affect up to 80% of the population at some time in their life. Typically harmless, most haemorrhoids tend to wax and wane by themselves. However, there are cases where they may persist for longer, or lead to more serious symptoms.

Here, you’ll discover what causes haemorrhoids and the best way to treat them.

Common causes of haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids develop due to strain placed upon the veins around the anus and rectum. Any level of straining can cause them to become engorged and swollen.

Some of the most common causes of haemorrhoids include:

  • Straining when you empty the bowels
  • Pressure on the pelvis due to weight gain or pregnancy
  • Straining to lift heavy objects
  • A low fibre diet
  • Standing or sitting for long periods

Certain groups of people are also more susceptible to developing haemorrhoids, with risk factors including genetics, pregnancy, and age.

Can you prevent haemorrhoids?

There are things you can do to reduce the risk of developing haemorrhoids. Let’s look at some of the most effective prevention methods you can follow:

Eating a diet high in fibre – Try and consume plenty of fibre in your daily diet. Fruits, whole grains, and vegetables are all high in fibre, helping to soften the stools and reduce straining while on the toilet.

Avoid straining – Some haemorrhoids are caused by straining, avoid holding your breath or pushing too hard when going to the toilet. Similarly, avoid lifting anything that is too heavy, and placing pressure onto the abdomen.

Stay well hydrated – Drinking plenty of fluids will help to soften the stools, making them much easier to pass. Aim to drink six to eight glasses of water each day.

Go to the toilet when you feel the urge – If you don’t go to the loo when you feel the urge to, it can cause the stools to harden. This increases the risk you’ll need to strain to pass them. Always go to the loo whenever you get the urge.

Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time – Sitting and standing for long periods of time places pressure onto the anus. Take regular breaks to either walk around or sit down to reduce the risk of developing haemorrhoids.

Exercise regularly – Exercise is renowned for its plethora of health benefits. By keeping active, it helps to prevent constipation and aid in weight loss, both of which help to reduce the risk.

If you do develop haemorrhoids, there are excellent treatments available. However, pregnant women who develop them need to take precautions.

How can you treat haemorrhoids in pregnancy?

Having piles during pregnancy won’t harm your baby, but they may cause discomfort. Many treatment options are not safe to perform during pregnancy, so you will need to focus on more natural methods of getting rid of them. These include drinking plenty of water and consuming plenty of fibre. However, a more definitive treatment may need to be reserved until after the baby has been delivered. Haemorrhoids should disappear by themselves, but treatment is typically required to help ease the symptoms.

Book a consultation with Mr Stellakis to discuss the most effective treatment option for you.