Hemorrhoids refer to a condition where the veins in the lower rectum and around the anus are swollen, dilated and inflamed (similar to varicose veins in legs). This can result in pain, itching, irritation, burning and sometimes bleeding – these symptoms indicate a flare-up. Common causes of hemorrhoids are:
Straining during bowel movements
Straining due to chronic constipation or diarrhea
Sitting or standing for long periods of time
Pregnancy or childbirth
Exerting yourself with heavy lifting
Genetics because hemorrhoids can run in families
Weakening of the connective tissue in the rectum and anus that occurs with age
For information on how to reduce the risk of hemorrhoid flare-ups, see Live Better.
A balanced diet with plenty of fiber and water softens stools and make them easier to pass. This reduces pressure on hemorrhoids. If you eat a high-fiber diet you will be less likely to become constipated. The most common causes of constipation are a diet low in fiber or a diet high in animal fats, such as cheese and meats. Read more
Did You Know?
Q: Are hemorrhoids hereditary?
Yes, hemorrhoids tend to run in families. If anyone in your family has hemorrhoids, it’s a good idea for you to take care of your lifestyle and diet.