Hemorrhoids are swollen and twisted veins that develop in the anus or rectum. While most people don’t like to talk about the problem, three out of four people will experience the condition firsthand.
Hemorrhoids don’t always develop on their own. Sometimes they appear as a result of other conditions or lifestyle habits. While it is possible to take steps to prevent hemorrhoids, it is important to be realistic about your own risk of developing the condition. Accepting your risk of developing hemorrhoids is the first step in starting to do something about it.
To better understand your risk of developing hemorrhoids in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Los Angeles, consider the top conditions associated with their development:
- Constipation: Constipation often leads to dry, hard stools that are difficult to pass, which could prompt damage to the veins in the anus and rectum. In most cases constipation is caused by unhealthy lifestyle habits like staying sedentary, not eating enough fiber and being dehydrated. To avoid constipation, try eating more fiber in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Obesity: Being overweight is one of the leading contributors to hemorrhoids, as excess weight around the abdomen adds too much pressure to the veins in the anus and rectum. Eating a healthy diet rich in fiber and getting more exercise will reduce hemorrhoid risk, but can also help you lose weight, thus reducing your risk even further. Being pregnant also increases a person’s risk of developing hemorrhoids.
- Chronic Inflammation: Inflammatory bowel disease is highly associated with hemorrhoid development. Patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis experience severe abdominal pain and frequent diarrhea, which can lead to hemorrhoids.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS affects about one in five Americans and is most often marked by periods of constipation or diarrhea, both of which can lead to hemorrhoids. Sometimes, managing stress and making dietary changes can reduce the frequency of these symptoms and lessen a person’s risk of developing hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids aren’t always a serious medical concern. Sometimes they are more of a nuisance than anything else, but the symptoms of hemorrhoids can grow severe, especially if they aren’t treated. For most people, the symptoms of hemorrhoids are itching, irritation and pain, particularly during bowel movements. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your colorectal specialist to learn about hemorrhoid removal and other treatment options.