Can Multivitamins Cause Hemorrhoids?

Medically reviewed by: Liza M. Capiendo, MD
Last modified on January 3rd, 2024

Multivitamins and supplements make up a large portion of the health and wellness industry today. 

Many people take multivitamins as part of their daily regimen to make sure they get all the nutrients they need to remain healthy. But can taking multivitamins actually cause hemorrhoids? 

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That’s what we’ll discuss in this article. We’ll also discuss:

  • Who should take multivitamins
  • Other health complications of taking excess multivitamins
  • Supplements that are good for hemorrhoids
  • Foods that can trigger hemorrhoids
  • Whether caffeine can lead to hemorrhoids
  • Medications that can lead to hemorrhoids

Can multivitamins cause hemorrhoids?

Yes, multivitamins can cause hemorrhoids if taken in excess. To understand this better, let’s first define fat- and water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body and don’t typically pass through urine. They include vitamins A, D, E, and K.

Water-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are not stored in the body and can pass through urine. These include vitamins B and C.

When you take multivitamins in excess, fat-soluble vitamins become trapped in the body and can lead to constipation

And constipation is a leading cause of hemorrhoids, as straining to have a bowel movement can cause the veins in the rectum to become swollen and inflamed.

This is especially true for vitamin D, which leads to high blood calcium levels in the body. High calcium is a known cause of constipation.

Interestingly, the most common cause of fat-soluble vitamin excess is over-supplementation. So it’s important to take multivitamins in moderation and to ensure you’re not taking too much.

Also, this doesn’t mean water-soluble vitamins can’t lead to hemorrhoids. For example, excess vitamin C can lead to diarrhea, which can lead to the development of hemorrhoids over time. 

But since water-soluble vitamins pass through the body more easily, this is less likely.

Should I take multivitamins?

If you’re young, healthy, and eat a balanced diet, you likely don’t need to take multivitamins. Multivitamins are only necessary if you have vitamin deficiencies or are at risk of becoming deficient.

For example, if you’re a vegan, you’re at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency. Similarly, if your diet lacks green vegetables, you may be at risk of developing vitamin B9 (folate) deficiency. 

Along the same lines, people who are dark skinned or those who don’t get a lot of sun exposure may become deficient in vitamin D. Although iron isn’t exactly a vitamin, you can develop iron-deficiency anemia if you have bleeding hemorrhoids.

In all of these cases, consulting with your doctor to determine if you need a multivitamin (or an iron supplement) would be beneficial.

Can multivitamins cause other health problems?

Yes, multivitamins can also cause health problems other than hemorrhoids when taken in excess.

For example, excess vitamin A can lead to hair loss, skin dryness, and even liver damage. And too much iron can lead to nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.

Similarly, excess vitamin D can lead to high blood calcium levels, which can cause bone and joint pain, nausea, vomiting, and mood swings.

Finally, taking too much vitamin K can lead to anemia and jaundice. 

Therefore, it’s important to consult your doctor before taking multivitamins or any other supplement to ensure your safety and health.

Which supplements are good for hemorrhoids?

There are a few supplements that may be beneficial for those suffering from hemorrhoids. These include fiber, probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, flavonoids, and zinc.

Fiber is great for preventing constipation and promoting regular bowel movements, which may help alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms. Probiotics can also help with digestion, while omega-3 fatty acids and flavonoids can help reduce inflammation in the body.

All of this can not only prevent hemorrhoids but also keep you comfortable in case they develop. 

In addition, zinc is known to promote healing by enhancing collagen production in the body, so it may reduce your recovery time after hemorrhoid surgery.

However, it’s important to discuss any supplements you plan to take with your doctor first, as they can interact with medications you may be taking and cause serious side effects.

What foods trigger hemorrhoids?

Any food that leads to constipation can trigger hemorrhoids. This includes processed foods, unhealthy fats, and refined carbs. Red meat, fried foods, and spicy foods can also aggravate the condition, so it’s important to avoid them.

At the same time, it’s important to get plenty of fiber and water. Fiber can help keep your bowel movements regular, so be sure to get at least 25-40 grams per day. Drinking enough water can also help prevent constipation and in turn, hemorrhoids.

Can caffeine cause hemorrhoids?

Caffeine can cause hemorrhoids, but it’s rare for it to do so. That’s because caffeine classically has a laxative effect, meaning it can help relieve constipation. This, inturn can help prevent hemorrhoids.

However, too much caffeine can lead to dehydration, which can cause constipation and thus lead to the development of hemorrhoids. So it may be a good idea to cut caffeine to control hemorrhoids.

Can medications cause hemorrhoids?

Yes, there are many medications that can cause constipation and hemorrhoids. These include certain antidepressants, hypertension medications, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).

Once again, it’s important to discuss any over-the-counter medications you’re taking with your doctor. If constipation is a side effect of a medication you’re taking, your doctor can suggest ways to help you manage it better. This may include increasing your fiber intake, drinking more water, or using stool softeners.

In some cases, your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medication that won’t cause constipation.

Yes, multivitamins can cause hemorrhoids

So can multivitamins cause hemorrhoids? Yes, but only if they’re taken in excess. They can also cause a wide range of other health complications when overused, such as mood swings, hair loss, and liver damage.

This is why it’s always recommended to consult your doctor before taking any kind of supplement, including multivitamins. 

Your doctor will be able to assess the risks and benefits associated with taking the supplement and help you make an informed decision.

In addition, it’s important to keep your diet in check by avoiding foods that can trigger hemorrhoids, like processed foods and unhealthy fats. 

Eating the right kind of foods and getting enough fiber and water can help keep your bowel movements regular and ease the symptoms of hemorrhoids.

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