Hemorrhoids involve the response of the blood vessels in the area of the rectum to pressure. This pressure can come from various sources and typically will cause pain and irritation. There are various causes of hemorrhoids, and knowing them can help in making lifestyle changes and minimize the pain they cause.
Constipation is the main cause of hemorrhoids. This causes bowel movements to put strain on the rectal area, thereby putting pressure on the blood vessels and causing swelling and irritation. Strained bowel movements can cause bleeding from the blood vessels in the rectal area as well. Preventing constipation is an important step in preventing and minimizing the effects of hemorrhoids.
Pregnancy is the next leading cause of hemorrhoids. Pregnancy can also cause an increase in the pressure of the blood vessels in the rectal area. Hormonal changes are known to make blood vessels work harder which can cause swelling and irritation. Hemorrhoids due to pregnancy are usually temporary, but can be an important consideration in becoming pregnant.
Chronic Venous Insufficiency is the third leading cause of hemorrhoids. This condition occurs when the blood vessels in the area of the rectum are weakened, causing pressure, swelling and irritation. The pressure can be magnified with sitting or standing for long periods. Exercise and smoking in concert with CVI can cause irritation of the rectal blood vessels for those that are overweight.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome, known as IBS, can cause hemorrhoids, especially in cases when IBS is dominated by constipation. Diarrhea is also known to put extra pressure on the rectal blood vessels. Portal Hypertension, which is an increase in the pressure of the blood vessels running from the intestines to the liver, can cause hemorrhoids due to the increased blood flow and pressure.
Any type of hemorrhoid can cause irritation, pain, and bleeding in the areas of the anus and rectum. It is important to identify the cause of your hemorrhoids for future preventative measures. You may want to look at dietary and lifestyle changes to help reduce symptoms.