Everybody knows that chronic constipation and chronic diarrhea both cause hemorrhoids, but a frequently overlooked question is why? How could opposite conditions both contribute to hemorrhoids? In addition, pregnancy, childbirth, Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel syndrome and age can also be underlying causes of hemorrhoids, but many of these causes share important points worth looking into.The reason lies in the actual function of hemorrhoidal cushions and how those cushions relate to the rest of the body. Chronic straining due to constipation or diarrhea, long periods of sitting, pregnancy, childbirth, and various gastrointestinal diseases all contribute to internal abdominal circulatory pressure.When the large blood vessels of the hemorrhoidal cushions are placed under pressure, they naturally swell. If they are pressurized for too long or too often, they may eventually get stretched so far that they cannot return to their contracted state and promptly develop into hemorrhoids. The same is true of external hemorrhoids, even though they do not lie on hemorrhoidal cushions.This is because external hemorrhoids develop from the blood vessels that drain the hemorrhoidal cushions back towards the heart. Because these lower veins are so closely connected, they are frequently subjected to the same hydraulic pressures as the veins of the cushions.The conditions related to straining are, of course, chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, pregnancy, and those gastrointestinal diseases that cause frequent toileting. Pregnancy is particularly known for causing hemorrhoids because women gain about two extra pounds of blood alone during pregnancy, frequently causing blood pressure to rise and swelling veins in order to manage a higher liquid capacity in a closed system. Sitting for long periods, especially while slouching, works with gravity to push blood deeper into the body, and causes the same veins to swell. Sitting on a toilet for long periods of time may, in fact, be the worst thing of all to do for hemorrhoids. You’re sitting for a long period of time with no support for your pelvic floor muscles, while straining and usually slouching besides! This combination of weight, downward muscular force and lack of upward support can swell anal veins to unprecendented levels and be a causal factor of hemorrhoids all it its own right.Age, the last common causal factor, contributes to hemorrhoids from an entirely different direction. As we get older, our bodily tissues, such as ligaments and muscles, tend to lose the elasticity they had while we were young. Therefore, veins which used to be able to contract back to proper size without a problem may lose this ability, much like elastic stretched one too many times. However, proper lifestyle can go a long way to counteracting this problem, as people who exercise frequently and eat a proper diet will retain their muscular elasticity much later in life than people who don’t.How to address all of this?Well, hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy or childbirth will usually resolve on their own a few months after delivery, while hemorrhoids caused by an ongoing intestinal problem like Crohn’s disease may be very difficult to get rid of.However, even if hemorrhoids cannot be easily resolved, at least we can avoid making them worse.Eat the right diet to ensure proper bowel movements that are neither too dry or too liquid, get up and move around every two hours or so if sitting down for long periods of time, don’t slouch while sitting, and get a footstool to place near your toilet and use it while on said toilet. By raising your feet, you are causing your pelvic floor muscles to contract and support the interior of your anal canal more, thus taking some of the strain off of the veins.Understanding the precise mechanism that causes hemorrhoids will help any hemorrhoid sufferer to make appropriate lifestyle adjustments to either lessen the problem or even eliminate it entirely.Normal, run of the mill constipation, diarrhea or a sedentary lifestyle are fairly simple to fix.Even those who suffer from health conditions not under their direct control, such as pregnancy or Crohn’s disease do not have to passively suffer from their hemorrhoids, but can take direct action to improve daily quality of life.ABOUT AUTHOR:

sDonald writes considerably about hemorrhoids causes and treatments, and runs a blog on Hemorrhoids and Health

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