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Hemorrhoids: How to Prevent Them

Hemorrhoids: How to Prevent Them

11 Jul 2017 dr. Rini Siallagan Articles 165

Finding blood on your toilet while you’re having a bowel movement is a common problem.  Whilst this may alarm you, one of the most common causes is hemorrhoids, which affects millions of people around the world and is easily manageable. The most common manifestation is painless bleeding during bowel movements, which are usually described by patients as blood dripping into the toilet. The blood is typically bright red, and may also be slightly painful around the ano-rectal (buttocks) area.  The ano-rectal area may also be itchy and may feel discomforting.

Multiple factors cause the formation of hemorrhoids, which includes constipation and prolonged straining when defecating. Essentially, hemorrhoids are a condition where veins (which are blood vessels that takes blood back to the heart) in the rectal area are dilated and distorted.  The dilation and the distortion of the anal veins causes an inflammation in the area, and causes “vascular hyperplasia”, which means that the veins grow in size. The inflammation and the increase of vein size or hyperplasia is what causes hemorrhoids to bleed, itch and cause discomfort in the ano-rectal area.

Constipation and prolonged straining are widely believed to cause hemorrhoids.  Constipation usually results in straining while defecating, which increases the pressure in your abdomen (intraabdominal pressure).  When pressure increases in your abdomen, blood that normally flows from the anorectal area to the heart becomes obstructed.  As the blood is obstructed in the anorectal veins, this causes engorgement of the anorectal veins (also called the hemorrhoidal plexus). Other factors that cause hemorrhoids are chronic diarrhea, sitting too much and pregnancy, because they also increase the pressure in your abdomen.

Many studies have shown that constipation plays a strong role in causing hemorrhoids, which leads us to ask ourselves, “what kind of lifestyle causes constipation?” Constipation is caused by a diet that lacks fiber, not drinking enough water (being dehydrated), consuming too much red meat, wheat based carbohydrates, and fast-food. Being active and regular exercise is also a good way to avoid constipation. 

Fiber in your diet, which can be found in fruits and vegetables, is known to be beneficial for your digestive system’s bowel movements.  Eating too much red meat and fast food decreases your consumption of fibrous food.  Moreover, red meat and fast food is known to contain high amounts of fat.  The high amount of fat interferes with normal bowel peristaltic movement (the way food travels down from your mouth to your bowels).  Food with high fat content takes longer for your guts and bowels to absorb the nutrients, and this also slows down your metabolism.  Red meat also contains rich amounts of iron (which is good for your red blood cells), but too much iron in your diet will also interfere with normal peristaltic movement.  Food that interferes with peristaltic movement and slowing down your metabolism causes constipation.

To have a healthy digestive system, it is important for you to have a balanced diet, to drink enough fluids and water, and to live an active life and exercise regularly.  Excessively eating red meat and fast food causes constipation and hemorrhoids so are sure to not excessively consume them.

If you have similar problems or you want further information about your healthy digestive system and your diet, you should consult with your internal medicine specialist or your general physician.  Contact us through Facebook, or Whatsapp us at +628113851882 !