Having constipation once a while is normal. However, if your constipation remains for a more extended period – three or more months – things can be worse than you think.
When you are constipated, you try too hard to go. This way, the veins around your anus and rectum can swell. These veins are known as hemorrhoids. This leads to many people asking if hemorrhoids cause constipation.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen and enlarged veins located around the lower rectum or the anus. The bowel’s last part is the rectum, leading to the anus – the region where fecal matter exits from the body.
How Many Types of Hemorrhoids Are There?
These hemorrhoids form within the rectum and are not visible to the human eye. Although they don’t hurt, they can cause painless bleeding.
These hemorrhoids grow under the skin around the outer part of the anus. These are the painful hemorrhoids that can be painful, itchy, and may feel ‘lumpy.” Sometimes, a blood clot is developed, which results in extreme, ongoing pain, known as a thrombosed hemorrhoid. These clots dissolve on their own. If they don’t, contact a doctor who will remove it through a procedure.
What Are the Symptoms of Hemorrhoids?
If you spot blood in your toilet bowl, it is something that should worry you. If you have been dealing with constipation for a long time, it might be related to hemorrhoids. Other hemorrhoids symptoms include:
- One or more painful, hard lumps around the anus
- Pain during bowel movements
- Pain in the anal area, particularly during sitting
- Itching in the anal areas
- Bright red blood in your stool or tissue at the end of bowel movement
Once you find any of these symptoms, try to be careful while cleaning the anus and avoid using excessive force. Or else, your itching and irritation will get worse and may even cause bleeding. Additionally, pat the area dry rather than wiping it.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Many habits and conditions cause hemorrhoids. These include:
- Sitting on the toilet for an extended period
- Trying too hard during bowel movements
- Chronic constipation
These factors can cause disturbance to the blood flow. Consequently, pooling (when blood moves within the vessels) is slowed down, causing hemorrhoids.
You may also risk developing hemorrhoids:
- Pregnancy – With the growing fetus, more pressure is put on the abdomen. The veins in the anus and rectum become enlarged. This issue remains until birth.
- Aging – Once you get older, your anus and rectum’s connective tissues become weaker, causing bulging hemorrhoids
- Obesity – Extra weight can affect the hemorrhoidal tissue
- Lack of fiber intake
How are Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?
When you visit a doctor, they will take your medical history and describe your symptoms. They may look for swelling, lumps, skin irritation, skin tags, internal hemorrhoids, and external hemorrhoids.
Your doctor will look for blood in the stool, inspect the anus’s muscle tone, and conduct a rectal exam to diagnose internal hemorrhoids. This will be performed in the doctor’s office with a lubricated, gloved finger, and an anoscope.
Your doctor can recommend additional tests and identify bleeding causes, mainly if you are over 40.
Tips to Prevent Hemorrhoids
To get relief from constipation, follow these tips:
Increase Fiber Intake
A high-fiber diet makes stool bulkier and softer. Adult men who are less than 50 should go for at least 38 grams of fiber every day, while adult women who are less than 50 should go for at least 25 grams. Older men and women older than 50 should target 30 grams and 21 grams, respectively. Increase fiber carefully to avoid bloating or excessive gas.
Drink More Water
Drinking water depends and varies according to the individual. According to experts, men should drink at least 91 ounces, and women should drink 125 ounces. However, keep in mind that alcohol and caffeinated beverages can dehydrate you in no time.