Hemorrhoids are swollen veins, similar to varicose veins, found inside the outside of the anus. When the body passes stool, these swollen veins get irritated, and sometimes they bleed. The most common symptoms of hemorrhoids are bleeding and pain.
Hemorrhoids are more likely to occur in people who are older, overweight, or pregnant. Sitting for prolonged periods and chronic constipation are also risk factors for hemorrhoids.
The two could be related if you’ve experienced weight fluctuations and suddenly developed hemorrhoids. Below, we asked our Carolina Digestive Health Associates experts to explain how weight gain can cause hemorrhoids.
Gaining weight, especially in your midsection, puts more pressure on the veins inside and outside your anus. Pregnant women are more likely to develop hemorrhoids due to increased weight in the abdominal area.
You can reduce your risk by losing weight and by spending less time sitting down.
However, the pressure alone isn’t the only reason why individuals carrying excess weight may be at risk. Excess weight is also associated with a sedentary lifestyle.
Being sedentary makes you have less muscle everywhere, including in your intestinal tract. Less muscle tone may make it more difficult for you to have regular bowel movements, which in turn can increase your risk.
Weight loss is a time-consuming process, but there are several changes you make right away to reduce your risk for hemorrhoids or prevent them from worsening. These include the following:
Some people may also benefit from over-the-counter ointments to relieve the itching around their anus.
Prevention is key, but what happens when the hemorrhoids are already present and don’t show any signs of improvement?
Some people may experience recurring hemorrhoids despite best practices. Left untreated, these can cause pain when sitting and walking and lead to overall discomfort. Fortunately, the removal of hemorrhoids isn’t painful, and it doesn’t involve any downtime.
Our experts use the CRH O’Regan System®. This system involves wrapping a band around each hemorrhoid's base, cutting its blood supply. Without blood, the hemorrhoids eventually shrink and fall off.
The procedure takes only one office visit, and there’s a very low chance of hemorrhoids coming back.
If your hemorrhoids are causing you discomfort, contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Belmont, North Carolina.