Medical treatment of hemorrhoids remains the most advisable course of action when your condition worsens, and symptoms become unbearable.
However, lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing the symptoms or preventing flare-ups altogether. That’s because most of the triggers and causes that lead to hemorrhoids result from poor lifestyle choices.
Learn how your daily habits affect hemorrhoidal conditions and discover how the right tweaks can help keep the condition under control.
The Connection Between Lifestyle and Hemorrhoids
The most common reasons why people develop hemorrhoids are lifestyle elements that are observable and identifiable. Let’s look at some of the most commonly identified reasons:
None of these are medical conditions or illnesses that require a diagnosis. They’re all choices that we make daily or habits that build over the years. And they’re all connected when it comes to developing hemorrhoids.
Of course, some causes remain outside of our control more than others. For instance, there is evidence that you’re more likely to develop hemorrhoids if your parents or grandparents have the condition. Similarly, professions that involve sitting at a desk for long periods are common.
However, in both these instances, practicing healthier habits in other areas will reduce the risk of the condition developing through these causes.
Let’s explore some major lifestyle components that can address these risks collectively.
Exercise and Hemorrhoids: Striking a Balance
Physical activity remains a primary reason why we develop or prevent health problems.
Sedentary, as already mentioned, increases the risk of hemorrhoids. For example, sitting for extended hours causes your gluteal muscles (buttocks) to spread under your weight. As a result, your rectal tissues end up bearing more pressure under your weight. Naturally, the veins start to swell and strain, leading to hemorrhoidal symptoms.
Even mild physical activity like walking will encourage healthy bowel movements. Moderate Cardio can boost blood flow to your tissues and prevent undue inflammation. Pelvic exercises are especially great for pregnant women because it helps the digestive system to breathe and prevents constipation too.
Any physical activity, especially ones that work your legs and abdomen, will help prevent blood from accumulating in your veins. Improved circulation also means there’s less risk of hemorrhoidal symptoms worsening.
Remember not to exert your body excessively. Heavy weights will put extra pressure on your lower back and abdomen, causing more inflammation of your veins.
Bathroom Habits to Help Manage Hemorrhoids
Most of us already know that our bathroom habits and hemorrhoidal symptoms are closely connected. However, it’s still easy to overlook some of these habits and continue practicing poor bathroom practices daily.
For starters, the time you spend sitting on the toilet is a basic but crucial factor. Sitting on the toilet pushes your buttocks apart and forces the rectum to stretch and exert itself. Moderate stretching during bowel movement is normal. But extended sessions may leave the underlying tissues swelling. And that leads to hemorrhoidal symptoms becoming worse.
Even if your toilet breaks are fast, excessive straining when on it is another cause of hemorrhoids. Here, other lifestyle habits like hydration, exercise, and proper diet also matter because they all contribute to your stool’s hardness or softness.
A good workaround is to try and develop a consistent bowel routine. Eating your meals at regular intervals and similar times during the day will help regulate bowel movement. A predictable bowel movement allows you to schedule your day around bathroom needs and prevent emergency toilet sessions that require extra pressure.
Practicing good hygiene during and after your trips to the bathroom is also vital. Bleeding remains a common hemorrhoidal symptom. And you should ensure that no blood or discharges from hemorrhoidal tissues remain. Proper hygiene during and after bowel movements is another crucial part of sanitizing the affected area.
Poor hygiene during hemorrhoids will raise the risks of infections catching on. And you’ll have a much harder time managing the condition with added infection in the tissues.
The Role of Stress Management in Hemorrhoid Relief
Stress has a number of effects on your bodily functions and can cause a variety of illnesses over time. With hemorrhoids, however, stress can worsen your condition in more than one way.
One of the ways stress worsens your overall health is by ramping up your blood pressure. Mental strain and anxiety force your body to experience an unhealthy surge of hormones. As a result, heart rates go up, and your blood vessels also tighten up.
As your blood vessels tense up, there is less blood flow to different parts of the body, including the rectum. The continued pressure on the veins leads to swelling and a higher chance of hemorrhoids developing along with it.
Chronic stress will also mess with your immune system making your body more vulnerable to illnesses. So, your hemorrhoidal inflammation may act up and start resisting the medication. Other times, the affected tissue may develop a higher risk of infections.
Exposure to constant stress may also lead you to unhealthy habits. Although it may feel like a temporary low, kicking out of these habits is also important. Stress-induced habits like overeating, indulging in treats, poor sleep cycles, avoiding exercise, etc., are all detrimental to hemorrhoids.
Other Lifestyle Changes to Consider for Hemorrhoids
There are other related practices in your lifestyle that can make or break your hemorrhoidal treatment.
To ensure healthier bowel movement, choosing the right diet is critical. Grab as many fiber-rich foods as you can during meals. And make it a point to remain hydrated throughout the day. Ensure that you’re putting in at least half a gallon of water in your body.
Correct hydration and healthy food choices ensure that your stools pass normally, your digestive tracts remain healthy, and your immune system stays strong. And these are all important factors in alleviating hemorrhoidal symptoms.
Overweight patients should focus on shedding some extra pounds, while people in inactive professions should make the time to stretch, move about, and work their bodies wherever possible.
Healthy bathroom habits, watching your diet, and regular exercise work wonders for preventing or improving hemorrhoidal troubles.
While medication can be the primary weapon, the right changes in your lifestyle can heal your tissues faster and possibly prevent flare-ups in the future.