Sometimes, it’s ok to blame your parents, especially when it concerns hemorrhoids. Family history plays a large part in whether you will develop hemorrhoids, among many other factors. These other factors may include insufficient fiber in the diet, not drinking enough water, excessive straining during bowel movements, obesity, pregnancy and childbirth.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins around the anus and rectum that can become inflamed, itchy or even bleed. Not all hemorrhoids are external, so many cannot be seen or felt. A large percentage of hemorrhoids are internal and are located inside the rectum where there are no nerves to feel pain. It is possible to have both internal and external hemorrhoids simultaneously.
Unfortunately, when it comes to family history, there is little that can be done. Just like baldness, body shape and blood type are genetic, the risk of developing hemorrhoids is greater when family history enters into the mix. The good news is that many other risk factors can be controlled and you can make healthy life choices to offset the chances of developing hemorrhoids. Here are a few ways that you can stave off your not-so-welcome inheritance of hemorrhoids:
- Stay hydrated. Drink more than the recommended eight ounces of water to keep the stool soft.
- Up your fiber. Eat at least 25 grams of fiber per day, and even a little more if your doctor recommends it. Fiber is essential for creating bulk in the intestines and keeping you regular.
- Exercise. Staying active keeps the body systems moving as they should.
- Don’t avoid or strain. Use the restroom when you feel the urge. Do not avoid a bowel movement, but do not strain either. Try to know your body’s habits and go when you need to go.
- If you are pregnant, lie on your side to sleep. Side sleeping takes the weight off your rectum and gives your posterior a break for several hours per day.
Talk to your doctor about more ways to stay hemorrhoid-free. If you would like more information, find a treatment center near you so you can get immediate help.