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What Causes Hemorrhoids?
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What Causes Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are a medical concern affecting the veins in the rectum and anus. They are classified into two broad categories: external hemorrhoids and internal hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids occur outside the anal cavity beneath the skin around the anus. Internal hemorrhoids develop within the rectum and are not visible unless they prolapse and protrude outside the anus.

Hemorrhoid Causes

The exact causes of hemorrhoids are not entirely understood, but multiple factors can contribute to their occurrence.

Hereditary Factors

If you have a family history of hemorrhoids, you may be more likely to develop them yourself. This could be due to the genetics of blood vessel structure or strength, making it more prone to swelling and inflammation.


Constipation is another common cause of hemorrhoids. When stool becomes compact and dry, it can irritate the rectum's veins, causing them to swell and enlarge. Constipation often results from a lack of fiber in the diet or insufficient water intake.


Hemorrhoids can develop during pregnancy due to increased pressure on the abdomen. This pressure can slow down the digestive system and cause constipation. Additionally, hormonal imbalances during pregnancy can contribute to the swelling of blood vessels, leading to hemorrhoids.

Lifestyle Factors

A sedentary lifestyle and obesity are two factors that contribute to hemorrhoids. Remaining seated for prolonged periods, such as at a desk job, can cause pressure on the veins in the rectal area. Additionally, carrying excess weight can put added force on the abdomen, contributing to hemorrhoids.

Other Factors

Prolonged sitting, aging, and certain medical conditions can also contribute to the onset of hemorrhoids. As we age, the veins in the rectum and anus can weaken, making them more susceptible to swelling and inflammation. Certain medical conditions, such as liver disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and chronic constipation, can also contribute to hemorrhoids.

What causes internal hemorrhoids to bleed?

Internal hemorrhoids might bleed as a result of straining during bowel movements. As a hardened stool passes over a hemorrhoid, the tissue can become damaged and rupture.

Internal, thrombosed, and external hemorrhoids might bleed due to increased strain. Hemorrhoids that have become thrombosed – hemorrhoids that have developed a blood clot – can rupture.

What causes external hemorrhoids to itch?

Itching is a common symptom of hemorrhoids. External hemorrhoids might itch due to poor hygiene in the anal area, discharge that causes irritation, or the release of histamine due to inflammation. Continued scratching can exacerbate inflammation and trigger additional histamine production, making itching worse.

Can stress cause hemorrhoids?

While stress itself does not directly cause hemorrhoids, it can contribute to the development or aggravation of the condition. Stress can lead to various lifestyle changes and behaviors that increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids. These include the following factors:

Georgia Hemorrhoid Institute: Outpatient Treatment for Symptomatic Hemorrhoids

Georgia Hemorrhoid Institute is proud to offer innovative endovascular treatments for symptomatic internal hemorrhoids. We specialize in a state-of-the-art approach known as hemorrhoid artery embolization (HAE), a revolutionary procedure that has shown remarkable success in reducing the discomfort associated with hemorrhoids.

Contact the caring team at Georgia Hemorrhoid Institute at 678-915-2000 to learn more about our innovative endovascular treatments today.

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