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What Causes Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids have a number of causes, although the exact cause in each case is often unknown. Typically, hemorrhoids are the result of straining during a bowel movement or strenuous physical activity, which puts pressure on the veins in the anus, causing them to bulge or swell. Depending on the location of the pressure, hemorrhoids may be internal, forming inside the rectum, or external, forming under the skin around the anus. While internal hemorrhoids usually don’t result in symptoms, external hemorrhoids can cause significant discomfort or pain. In some cases, blood may pool in an external hemorrhoid and form a clot, which, though not dangerous, can be extremely painful.

Hemorrhoids are common, and while people of all ages may experience them, the condition is more likely to occur as a result of aging because the tissue supporting the veins in the rectum begins to weaken over time. Some of the other common causes of hemorrhoids include:

  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea

For many individuals, a case of hemorrhoids causes only minor symptoms that don’t require a doctor’s visit and can be self-managed by making changes in diet and taking over-the-counter medications. However, when these treatments aren’t effective or hemorrhoids cause extreme discomfort and pain, medical intervention may be necessary.

Tampa General Hospital’s Endoscopy Center provides a full range of treatments for hemorrhoids as well as many other anal and rectal conditions. Our staff of experienced physicians and other medical professionals provides individualized care to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. For individuals who require more than conservative treatment methods, we can provide the appropriate surgical procedure, including minimally invasive options, to relieve symptoms. We can also address the causes of hemorrhoids and discuss lifestyle changes that may help to prevent them in the future.

Tampa General Hospital is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Hospitals for Gastroenterology & GI Surgery by U.S. News & World Report in 2017-18. Use our Physician Finder to find a gastroenterologist at Tampa General Hospital who can help diagnose the causes of your hemorrhoids and create a custom treatment plan or call 1-800-833-3627.