Are Hemorrhoids Genetic: What You Need to Know
Are hemorrhoids genetic? Yes, there can be a genetic component to developing this condition. There's a lot more than just heredity that contributes to hemorrhoids, though, so it's smart to learn the various factors that can play a role. That way, you can take steps to prevent the problem, especially if hemorrhoids run in your family.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Everyone has clusters of veins in and around the anus. Unfortunately, those veins sometimes swell and get pushed out of place. That condition is commonly referred to as having hemorrhoids. Inflamed hemorrhoids can cause unpleasant symptoms. Depending on their location, the symptoms might include itching, pain, irritation, bleeding or mucus drainage.
Hemorrhoid inflammation typically happens because of rectal pressure. Placing stress on this part of the body can cause the veins to stretch, swell and bulge from the rectal wall.
Bathroom troubles are one of the most common causes of this problem. Constipation can leave you sitting and straining on the toilet for long stretches at a time. Although you might not feel like you're straining in the same way with diarrhea, it can still stress your rectal tissue.
Lifting heavy things can also put pressure on your rectum. Whether you're picking up heavy boxes for work or exercising with weights, the repeated effort could lead to hemorrhoids.
Carrying excess weight means that you may be putting undue pressure on your system every day. For similar reasons, pregnancy is a frequent factor in hemorrhoid troubles.
Getting older can increase the likelihood that you'll struggle with hemorrhoids. As you age, your rectal muscles and tissues that hold the veins in place may lose some of their strength.
To learn more about activities that may lead to hemorrhoid development, take a look at the following video:
How are genetics involved?
When you look at a list of hemorrhoid causes, heredity isn't often listed. Even still, hemorrhoid risk can run in a family.
As you know, hemorrhoids are a normal part of your anatomy. As long as they stay in their proper spot and don't become inflamed, they're not a problem. Whether they remain where they're supposed to has a lot to do with the strength of the muscles and cartilage in the area.
The integrity of the muscles and cartilage can be affected by genetics. In some families, these structures are more likely to become compromised over time. If you have a family history of hemorrhoids, that might be a sign that the genes for weaker colorectal muscles and connective tissue run in your family.
What can be done to prevent hemorrhoids?
Even if hemorrhoids run in your family, you may be able to reduce your risk of developing them. Since so many different elements play into this condition as well, you can address some of the other risk factors in hopes of warding off trouble.
Being careful with your time in the bathroom is one of the best things you can do to protect yourself. To reduce the amount of straining you do on the toilet, visit the restroom as soon as you feel the need for a bowel movement. Once you're there, allow yourself to sit for only a few minutes. If nothing's happening, walk away and try again later.
Dietary adjustments may help too. You should make sure to stay fully hydrated and eat plenty of fiber. Doing so can make bowel movements easier to pass.
If you experience chronic constipation or diarrhea, set up a doctor's appointment to discuss it. Your doctor may suggest supplements, medication or lifestyle adjustments that could help resolve your symptoms.
Exercise can reduce your hemorrhoid risk as well. By staying active, you might be able to shed some of the pounds that are pressing down on your rectum. Fitness also helps keep your bowels running smoothly.
When you're lifting heavy items, pay attention to the form that you use. Fill your lungs with air before you lift, and then imagine that you're pushing the air up toward your throat as you exert effort. Don't grunt, which will drive the pressure downward instead.
Living with a Family History of Hemorrhoids
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the answer to "Are hemorrhoids genetic?" Yes, heredity can contribute to whether you develop hemorrhoids, but a family history of hemorrhoids won't necessarily lock you into this problem. Other factors, such as your lifestyle, weight, age and bowel habits may play a more significant role.
No matter the cause of your hemorrhoid problem, effective treatment can be the key to fixing it. Use our provider finder to locate a colorectal specialist who offers minimally invasive hemorrhoid banding treatment.
As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.