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What causes hemorrhoids?

I think from reading online that I have hemorrhoids. I'm dealing with it, but I want to know how I got them? How does a person get hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are, as you have probably read online, dilated veins of the anus and rectum. Sometimes these dilated veins can become very inflamed and irritated, which can lead to an itching or painful sensation of the anus, especially with defecation. The main cause of hemorrhoids is chronic straining, usually from constipation over a number of years. The repeated straining exerts pressure on the veins, which causes the veins slowly to dilate. Based on this mechanism, if you can eliminate the constipation, the hemorrhoids will often get better. Make sure to drink lots of water and eat lots of fiber (fresh fruits and vegetables). If you do not have luck with this, talk with your primary care doctor to see if additional treatment of the constipation is in order. In addition to straining from constipation, other causes of hemorrhoids include pregnancy and childbirth (again the hemorrhoids do tend to get better over time) and genetic factors (do not tend to get better). You should discuss this issue with your primary care doctor. There are multiple topical medications that can be used to reduce the pain and itching. Furthermore, in the most severe cases, surgery can be performed to remove the hemorrhoids.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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