Hemorrhoids or piles are caused by swollen veins in or around your lower rectum or anus and can arise due to a number of reasons, such as:
- Sitting on the toilet for too long
- Having diarrhea or constipation
- Lacking fiber in your daily diet
- Drinking too much caffeine or alcohol
- A person’s genetics
- Connective tissue weakness around the anus
- Sitting or standing still for long periods of time
- Obesity and overweight
While alcohol is not a direct cause of hemorrhoids, it certainly plays a role in its occurrence. Understanding how alcohol can indirectly cause hemorrhoids is important so that we are alerted and can take proper precautions in the future to avoid suffering from this again.
Alcohol and hemorrhoids: the relationship explained
Everyone must be aware that binge drinking is bad, not just because it can result in addictions or even death, but also because it is hazardous for your health. For instance, drinking too much alcohol can increase blood pressure. And your blood pressure can remain high in the long term if you don’t regulate or cut down on your alcohol use. An increase in blood pressure can affect your arteries and veins negatively due to the added stress on the circulatory system. Stressed veins can, in turn, lead to the development of hemorrhoids.
In addition to an increase in blood pressure, alcohol can also cause constipation. This is because alcohol acts as a diuretic, leading to an increased amount of water being flushed out of the body in the form of urine. This leads to dehydration and, thus, constipation. When a person is constipated, they have trouble with their bowel movements and pushing stool out in general, leading to strain around the anus. Strain can lead to hemorrhoids and their associated symptoms, including pain.
Lastly, alcohol is known to impact the liver and can cause liver cirrhosis, which is the scarring of the liver. This scarring can impact the liver’s filtration ability and impedes normal blood flow. As a result, the blood needs to find other ways to get to the different areas of the body, thereby raising the amount of blood in these alternative pathways. The pressure thus increases in the veins that are present in the anus along with other regions of the body, thereby leading to hemorrhoids.
1. Cut down on alcohol consumption
Knowing how strongly alcohol is linked to the development of hemorrhoids should be reason enough to limit or completely stop drinking alcohol. This is especially true if you are already 50 years or older because the older you get, the higher the chance that you will suffer from this condition. Parties and get-togethers are often occasions where you are most drawn toward alcohol because all of your friends and family are having it. Because of the temptation, you are unlikely to say no to an offer to have a drink or two. But, if you value your health above everything else, you need to learn to say no more often and with firmness.
2. Limit caffeine intake
In the West, people have the habit of drinking a lot of coffee. Sometimes, they drink so much that they exceed the daily limit of 400 milligrams stated on the FDA website. Caffeine can impact us negatively, not just in terms of hemorrhoids, but it can also affect the quality of our sleep since it is a stimulant and can cause jitters, a rapid heart rate, and anxiousness. Even decaffeinated beverages contain some caffeine, so you should be careful if you are thinking about switching to those.
3. Exercise and get fit
Obesity, overweight, and idleness are some of the reasons you can get hemorrhoids. In order to prevent all of these, you need to get your body moving daily. Regular fitness training and activity are important for everyone, not just for people who suffer from these conditions, as our cardiovascular system, lymphatic system, and muscles require movement to function optimally. Our species is slowly becoming more and more lazy as time passes, especially because of the evolution of technology, which allows us more sitting time.
For example, we spend hours sitting in front of our computers at work and go everywhere in cars instead of walking, even when something is at a short distance. While a certain amount of effort will be required on your part to exercise daily, it will be worth it. Even half an hour of daily physical activity is sufficient for a healthy life.
4. Eat right
With the rising trend of fast food and food outlets, more and more people eat junk food rather than a more nutritious diet that they can easily make at home. Junk food is filled with saturated fat and sugar and contains very few essential nutrients that our bodies need. This means that we fill our bodies up with rubbish and end up impacting our health negatively. Along with the required nutrients, fiber is extremely important to avoid hemorrhoids because it helps improve bowel movements and thus helps with constipation.
Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes contain a lot of fiber that will help your digestive system. Homemade food will also help you avoid diarrhea since you prepare it yourself, know exactly the ingredients you use, and prepare it well under hygienic conditions.
If there is one thing that you cannot do anything about, it’s your genetics. But aside from that, all other aspects are pretty much within your control. As long as you have the will and the determination to implement concrete changes in your life for a healthier you, you will be on the path to success. Hemorrhoids can affect your daily life in a negative way, and their symptoms can be pretty scary. If you are having trouble figuring out this condition or find that your symptoms are worsening, it is best to seek help from your healthcare provider. They can provide you with a more comprehensive regimen for better results.
I am a passionate beer connoisseur with a deep appreciation for the art and science of brewing. With years of experience tasting and evaluating various beers, I love to share my opinions and insights with others and I am always eager to engage in lively discussions about my favorite beverage.