Up to 75% of people experience hemorrhoids in their lifetime. It is a common condition that can cause a great deal of pain and inconvenience. Is there a link between alcohol and hemorrhoids?
Allow us to explain:
Hemorrhoids are painful. They stop you from being comfortable in the most comfortable position there is; sitting. They can stop you from living your normal day-to-day life. Though we are able to treat them, remedy the pain, and remove them completely in most cases, we prefer for people to prevent getting them in the first place!
In this article, we will discuss the effect of alcohol consumption on vein health and specifically hemorrhoids. Does alcohol cause hemorrhoids? In short, yes it does.
Alcohol and Hemorrhoids – An Indirect Relationship
Alcohol disorders affect the lives of over 6% of Americans over the age of 18.
Among the many health issues attributed to AUD’s, The health of your veins depends on a strong, healthy flow of blood throughout the arteries and veins of the circulatory system.
There is no direct relationship between alcohol and hemorrhoids, but there is an undeniable indirect relationship. Drinking too much alcohol can raise blood pressure, putting stress on the veins and circulatory system. When you have more than three or four drinks in one sitting (on average), your blood pressure will temporarily be raised, which is why people experience reddening of the skin when intoxicated. Long-term, repeated binge drinking can cause long-term increases and lead to problems later on in life.
High blood pressure puts stress on the veins. When your veins are stressed, you have a higher chance of things like hemorrhoids and other vein issues occurring. Hemorrhoids are essentially over-stressed veins becoming inflamed, leading to symptoms of bleeding and swelling. In this way, alcohol and hemorrhoids share a relationship.
Alcohol can also cause issues with bowel movements. Alcohol is a diuretic. It causes dehydration in the drinker. Dehydration often causes constipation. When constipated, more force than normal is needed to pass bowel movements. It is this exertion that can strain the hemorrhoids and lead to symptoms and pain.
Liver Disease and Hemorrhoids
Alcohol, as most know, is a leading contributor to liver disease. The liver of a frequent drinker over time will be noticeably less healthy than one of an occasional or non-drinker. This can lead to cirrhosis, or scarring, of the liver, impeding its ability to filter and pass blood.
Cirrhosis of the liver can lead to hemorrhoids as well. Scarring of the liver in this situation prevents the stress-free passage of blood, causing the body to find alternative pathways to get blood to where it needs to be. When the body needs to divert blood, it often causes stress on other areas that are not used to the amount of blood needing to be passed. This leads to added pressure on the veins in the anal area, and many other areas.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are normal parts of the human anatomy, and they serve a purpose. These little blood vessels act like water balloons inside the lower rectum and help people control bowel movements.
Sometimes, hemorrhoids can become swollen or inflamed, causing symptoms such as bleeding or pain. These are what most people refer to as “hemorrhoids,” even though these are just inflamed hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in the lower part of the anus and rectum. When blood vessel walls are stretched beyond their normal positioning, they become irritated, and the result can be painful.
The silver lining to this is that they are easily treatable and even preventable in the first place. The experienced doctors at the Vein Institute of Utah can recommend the best combination of methods for treating these uncomfortable, unwanted, and potentially serious Hemorrhoids.
Quick Information About Hemorrhoids
Before we begin, let’s get across some quick facts about hemorrhoids in general:
- Hemorrhoids become more likely with age. As a person ages, they become more common.
- Hemorrhoids occur when the veins around the anus become enlarged.
- Hemorrhoids can be prevented with the proper lifestyle and diet
- Medicines and surgery can be needed to treat hemorrhoids in extreme cases.
Hemorrhoid Symptoms and Causes
Common Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Some of the common symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Itching and swelling around the area
- Pain when using the bathroom & passing feces
- Bleeding which can show up on toilet paper as bright red
- Visible lumps in the area
- Difficulty sitting due to pain
- Difficulty sleeping at night due to pain
How Do Hemorrhoids Happen?
Swollen hemorrhoids are a result of applying too much pressure on the lower rectum. This can happen when you are straining to go to the bathroom. Diarrhea and constipation can promote inflammation of hemorrhoids.
If you are sitting on the toilet too long, it can also make things worse. When you sit on the toilet, your anus relaxes, allowing the veins around to fill up with blood. Veins being filled up with blood for too long can cause pressure on them. Once this pressure becomes too much, hemorrhoids can be the result.
Being overweight, standing, or lifting too much can also result in hemorrhoids. You need to start thinking of what causes stress on the blood vessels in that area.
People experiencing hemorrhoids don’t always feel pain. Sometimes the hemorrhoid is completely internal. It can cause bleeding and swelling without any pain. Irritation and pain are just a couple of the many possible symptoms of hemorrhoids.
You should consult a vein specialist at the first sign of hemorrhoids. You don’t have to wait until you feel them to seek treatment. Getting in touch with a specialist as soon as possible can lead to less needed treatments and prevention of worsening conditions.
Chicago Vein Institute is a practice solely dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of vein diseases. The experts at CVI perform the latest and most effective treatments for painful varicose veins, spider veins, and other vein-related disorders. CVI offers minimally invasive treatment options, including Endovenous Laser Ablation (EVLA), Ambulatory Phlebectomy, Ultrasound-Guided Sclerotherapy, Surface Sclerotherapy, Elastic Compression Stockings and wound care for venous ulcers, performing more than 11,000 vein-related procedures annually.