Talking about diseases and medical conditions has always been considered taboo. People feel embarrassed to discuss such subjects, leading to a widespread lack of awareness. The result? Myths build up around a topic, and people start believing things that are not true at all.
Let’s bust some myths about hemorrhoids, a very common medical condition. Hemorrhoids are the swollen nerves and tissues near the rectum that cause various issues, like rectal bleeding, itching, pain, and discomfort near the rectal area. They swell due to the increased pressure on the rectum.
This blog busts some of the most common myths associated with hemorrhoids. For example, hemorrhoids do not just affect older people, and they are neither contagious nor permanent. Plus, they are not always painful, and they do not always require surgery.
Here are some wrong perceptions about hemorrhoids that have existed over the years.
1. Only Old People Develop Hemorrhoids
Although people between the ages of 40 to 60 are at higher risk of developing hemorrhoids, it doesn’t mean that young adults are safe. Why? Because hemorrhoids can develop at any age due to increased pressure on the rectum. People may suffer from hemorrhoids due to obesity, pregnancy, or constipation.
The only thing that hemorrhoids have to do with age is that the tissue between the rectum and the anus weakens as you get old, increasing the chances of pressure on your rectum.
2. Hemorrhoids Remain Forever
This is the scariest myth about hemorrhoids.
Some people believe that once you develop hemorrhoids, you will suffer from this condition forever. Well, don’t worry; hemorrhoids will not stay on your body permanently. There are numerous effective treatments to cure hemorrhoids, some even as simple as changing your diet.
For hemorrhoids that do not improve with simple treatments like a good diet, ice packs, and over-the-counter creams, you may need to consult a doctor. There are non-invasive medical procedures and surgeries that can help you get rid of them. But remember: it’s better to get diagnosed as early as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse.
3. Diet Does Not Cure Hemorrhoids
People having a poor diet are often the targets of severe constipation. When you have hemorrhoids, the first thing doctors will recommend to you is to improve your diet. They will ask you to have enough fiber-rich foods and stay well-hydrated because it helps you improve your bowel movements. To sum up, a good diet is one of the most crucial factors in preventing and curing hemorrhoids.
4. Hemorrhoids Always Require Surgery
People believe that the only solution to this problem is surgery. However, there are different grades of hemorrhoids. The first grade of hemorrhoids can be easily treated with changes in diet and over-the-counter medicines and creams. They sometimes go away on their own too.
Even the second grade of hemorrhoids can be treated with simple, non-invasive methods like rubber band litigation, injection sclerotherapy, and infrared coagulation. The names of these procedures might sound scary, but they are quick and painless.
Only the third and fourth grade of hemorrhoids need surgery.
5. Spicy Foods Trigger Hemorrhoids
This myth about hemorrhoids came into existence because spicy food usually causes digestive problems. However, there is no evidence that spice directly causes the development of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids have more to do with strain on the veins near the anus rather than the body’s metabolism.
But remember, you should avoid spices after you develop hemorrhoids so that you don’t face any difficulty while passing bowels.
6. Hemorrhoids Lead to Cancer
Association with cancer is the most common myth about hemorrhoids. People often get confused between the two because their symptoms are quite similar. For example, you may also suffer from rectal bleeding if you have colorectal cancer. The best way to be sure is to consult your doctor immediately if you feel it’s not just hemorrhoids.
7. Sitting on Cold Surfaces Causes Hemorrhoids
Well, this is a funny one! Cold surfaces do not result in hemorrhoids. In fact, sitting on hard and concrete surfaces for very long periods is the actual problem. Why? Because it increases the strain on your rectum. So, you can sit on a cold surface all you want to; just make sure you don’t do that for too long.
8. Exercise Can Lead to Hemorrhoids
Most people believe that exercising too hard can result in hemorrhoids. However, this is not true at all. In fact, exercise helps prevent constipation and obesity, decreasing the risk of developing hemorrhoids. You should exercise even if you have already developed hemorrhoids. All you have to do is avoid lifting weights, especially if you don’t know the right techniques.
9. Hemorrhoids are Always Painful
You might have heard some horror & painful stories related to hemorrhoids. However, it doesn’t mean hemorrhoids are always painful. As mentioned earlier, there isn’t just one type of hemorrhoid. Some hemorrhoids can even go unnoticed for the longest time. You may not feel any pain even if you are bleeding.
Even for the severe types of hemorrhoids, a few preventive measures can help relieve the pain, itching, and discomfort. For example, don’t sit on the toilet for too long when you have hemorrhoids. Plus, ice packs can also fight off the pain from hemorrhoids successfully.
10. Hemorrhoids are Contagious
Not surprising at all! The myth of being contagious is associated with every disease that has visible symptoms on your body. However, hemorrhoids cannot be transmitted through physical contact. They can be hereditary but not contagious. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about catching hemorrhoids from someone else at all!
As medical conditions like hemorrhoids are becoming common, we need to start talking about them. People usually feel reluctant and embarrassed to discuss such things, choosing to suffer in silence. Lifting off the taboo associated with these medical conditions can help millions of people around the globe.
Did you believe in any of these misconceptions? Comment below if you know any other myth about hemorrhoids.