What Are the Risk Factors of Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoid risk factors

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen bumps caused by inflamed vessels of the anus or rectum. Hemorrhoids can develop at any age and can be external, internal, or both. Some hemorrhoids remain unnoticed and disappear without medical intervention or treatment. However, some persistent hemorrhoids can become extremely painful, resulting in physical and mental distress. These hemorrhoids affect how a person walks, sits, and sleeps and can also burst and bleed at times.

If they remain untreated, hemorrhoids can get infected.

Many risk factors contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. These factors depend on a person’s genes and life choices. These factors increase the susceptibility of developing hemorrhoids and determine how long the treatment would take.

Continue reading below to learn about the risk factors of hemorrhoids and how these factors affect treatment.

Being Obese or Over Weight

The weight and body type depends on their genetic makeup and life choices. Some genes result in more fat being deposited under the skin and make it hard to break that fat. In other situations, a person’s choice to eat fattening food and not work out results in the person becoming obese.

When a person is obese, excessive weight puts high pressure on their digestive tract. This unhealthy pressure on the person’s rectum and anus increase the chances of them developing hemorrhoids.

The weight can further cause more hemorrhoids to develop during treatment or worsen existing ones.

Physical Inactivity

Physical inactivity includes not working out and being physically handicapped due to an injury or deformity. When a person is physically inactive, they are at a higher risk of getting overweight. Moreover, research shows that lack of exercise causes gastrointestinal motility, causes episodes of issues like constipation. As a result, these factors contribute to hemorrhoid development and flare-ups.

Moreover, hemorrhoids’ risks increase when a person is physically incapable of moving or standing for long periods. Sitting for prolonged periods can cause blood to get accumulated in the blood vessels surrounding the anus and the rectum, causing pressure and forming hemorrhoids.

Furthermore, treatment can take longer when hemorrhoids stay under pressure for too long. Sitting for long can also cause a person to sweat between the buttocks. Moisture can trap germs, resulting in the hemorrhoid worsening.


Apart from causing a person to be overweight, genetics is a significant risk factor for hemorrhoids.

Research suggests that parents with a history of hemorrhoids have a higher chance of passing on that issue to their children.


The most common age of developing hemorrhoids is between age forty-five and sixty-five. According to a recent report, half of the American population aged above fifty suffer from hemorrhoids.

NIDDK states that age is a significant risk factor for hemorrhoids. According to the NIDDK, as a person grows older, the connective tissue between the rectum and the anus gets weaker and more susceptible to damage or tear. Consequently, the risks of hemorrhoids developing also increase.

Dietary Choices

Processed and refined foods are bad for a person’s digestive system in many ways. Foods like pizza, burgers, and instant noodles have little to no fiber value and can cause a person to get constipated. Since constipation is the leading cause of hemorrhoids, people who heavily depend on processed foods have higher risks of developing hemorrhoids.

Moreover, consuming dairy items frequently can cause constipation and cause bloating. The bloating and gas add pressure to the rectum and cause hemorrhoids to develop.

Furthermore, countries that consume more caffeinated beverages regularly have higher risks of developing hemorrhoids. Coffee and other caffeinated teas can cause the stool to get dehydrated and stiff. This dehydration prevents the smooth passing of the stools, causing hemorrhoids to develop.

Consuming high amounts of sodium through fast food or even home-cooked meals can dry out the inner lining of the intestines. This reduces the lubrication needed for easy passing of the stools. Furthermore, high sodium amounts can cause water to store up in the skin tissue, resulting in dry constipated stools.

If a person does not change their dietary choices, hemorrhoids can persist and worsen with time.

Economic Conditions

Some countries do not have sufficient resources to provide healthy food items. The people in these countries do not consume enough fiber and hence are at a higher risk of developing hemorrhoids.

Moreover, in countries like the US, where the cost of cultivating fresh fruits is higher than producing processed foods, purchasing a nutritious meal is high for many people. These people then depend on consuming unhealthy fast foods to survive. As a result, the risks of developing hemorrhoids increase.

Countries where processed processed foods are expensive and natural ingredients are easily accessible are at low risk of developing hemorrhoids.


Being pregnant for more than five months leads to an increase in abdominal weight. As a result, the woman’s rectum and anus pressure increase. High amounts of prolonged stress can result in hemorrhoids developing and worsening.

Moreover, the labor process can squeeze and put more pressure on a woman’s rectal. As a result, hemorrhoids can either develop or worsen.

Medical Reasons

Injuries to the anus, such as those sustained during an accident or anal intercourse, can increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids caused by these reasons may last much longer than the injury and could worsen if not treated.

Final Thoughts

Hemorrhoids mainly develop due to the food we consume. However, factors like genetics, economic conditions, the region or living, and certain life choices can significantly increase the risk.

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