Published on November 17, 2018
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Why does being overweight increase your chances of getting hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoid tissues are “cushions” of blood vessels that play an important role in helping your body eliminate waste. Food passes from the stomach through the intestines. The waste (stool) then travels through the colon to the rectum. It is stored in the rectum until it’s ready to be passed from the anus. During bowel movements, hemorrhoids swell with blood and become slightly larger. This swelling helps protect and cushion the anal canal as stool passes from the body. Once the stool has passed, the tissues stop swelling and return to normal.
People who are obese are more likely to get hemorrhoids because excessive weight puts pressure on the veins of the rectum and anus, which can lead to swelling (that doesn’t return to normal) and inflammation. Those who carry more excess weight in their abdominal regions are at even higher the risk for developing hemorrhoids.
In addition, people who are obese are more likely to be sedentary and too often have a diet too low in fiber and high in fat, which often causes constipation. Constipation causes you to strain excessively to pass a bowel movement, putting pressure on the veins in the anus and resulting in swelling.
Finally, obese people very often don’t only have poor food diets, but their liquid intake includes little to no water, favoring diet sodas and other liquids. Not drinking enough water can lead to constipation by not providing an adequate amount of fluid in the intestines, leading to hard stools.