Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins in your lower rectum and anus that are similar to varicose veins. They’re a very common condition that most people will experience at least once during their lifetimes. They become more common the older you get, but people of any age and background are susceptible to developing haemorrhoids.

Did you know that several lifestyle factors can also increase your risk of piles? From the food you eat to the activities you take part in, you might be unknowingly making your piles worse. If you frequently get piles or are worried about getting them, there are several bad habits you should break to reduce your risk.

Daily Habits That Can Cause Haemorrhoids

  • Not getting enough fibre: Fibre is a nutrient that your body needs to digest your food. It’s naturally found in the foods we eat, but many people don’t eat the right kind of foods. Without enough fibre, your stool will become harder and more difficult to pass. This leads to constipation, stomach pain, and other gastrointestinal problems. The more you struggle to use the toilet, the more likely you’ll be to develop haemorrhoids or make existing haemorrhoids worse. 
    Lentils, beans, avocados, whole grains, apples, and almonds are great sources of fibre. As are leafy greens and other fruit and veg. For a healthy snack full of fibre, buy some popcorn kernels and make some popcorn on the hob.
  • Pushing yourself too hard: Exercising regularly is important for our physical and mental health. Active people are less susceptible to heart attack, diabetes, and stroke. It’s important to stay active, but if you regularly overdo it you could be causing more harm than good. Not only will your body hurt, but some types of strenuous exercise can cause haemorrhoids.
    Exercises that cause excessive strain like weightlifting can put pressure on the veins in your rectum, creating haemorrhoids or making haemorrhoids you already have more swollen. Even lifting heavy objects around the home or workplace can result in haemorrhoids so you should always practice proper lifting techniques.
  • Too much time on the toilet: Sitting for long periods increases your risk of haemorrhoids, especially on the toilet. When you’re on the toilet, the muscles in your groyne and pelvic regions naturally relax. This increases blood flow to the area, enlarging your veins. The longer you sit, especially if you’re straining and pushing, the more likely you’ll end up with haemorrhoids.
    You should only sit on the toilet for as long as you need to finish your business and no longer. If it helps, leave phones and books outside of the bathroom so you aren’t tempted to sit for longer than you should.
  • Not drinking water: Dehydration can cause headaches, dry skin, and even hard stools. The more water you drink, the more hydrated your entire body will be. Drinking from a reusable water bottle can help encourage you to drink more water. You can even use an app to track how much water you drink!
  • Too much sugar, caffeine, and alcohol: While you should drink more liquids, not all liquids will keep you hydrated. Alcohol and caffeinated beverages are diuretics, taking water away from your body and causing dehydration and constipation. Sugary drinks and sugar in general also lead to constipation. If you’re straining often on the toilet, cut back on sugar, booze, and caffeine.
  • Ignoring your body: It’s not always convenient to nip to the loo when you feel the urge to go, but if you ignore what your body is telling you, you might not be able to go later. This goes for #1 and #2. Ignoring the urge to go to the toilet can cause lasting issues in your urinary and digestive systems. With bowel movements, if you ignore the urge to go it can be more difficult to go later. This leads to straining which then leads to an increased risk of haemorrhoids and other complications.

What Are Bleeding Haemorrhoids?

For many people, haemorrhoids don’t cause any noticeable symptoms. For others, they can be painful, itchy, and uncomfortable. In some cases, they may even bleed.

There are two main types of haemorrhoids and either one has the potential to cause bleeding. Internal haemorrhoids develop inside the rectum and external haemorrhoids appear beneath the skin around the anal opening.

If these haemorrhoids become thrombosed, they may cause bleeding. A thrombosed haemorrhoid is one where a blood clot has formed inside the vein. They sound scary, but in most cases, they aren’t cause for alarm. They can be very painful, though.

Haemorrhoids can become thrombosed from irritation caused by straining, passing a hard stool, or wiping too hard after using the toilet. The blood usually looks bright red.

Thrombosed, internal, and external haemorrhoids can all bleed. They should heal on their own, but if the bleeding doesn’t stop within a week or the pain gets too intense, contact your GP.

Haemorrhoid Treatment

In addition to making better lifestyle choices, you can use haemorrhoids medications to help with your symptoms. Haemorrhoids medications are often in topical form. These creams, gels, and ointments are applied directly to the affected area to give you relief and shrink the haemorrhoids. You can use the included applicator to treat internal haemorrhoids.

Many haemorrhoids medications like Proctosedyl Ointment and Scheriproct, also contain mild anaesthetics that can reduce the pain caused by haemorrhoids.

  • Proctosedyl Ointment: Proctosedyl has cinchocaine (a local anaesthetic for pain relief) and hydrocortisone (a corticosteroid that reduces inflammation and itching).
  • Scheriproct Ointment: Scheriproct contains two active ingredients, a local anaesthetic called cinchocaine which relieves pain and irritation and a steroid called prednisolone which reduces inflammation, swelling, and itching.

You can buy Proctosedyl ointment and Scheriproct online in the UK from Pharmacy Planet. Get relief from haemorrhoids today by visiting our online pharmacy. Whatever medications or prescriptions you need, our pharmacists will dispense your order and have it shipped quickly and discreetly right to your doorstep.