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What Increases Your Risk

Certain bowel habits, physical stresses, and other conditions increase a person's risk for developing hemorrhoids or can make existing hemorrhoids worse. Some of these factors can be prevented, some cannot.

Bowel habits and physical stresses

Bowel habits and physical stresses that increase your risk for hemorrhoids include:

  • Persistent constipation or diarrhea. These conditions may lead to straining with bowel movements.
  • Being overweight. Hemorrhoids related to obesity are common.

Other factors

Other factors that

increase your risk

for developing hemorrhoids include:

  • A family history of hemorrhoids. You may inherit the tendency to develop hemorrhoids.
  • Being age 50 or older. Half of people who are older than 50 years of age seek treatment for hemorrhoids.
  • Infection in the end portion of the large intestine (anal canal).
  • Pregnancy. During the last six months of pregnancy, as the fetus grows, pressure on blood vessels in the pelvis increases.
  • Liver and/or heart disease. These conditions may cause blood to back up in the pelvic and abdominal areas.

Other factors that may make hemorrhoids worse include:

  • Prolonged sitting or standing. This may cause blood to pool in the anal area and increase pressure on the veins in the bowel.
  • Frequent heavy lifting or holding your breath when lifting heavy objects. This can cause a sudden increase of pressure in the blood vessels of the pelvic area.

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