Causes of hemorrhoids

What is the cause of hemorrhoids?

Many different causes have been assigned. The principal predisposing causes are in man's habit of standing or walking in the erect position, the lack of valves in the rectal veins causing the weight of the column of blood to rest on the veins in the lower part of the rectum and anus.

This may also be brought about by portal obstruction, whetjer hepatic or cardiac in origin, since the portal and systemic circulations communicate freely in the hemorhlloidal plexus.

The superior hemorrhoidal veins in their courses pierce the muscular coat of the rectum, and the contraction of the muscular walls of the rectum tends to constrict the apertures through which these veins pass when straining at stool and to retard the return flow of blood.

Anything which will abnormally increase the weight or pressure on the vein wall will cause congestion or dilatation of the veils. Hard feces, which generally implies constipation, press upon these veins as they pass down through the rectum, pushing the blood ahead of them in the veins, making unusual pressure in the hemorrhoidal plexus.

Probably the more comlllon cause is the use of drastic purgatives which cause straining and irritation from the liquid stool. Over-indulgence in drinking, eating, lack of exercise, or anything
that causes congestion of the portal circulation are frequent, important, causative factors.

A diet deficient in vegetables, fruits, and fluids, or with a continued excess of condiments and sugar, especially in persons who live a sedentary life, is frequently a contributing cause.

Individuals who live sedentary lives and who take little or no exercise, or workers who stand on their feet for long hours, are more likely to develop hemorrhoids than those who have varied exercise.

Piles are most frequent between twenty and sixty years of age. They are, rarely found in children under six, and it is the experience of most proctologists that they seldom appear in persons over sixty. In cases late in life a careful examination should be made to exclude the presence of a cancerous growth.

There is no great disproportion between the sexes. Pregnancy and displacement of the uturus or tumor of the uturus are also often the causes of hemorrhoids, caused by the pressure and obstruction of the rectal veins.

Men tend to indulge a bit more in highly seasoned foods, alcoholic drinks, and so forth, more frequently than women. Enlargement of the prostate may be another cause in the male.

This must be considered as playing a certain part in the etiology of hemorrhoids. It is common to treat several members of one family for the same trouble, and frequently a history of the patient will reveal that his parents and grandparents have had similar conditions.