Can Hemorrhoids Cause Constipation? Or is it the Other Way Around

🐣 Life’s biggest question: Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

🌎 While we at the Doctor Butler’s blog appreciate life’s big mysteries, things aren’t so philosophical around here. Instead, we have our own chicken-or-the-egg conundrum: Do hemorrhoids lead to constipation, or is it the other way around?

🤔 It turns out that it actually goes both ways! (No comment on the chicken/egg question…) 

  • Hemorrhoid-causing constipation: It’s well documented that the infrequent passage of hard stool contributes directly to inflamed and large hemorrhoids. 
  • But what about constipation-causing hemorrhoids? While it’s not 100% the case that swollen hemorrhoids can cause constipation directly, it can absolutely be a contributing factor.

To learn how constipation and hemorrhoids intersect, and ways to reduce their signs and symptoms, read on.

Who are we? We’re Doctor Butler’s, experts in down-there care of hemorrhoids and related conditions. We make proctologist-developed hemorrhoid ointments and complementary products to help you quickly leave the pain behind. Dr. Robert Cutler medically reviews all of the information here.

What are Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids are a cluster of veins in your lower rectum. Internal pressure on this area can cause the hemorrhoid veins to swell and lead to either internal hemorrhoids or external hemorrhoids. Both kinds of hemorrhoids may create irritating symptoms including itching, bleeding and pain. 

This article is focused on constipation but patients usually have bloating and gas along with it. We won’t cover all those symptoms here. Those topics can be found elsewhere on our Ask The Doctor blog.

For more answers and information on the definition, causes and treatment of hemorrhoids, start with our hemorrhoid resource page at What are Hemorrhoids.

See Also: How Long Do Hemorrhoids Last?

What is Constipation?

Constipation means a decrease in bowel movements and an increased difficulty passing stool. Stool that has become dry and hard or an abdomen that feels bloated, pressured or in pain are all complications of constipation. While risk factors often include low fiber, a lack of fluids or changes to diet and routine, there is no one cause linked to constipation. Foods such as milk, cheese and other dairy, processed food and fast food that pose a known risk for hemorrhoids should also be avoided to prevent constipation. 

Can Hemorrhoids Cause Constipation?

The pain brought on by swollen hemorrhoids may also lead sufferers to avoid making bowel movements and cause constipation. That’s the true cause for concern here. While hemorrhoids can block the opening of the anus somewhat, both internal (or upper hemorrhoids) and external hemorrhoids aren’t going to stop you from passing a stool and causing the back-up we associate with constipation. What’s more common is for constipation to cause the hemorrhoids in the first place.

More information on how to poop with a hemorrhoid can be found at the following in the linked resource. 

Does Constipation Cause Hemorrhoids?

Yes. Two of the most prominent risk factors for hemorrhoids are increased perennial pressure and straining of constipation. This straining due to constipation can cause either internal or external hemorrhoids. The excessive abdominal pressure that builds up when stool does not exit the body begins to stretch the hemorrhoids, reducing elasticity. 

These enlarged veins lead to pain or risk of symptoms such as itching, burning and bleeding. Straining to pass hard or dry stool has a similar effect, applying added pressure to the veins that over time causes hemorrhoids. 

The Relationship Between Hemorrhoids and Constipation

Can constipation cause hemorrhoids? Or can hemorrhoids cause constipation? Each condition can exacerbate the other but it’s just not right to say that hemorrhoids cause constipation. While the pain of a hemorrhoid might cause someone to hold off from going to the bathroom, it’s more likely that constipation caused the hemorrhoid in the first place.

You can get a hemorrhoid after constipation due to straining, and once you’ve had one hemorrhoid, ongoing flare-ups will continue if you don’t take care of the constipation. So don’t treat the pain of hemorrhoids in isolation; try to find a diet that helps to reduce straining, and pain relief for your hemorrhoids in tandem. How? Read on.

How to Treat Hemorrhoids and Constipation

Luckily, both hemorrhoids and constipation are conditions that can be treated with at-home methods. Eating foods with more fiber, upping your intake of fluids and gradually adding more movement and exercise to your daily routine will go a long way in preventing and treating constipation. As you learned above, constipation can cause hemorrhoids, so keeping on top of your gastrointestinal and digestive health stops severe hemorrhoids before they start. 

For those already getting the high-fiber foods that help stop constipation, be aware that some foods can be hard on your hemorrhoids if they’re actively swollen. Cruciferous vegetables, nuts and seeds (plus other things like hot sauce) are some examples of what to avoid until the swelling has decreased and your hemorrhoids no longer pose a risk of interfering with regular bowel movements. 

For our break-down on the best diet for hemorrhoid sufferers, read our blog post here: https://doctorbutlers.com/blog/diet-for-hemorrhoids-sufferers/

Fast track your hemorrhoid treatment with any of Doctor Butler’s proven line of products, including the All-in-One Hemorrhoid Healing and Natural Relief Box and the original Hemorrhoid Cream. Will a hemorrhoid suppository help with constipation? As with other hemorrhoid treatments, active ingredients in the medication will provide temporary relief from symptoms associated with hemorrhoids while your body heals. Always consult a medical professional should your hemorrhoids fail to heal within two weeks or if you experience significant or long lasting bleeding of any kind.

Feel the Relief With Doctor Butler’s

The health and wellness of your body means understanding how all its different systems interact. Maintaining habits that promote balance from your bowels to your bum prevents flare-ups and constipation. Relief from hemorrhoid constipation is possible, and Doctor Butler’s is here to help make sure the tools for tackling both conditions are within your reach.

About Robert Cutler, D.O.

Dr. Robert Cutler has performed duties as a specialist in the field of Proctology over 30 years as a practicing physician. Over this time, he has had great success integrating patient care from both an efficiency standpoint and as a practical approach to holistic and preventative medicine.

Dr. Cutler also performs FDA approved Clinical Trials and has had formal research training in Human Subject Assurance Training, OHRP/NIH and Good Clinical Practice for Investigators, Quintiles. Dr. Cutler continues to work on creating more affordable solutions to help people who are affected by ano-rectal problems as well as various chronic or acute skin issues.

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