Hemorrhoids are a very common medical condition affecting persons of all ages and both genders. However, a higher susceptibility has been noticed in older persons, pregnant women, obese individuals, and some other groups of people. Patients with liver cirrhosis can also have serious issues with hemorrhoids. An increase in venous pressure of the abdominal veins is a mutual cause of hemorrhoids in all these groups of patients. It is therefore expected that weight lifting would increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids, as many exercises significantly increase abdominal pressure.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
The anus has its venous system organized in the form of two interconnected rings -- internal (placed in the upper part of the anus) and external (placed in the lower part of the anus). These veins are the lowest portion of abdominal venous system, so their blood pressure is naturally higher than in other veins due to gravitational force. Genetic factors can cause anal veins to become distended and enlarged overtime due to poor strength of the vein wall, but lifestyle seems to be more important. Some lifestyle factors that increase the risk of hemorrhoids include fast food, obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, and chronic constipation or diarrhea.
Treatment of hemorrhoids depends on their severity. Sometimes they can become inflamed and painful, and even rupture and cause bleeding. In these cases, surgeon should decide whether to use some of the techniques to obliterate or remove the veins, or to continue conservative approach.
Hemorrhoids And Physical Activity
Physical activity is great for prevention of hemorrhoids, giving that sedentary lifestyle and obesity are among the most important causes. However, exercises which require isometric contractions of the abdominal muscles can cause hemorrhoids due to an increase in abdominal pressure. This does not mean that a person should quit bodybuilding because of hemorrhoids, because there are ways to deal with this problem and keep exercising.
Here is some useful advice:
Breathing properly during weight lifting will decrease your risk of developing hemorrhoids. You should try exhaling during the phase of maximum resistance, thus compensating increased abdominal pressure by allowing abdominal organs to expand a bit towards chest cavity.
Proper nutrition is of great importance. Be sure to eat food rich in fibers, as they clean your bowels and prevent constipation problems. You should also avoid eating large amount of food before exercise, because it increases the abdominal pressure. Stop eating junk food rich in empty calories and salt. If you are obese, then it may be the main cause of hemorrhoids in your case.
Bowel movements should be spontaneous as much as possible. In other words, do not hold too much when you need to go, and do not push when you don't.
Good hygiene is necessary both for prevention and treatment of existing hemorrhoids. Use neutral soaps rather that stronger products and take a bath more often, especially after exercise.
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