You’ve heard of them. You may well have even had them. Still, you may wonder: What exactly is a haemorrhoid? “Haemorrhoids are dilated, swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum,” says David Greenwald, MD, director of clinical gastroenterology and endoscopy. “They may be asymptomatic, or may cause discomfort and occasional bleeding.” Here are eight everyday habits that can cause them.
You’re lifting heavy objects
You may think it’s harmless to pick up one end of the couch while you’re moving. But it could cause you to bear down too hard. That increases pressure in the rectum, causing the veins (called the haemorrhoidal plexus) to swell like a balloon, says Darren Brenner, MD, associate professor of medicine and gastroenterologist. Boom: haemorrhoids. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to avoid this completely. Lifting correctly – you know, with your knees, not your back – can help.
You’re over-ambitious at the gym
For the same reason hoisting a big box can give you haemorrhoids, so too can lifting heavy weights at the gym, says Dr Brenner. The idea is to challenge yourself, of course, but make sure that you’re catering the workout to your abilities, and using weights that are right for you.