6 Myths About Hemorrhoids

myths about hemorrhoids

According to the Mayo Clinic, hemorrhoids, otherwise known as piles, are swollen veins in your anus and lower rectum. They are either inside the rectum or under the skin around the anus. Three out of four adults will experience hemorrhoids at some point in their life. While common, hemorrhoids still create discomfort and pain for the person with them.  

Common Myths About Hemorrhoids 

Even though they are common, there are many myths about hemorrhoids. These myths can leave people not knowing what information to read or believe about their medical situation. The important thing to do is find information from trusted sources and your doctors. At Birmingham Gastroenterology, we are dedicated to providing you with accurate information by debunking six myths about hemorrhoids. 

Myth 1: Only Older People Get Hemorrhoids 

While it seems like only older people get hemorrhoids, that is not the case. You may develop hemorrhoids at any age. Some of the most common causes of hemorrhoids are pressure on the anus from straining related to diarrhea or constipation and even pressure on the abdomen during pregnancy. These causes can occur to anyone at any age. Understand the myths about hemorrhoids and age are not true.

Myth 2: Eating Spicy Foods Causes Hemorrhoids 

There is often talk about the myth that spicy foods can cause hemorrhoids to develop. Once you understand the cause stemming from pressure on the anus, it is easy to see how the presence of spicy food in one’s diet would not have an impact on the situation. A study was conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine that showed that hemorrhoid symptoms did not get worse in those who consumed hot chili peppers. 

Myth 3: Hemorrhoids Increase Your Chance Of Cancer 

There is no medical backing to the idea that hemorrhoids increase a person’s chance of cancer. The only concern that can be associated with hemorrhoids is that a person with them would miss the presence of bleeding bowel movements because they are relating them to the hemorrhoids. This means paying attention to family health history or your own that could seem related to the hemorrhoids without dismissing them entirely. 

Myth 4: There Is Only One Type  

There are three main types of hemorrhoids that one may experience. These are broken down into internal, external, and prolapsed hemorrhoids. The Cleveland Clinic defines each respectively. External hemorrhoids are swollen veins that form underneath the skin around the anus. Internal hemorrhoids are swollen veins that form inside the rectum. These are usually less painful than external hemorrhoids. Prolapsed hemorrhoids are when either an external or internal hemorrhoid stretches and bulges outside of the anus.  

Myth 5: Hemorrhoids Are Permanent   

People often believe the myths about hemorrhoids being permanent. While uncomfortable and sometimes even painful, hemorrhoids are not permanent. There are various treatment methods for hemorrhoids that your doctor may advise. Some of these treatments are home methods that may treat the hemorrhoids. However, if the home methods do not work, there are nonsurgical and surgical procedures that a doctor may advise to rid yourself of the hemorrhoids for good. 

Myth 6: Sitting On A Cold Surface Can Cause Hemorrhoids 

One of the myths about hemorrhoids is often phrased as cold surfaces being able to cause them. This is not a possibility as the cause is related to pressure on the anus. A cold surface does not play a role in the presence or creation of hemorrhoids. 

There are many myths about hemorrhoids one can find through their research. Here, we are working to debunk six of the most common ones. It is important to ensure your information is accurate in order to diagnose and treat your situation in the most accurate way possible. At Birmingham Gastroenterology, we are here to provide answers to any questions you may have and find the best treatment for you. Are you looking for a medical professional to help you find treatment? Check out our website or give us a call at (205) 271-8000 to schedule an appointment today. 

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