Your emotional and psychological state of mind is so much more connected to your health. Have you ever been so nervous about a presentation that you felt nauseated shortly before you begin?
Or have you had to go to the toilet to puke immediately after facing a large crowd? Many of us have been in such situations or similar ones more times than we can count, and the simple explanation for this is that our emotional health does impact our gastrointestinal system.
The daily stress we are all faced with, ranging from work issues to family, relationships, financial matters, and many others, affects our minds every time.
The question that is often asked is, is it possible for stress to cause hemorrhoids?
Relationship Between Stress And Hemorrhoids
Stress affects all systems in the body, as nearly all body functions are wildly interconnected. However, we’ll focus on how it affects the digestive system, leading to the development of hemorrhoids.
The digestive system has a myriad of neurons that are constantly in communication with the brain.
As we all know, stress is a biological response to happenings around us, and there’s a part of the brain called the hypothalamus that coordinates stress response. When your body is stressed, it affects the communication between the brain and the digestive system.
When this happens, the gastrointestinal tract is significantly affected, leading to a series of discomforts such as bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. These might eventually develop to cause hemorrhoids.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the walls of the anus or lower rectum. They can be internal or external. The internal ones develop inside the rectum, while the external ones develop under the skin around the anus.
Hemorrhoids usually occur when blood vessels become inflamed around the anus due to long periods of pushing or straining while stooling, often caused by diarrhea or constipation.
It can also be caused by other factors that cause pressure to be exerted on the rectal veins. These factors include obesity, pregnancy, sitting or standing for an extended period, regular heavy lifting, and psychological factors such as stress, emotional discomfort, and psychological state of mind.
Other factors that could lead to the development of hemorrhoids are dietary factors. People who take foods that are relatively low in dietary fiber often suffer from hemorrhoids, as fiber is known to reduce the risk of constipation in individuals.
People in the habit of drinking little water are more exposed to the dangers of developing hemorrhoids because of dehydration.
Water is not the only factor that causes dehydration; excessive alcohol intake is also a major cause of dehydration. Such individuals are more susceptible to passing hard stools than soft ones that wouldn’t require much straining while stooling.
How Does Stress Cause Hemorrhoids?
The digestive system is partly connected to the central nervous system, as some neurons are lining the gastrointestinal tract.
These neurons are connected to the brain and the spinal cord. A collection of these neurons makes up the enteric nervous system, which is often regulating some gastrointestinal behavior.
Some of these regulations include swallowing, the constant release of enzymes for the breakdown of foods, and categorizing foods into wastes and valuable nutrients.
When the body is stressed, some alterations occur, which triggers heightened awareness, elevation in blood pressure, and an increase in heartbeat.
These changes usually disrupt blood flow into the stomach, causing a decrease in the flow of blood and oxygen, leading to a series of imbalances in the digestive system. This imbalance induces the development of hemorrhoids.
In simpler terms, while emotional functions are connected to the brain and the nervous system, the brain and the nervous system are connected by a series of neurons to the digestive system.
When our stress level rises, the brain and nervous system get triggered, disrupting our digestive system. These disruptions could be in the form of diarrhea, constipation, or other factors that incite hemorrhoids.
Stress-related activities that cause hemorrhoids
To reduce the risks of exposure to hemorrhoids, you need to understand what activities raise your stress levels and try to cut down on your participation in such activities.
Also, for individuals who already have prevailing signs of hemorrhoidal diseases, strenuous activities can cause irritation, pain, aggravating any symptoms of hemorrhoids that already exist.
Heavy lifting is one activity that aggravates the symptoms of hemorrhoidal diseases because it exerts pressure on the lower body alongside the walls of the rectum and anus.
Any activity that is bound to strain your back muscles and the lower abdomen should be avoided.
If you’re actively involved in workout sessions and body exercise, pay attention to how your body responds to every activity.
Sometimes you’ll notice that some of them might cause you pain, so avoid such exercise.
Squats are most detrimental in causing hemorrhoids. Rowing, spinning, and other sitting-related activities can cause more pressure on sore parts of your body. Explore other options that are less likely to cause pains and irritate your rectal veins.
How To Relieve From Stress Hemorrhoids
Sadly, stress is a part of life that is inevitable. However, there are remedies for dealing with stress that can help keep your emotions under control.
Seek professional help
Asides from talking to people who can relate, having a detailed conversation with professionals like therapists can go a long way. They can help you identify these problems, those that you’re a little oblivious to, and also prefer practical solutions that work.
Make lifestyle adjustments
This involves taking a holistic approach to stress and making lifestyle changes that influence your physical and emotional health. Some changes include your daily activities, cut down on the hours you spend working, take out days to relax.
Take a break from the troubles of life. Also, your eating habits have a lot of effects on your hemorrhoids.
Sometimes stress influences your eating habits negatively, and you chug down junk that has little or no fiber in them. Such dietary habits might upset your bowels, causing you to visit the toilet more times than average.
Excessive consumption of alcohol and not drinking enough water also causes dehydration, which would later develop into hemorrhoidal disease. Avoid alcohol and unhealthy meals, eat foods relatively high in fiber, and drink at least one liter of water daily.
Workout and exercise
While some workout activities are known to aggravate your hemorrhoids, others help you release toxic energy and make you feel good.
There are plenty of less strenuous and calm activities that, to get your body moving, it doesn’t have to be a high-impact workout.
Yoga practices, after-dinner walk around the neighborhood to clear your mind and thoughts after a long day.
Most of these things might seem unimportant, but they come together to make a lot of difference in the long run. Our daily routines have the most effect on our overall health. Go back to your schedule and add some alone personal time to relieve your stress.
Sometimes, it’s so easy for you to forget how much your emotions and state of mind affect your general health. From issues related to our mental health to psychological and digestive problems, every system in our body is interconnected.
Although stress is unavoidable, we need always to ensure that it doesn’t get out of control.
Relieve stress, take time out with friends, families, and engage in social activities. Read a book once in a while, join book clubs if you find it hard to be consistent. Some time with yourself is also an excellent way to soothe your mind.
A bit of yoga, mind therapy, and pleasant music. Taking these tips into practice would help you adjust your daily routine, rid yourself of physical and remote exhaustion.
Relieving stress might not cure your hemorrhoids, but it will help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms and prevent further complications.
However, if your hemorrhoids do not go away within a week after following these tips religiously, see a doctor for other professional advice.