Chicago Health | Homepage
Don’t let hemorrhoids prevent you from exercise

Don’t let hemorrhoids prevent you from exercise

By Howard LeWine, M.D.

Q: I have hemorrhoids. Can running or exercise make hemorrhoids worse or cause them not to heal? Also what do you suggest if they become painful?

A: Symptoms of hemorrhoids may sometimes be brought on by activity. Vigorous exercise, such as heavy weight lifting, or any activity that causes exertion, straining or bearing down can cause hemorrhoids to swell.

So, exercise may make symptoms worse temporarily, but the hemorrhoids will not permanently worsen. There is no reason to avoid exercise because of hemorrhoids, unless it causes symptoms that you find unacceptable.

Hemorrhoids are lumps of tissue in the anus. These lumps contain enlarged blood vessels. Hemorrhoids may be inside the anal canal (“internal hemorrhoids”), where they primarily cause sporadic bleeding, usually when having a bowel movement.

Hemorrhoids may also lie outside the anal canal (“external hemorrhoids”), where they primarily cause swelling and sometimes discomfort. These symptoms may occur sporadically. Many people have both internal and external hemorrhoids.

Sometimes blood vessels in external hemorrhoids may clot (undergo “thrombosis”). This causes the sudden appearance of a firm painful lump (1/2 to 1 inch) at the anal opening. The hemorrhoid thrombosis usually goes away with time.

Hemorrhoids are not dangerous, so treatment is almost always optional. Minor symptoms can be relieved with home treatment. The most important treatment is a eating plenty of fiber, taking fiber powder and staying well hydrated. This keeps the stools soft.

Also, soaking in warm water three times a day can help if there is swelling, inflammation or discomfort. Ointments, creams, and suppositories are less important.

Hemorrhoids don’t actually “heal.” They just have ups and downs in terms of the symptoms they cause. Nevertheless, if you see rectal bleeding, visit your doctor. This is to determine if the bleeding is only from hemorrhoids and not from something more serious.

If hemorrhoid symptoms are persistent and bothersome despite home treatment, you may consider surgery to remove them or office treatment with rubber band ligation. With rubber band ligation, a rubber band is slipped around the base of the hemorrhoid to cut off its circulation. Once it has been deprived of its vital blood supply, the banded hemorrhoid withers and falls off.

(Howard LeWine, M.D. is an internist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School. For additional consumer health information, please visit www.health.harvard.edu.)

(c) 2015 PRESIDENT AND FELLOWS OF HARVARD COLLEGE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.

Similar Articles

Chicago Tech Start-up Spurs Weight Loss

Chicago Tech Start-up Spurs Weight Loss

By Tom Mullaney At the start of every new year, Americans’ number one resolution is to

Customized Coaching

Customized Coaching

Personalized wellness plans target health and fitness By Megy Karydes Often, a doctor will dole out a recommendation

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Make your diet more nutrient-dense

Environmental Nutrition By Matthew Kadey, M.S., R.D., Environmental Nutrition Newsletter There is only so much food you

Gluten related symptoms: Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

Gluten related symptoms: Celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?

The Medicine Cabinet: Ask the Harvard Experts By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I seem to be very

Start treatment now to prevent spring allergy symptoms

Start treatment now to prevent spring allergy symptoms

The Medicine Cabinet: Ask the Harvard Experts By Howard LeWine, M.D. Q: I have spring allergies. Every

Articles By Category

Family Health

In The Know

CH Lifestyle

May 2017
Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
April 30, 2017 May 1, 2017 May 2, 2017 May 3, 2017 May 4, 2017 May 5, 2017 May 6, 2017
May 7, 2017 May 8, 2017 May 9, 2017 May 10, 2017 May 11, 2017 May 12, 2017 May 13, 2017
May 14, 2017 May 15, 2017 May 16, 2017 May 17, 2017 May 18, 2017 May 19, 2017 May 20, 2017
May 21, 2017 May 22, 2017 May 23, 2017 May 24, 2017 May 25, 2017 May 26, 2017 May 27, 2017
May 28, 2017 May 29, 2017 May 30, 2017 May 31, 2017 June 1, 2017 June 2, 2017 June 3, 2017

Categories

Recent Comments

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Fund a Cure Night | The Griffith Family Foundation

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE
Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Swing for the fences in the fight to Sideline Pancreatic Cancer

Enjoy a great night of baseball at Peoples Natural

VIEW ARTICLE

Archives