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Are Hemorrhoids Genetic?

Posted on 14 June 2024 by

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Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, are swollen veins located in the lower rectum and anus. They can be internal, which occur inside the rectum, or external, which develop under the skin around the anus. The discomfort and complications associated with hemorrhoids can be quite distressing, leading many to wonder about their causes.

A common question is whether hemorrhoids are genetic. Understanding the genetic factors, along with other contributing factors, is essential for managing and preventing this condition.

The Genetic Link: Family History

Research indicates that there is a genetic predisposition to developing hemorrhoids. If your parents or close relatives have had hemorrhoids, you are more likely to get them too. This genetic link can be attributed to inherited traits such as weak vein walls or a predisposition to certain conditions that contribute to hemorrhoids, like chronic constipation.

Weak Vein Walls

Genetics play a big role in getting hemorrhoids. The strength and structure of the veins in the rectal and anal areas are important factors. Some individuals inherit weaker vein walls, making them more susceptible to swelling and the formation of hemorrhoids. This weakness can cause the veins to stretch and bulge under pressure, leading to hemorrhoids.

Connective Tissue Disorders

Certain connective tissue disorders, which individuals can inherit, may also increase the risk of hemorrhoids. These disorders affect the strength and elasticity of the connective tissues in the body, including the veins. Ehlers-Danlos syndrome can increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids by affecting the body's connective tissues.

Lifestyle and Environmental Factors

While genetics play a role, lifestyle and environmental factors significantly contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Understanding these factors is crucial in managing and preventing the condition, even for those with a genetic predisposition.

Bowel Movements and Straining

One of the most significant contributing factors to hemorrhoids is straining during bowel movements. This can be because of chronic constipation or diarrhea, both of which put pressure on the rectal and anal veins. A genetic predisposition to bowel irregularities can exacerbate this issue, leading to the development of hemorrhoids.

Diet and Hydration

A low-fiber diet can lead to constipation and straining during bowel movements. Eating a diet rich in fruits, veggies, whole grains, and legumes can help maintain regular bowel movements. This can also reduce the risk of developing hemorrhoids.

Consuming these foods regularly can benefit your digestive health. Hemorrhoids are less likely to occur if you include these foods in your diet. Staying well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water is also essential for preventing constipation.

Sedentary Lifestyle

Prolonged sitting, especially on the toilet, can increase pressure on the veins in the rectal area, leading to hemorrhoids. A sedentary lifestyle, common in individuals with desk jobs, can contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Regular physical activity promotes healthy bowel movements and reduces the risk of hemorrhoids.


Pregnancy can increase the risk of hemorrhoids. This is because of the extra pressure on the pelvic veins and hormonal changes. These changes can also cause constipation. Women with a family history of hemorrhoids may be more susceptible during pregnancy.

Proper Hygiene and Anal Care

Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial in preventing and managing hemorrhoids. Clean the bottom gently with water and mild soap, avoid rough wiping with toilet paper to prevent irritation. Keeping the area clean and dry can prevent further irritation and infection.

Hemorrhoids Itch and Pain

Hemorrhoids can cause significant itching and pain. Internal hemorrhoids inside the rectum may not hurt because there are no pain receptors there. But they can cause bleeding and a full feeling.

External hemorrhoids, which develop under the skin around the anus, can cause severe itching and pain. Keeping the area clean and dry is crucial as poor hygiene can exacerbate this discomfort.

Hemorrhoid Treatment and Prevention

Understanding whether hemorrhoids are genetic can help in taking proactive steps to prevent and manage them. Here are some effective treatments and preventive measures:

Home Remedies

  • Sitz Bath: Soak your bottom in warm water for 15-20 minutes to reduce inflammation and ease itching and pain.
  • Hydrocortisone Creams: Over-the-counter creams can help reduce inflammation and alleviate itching.
  • Proper Hygiene: Gently clean the anal area after bowel movements to prevent irritation and infection.
  • Dietary Changes: Increase fiber intake and stay hydrated to promote regular bowel movements and reduce straining.

Medical Treatments

  • Rubber Band Ligation is a procedure used to treat hemorrhoids. During the procedure, a rubber band is placed around the hemorrhoid. This cuts off the blood supply to the hemorrhoid. As a result, the hemorrhoid shrinks and eventually falls off.
  • Sclerotherapy: An injection of a chemical solution into the hemorrhoid to shrink it.
  • Infrared Coagulation: A procedure using infrared light to coagulate the blood vessels in the hemorrhoid.
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: A surgical procedure to remove large or prolapsed hemorrhoids.
  • Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy: A procedure that uses a stapling device to reposition and secure the hemorrhoid tissue.


While genetics can play a role in the development of hemorrhoids, lifestyle and environmental factors are also significant contributors. Understanding the genetic link can help individuals take proactive measures to manage and prevent hemorrhoids. Maintaining a healthy diet, staying hydrated, exercising regularly, and practicing proper hygiene are essential steps in reducing the risk of hemorrhoids.

If your family has a history of hemorrhoids, it can be helpful to understand the genetic connection. This knowledge can enable you to seek treatment sooner and effectively manage the condition. With the right approach, it is possible to alleviate the discomfort associated with hemorrhoids and improve overall quality of life.


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