Hemorrhoids and Gas - Do Hemorrhoids Cause Excessive Gas and Bloating?
Posted on 21 July 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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Hemorrhoids and Gas - Hemorrhoids are a challenging condition to understand because researchers, doctors, and scientists alike are still searching for the exact cause of this common disease. One thing is for sure: hemorrhoids do not cause gas or bloating.
Hemorrhoids are a result of swollen internal or external rectal veins, and often, issues like constipation and the straining involved while attempting to pass hard stools are the reasons behind venous inflammation.
Because hemorrhoids are a product of an alternative condition, they do not cause gas or bloating.
External hemorrhoids are found to be small, round, and fleshy bumps that are located on the anus and around the rectal opening. These tough lumps are tender to the touch, are often sore, and can make moving around, sitting, or standing inconvenient and uncomfortable.
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If you find that you are bloated and have excess gas while experiencing external hemorrhoids, flatulence and bowel movements become suddenly more painful.
The painful bumps close to the anal opening make any activity and function in this area unpleasantly ache.
Hemorrhoids, gas, and bloating are three adverse symptoms that can co-occur but are not causes of one another. It is likely if you find that you are experiencing all three at once that there is another factor at play, in which we will delve into various causes behind these commonly occurring issues.
Can Hemorrhoids Cause Gas and Bloating?
Hemorrhoids, while sometimes painful and frustrating to deal with, can cause many symptoms, but gas and bloating are not one of them.
The statistics remark on high numbers of older adults who experience hemorrhoids—nearly half of adult Americans age 50 or older will have hemorrhoids at some point in this period of their lives.
Equally so, studies and surveys indicate that people of all ages experience gas and bloating, though the two do not have a direct link of causation.
In a 2011 study by the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Peer-Reviewed Journal, statistics reported that 31% of the population experiences functional bloating. Many individuals who suffer from periodic functional bloating also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Additionally, IBS patients frequently get hemorrhoids due to their irregular bowel movements that lead to the inflammation of rectal veins that lead to hemorrhoids and hemorrhoidal symptoms.
The rumor that hemorrhoids cause gas and bloating could have originated here, in the fact that IBS and other common gastrointestinal disorders can produce hemorrhoids, gas, and bloating all at once.
Diverticulitis, Crohn’s Disease, IBS, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) impact a large number of patients with the potential of affecting them with excessive gas, hemorrhoids, and functional bloating.
A more straightforward reason behind hemorrhoids, excess gas and a bloated feeling is diet. When the gut flora is imbalanced, digestion problems can occur. Constipation is an incredibly common gastrointestinal problem and a root cause behind all three symptoms, especially hemorrhoids.
The straining during a bowel movement that occurs because of constipation overworks the rectal veins, causing them to swell. Internal or external hemorrhoids can form because of this straining from constipation.
Being constipated can also keep gas trapped between hardened stools in the digestive tract, leading to a bloated feeling and occasional excess flatulence.
Actual Hemorrhoid Symptoms
Hemorrhoids do not cause bloating or gas, but they can lead to many other symptoms ranging in severity. These symptoms are frustrating for sufferers, and can even hinder daily activities, making certain positions and movements uncomfortable.
Symptoms caused by hemorrhoids can include:
- Anal itching anywhere from mild to severe
- Hard lumps also are known as external hemorrhoids that can be sore and painful
- Bleeding tissue, during or immediately after a bowel movement
- Anal pain often felt by sitting or standing
- Blood clots that take form inside an external hemorrhoid
- Feeling pain during bowel movements
For people who experience hemorrhoids often, these symptoms get in the way of healthy living. Although gas and bloating are not included in these symptoms, the side effects caused by hemorrhoids are just as inconvenient if not more complex than excessive flatulence and functional bloating.
Between the two types of hemorrhoids—internal and external—there are individual symptoms that the types may share or may differ from one another.
External hemorrhoids are often visible lumps around the anus. These lumps can produce a burning and throbbing pain, especially in sitting and standing positions.
External hemorrhoids, at times, can become thrombosed. A thrombosed hemorrhoid is a formation of a blood clot trapped inside the external hemorrhoid. Unlike a “normal” external hemorrhoid, a thrombosed hemorrhoid appears bluish or purple because of the blood pooled beneath the skin’s surface.
Internal hemorrhoids have their own unique set of symptoms. For mild cases, there is a singular symptom that shows itself, and that is rectal bleeding. Hemorrhoid bleeding is usually painless, if not alarming, due to the lack of pain-feeling nerves inside the rectum where the rectal veins become swollen and produce an internal hemorrhoid.
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Aside from rectal bleeding, internal hemorrhoids are rated in their state of prolapse based on varying degrees or grades. Anything ranked beyond a Grade I is considered to be an internal hemorrhoid displaying signs of a prolapse beyond the rectum.
People with an internal hemorrhoid that is prolapsed may have difficulty producing a bowel movement or passing gas. Fortunately, there are plenty of non-aggressive treatments to solve a prolapsed hemorrhoid.
Hemorrhoids can accumulate many different symptoms, as you can see, but gas and bloating are not among them.
If you believe you have hemorrhoids but are unsure, the best plan begins with talking to your doctor.
Certain factors like age, family history of gastrointestinal diseases or cancers, and diet will help your doctor determine if additional tests are required.
The Relationship of Fiber and Hemorrhoids
If you happen to have hemorrhoids, gas, and bloating all at the same time and are wondering: if hemorrhoids do not cause excessive gas and a bloated abdomen, then what does?
The answer could be simpler than you expect.
More often than not, a doctor’s first rule of advice in solving hemorrhoid problems is to have his or her patient actively strive to include more fiber in their diet.
A fiber supplement may be recommended if the patient cannot seem to get fiber from whole foods, like beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Soluble fiber has numerous studies to support its effectiveness in reducing hemorrhoids and their subsequent flare-ups. Doctors will recommend a form of soluble fiber for their patients to begin as a means of treatment and in some cases, doctors may opt to prescribe a stool softener.
This is where gas and bloating come into effect. For many people beginning to take a fiber supplement or change their diet to a more fibrous one, gas and bloating are a widely experienced side effect.
You may experience hemorrhoids, excess gas, and abnormal bloating all at the same time, which leads to the assumption that hemorrhoids are the root cause.
Hemorrhoids are typically a sign that you aren't getting enough fiber, anyway. A diet lacking in fiber leads to constipation and excessive straining while passing stools.
When your body isn't used to high fiber intake, a change to its dietary routine or a supplement can shock the system, producing gas, which leads to abdominal bloating.
Many supplements have packaging instructions that advise beginning taking a smaller dose than what is recommended on the nutrition label. When starting a fiber supplement, you should begin at lower doses to prevent the side effects of gas and abdominal bloating.
This is the case for supplements in a powder form, gummies, and capsules or tablets. It is also important to remember to drink plenty of water when introducing a fiber supplement to your dietary routine.
Water helps with stool absorption, creating passable, softened, and moist stools that do not produce straining, thereby lowering the chance of hemorrhoid flare-ups.
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If you begin taking a fiber supplement for your hemorrhoids as a part of treatment and prevention, then even by starting in small doses, you still could develop the side effects of flatulence and functional bloating.
While you can take another medication to relieve these side effects, you should give your body time to adjust to the introduction of fiber into its system