The blood vessels in the anal and rectum area can swell up due to strain on them, these are swollen blood vessels are known as hemorrhoids.
The strain can be caused by multiple factors such as not eating a diet that has enough fiber, not drinking enough water, a sedentary lifestyle, or bad hygiene. But have you ever thought about getting hemorrhoids by exercising too?
Yes, you can get hemorrhoids from lifting heavy objects and the science behind this is very simple. When we lift heavyweights in the gym, pressure is exerted on our body as the blood pressure rises to meet the oxygen demand in the body.
This sudden rise in blood pressure puts blood vessels under high pressure including the ones present in the anal and rectum regions.
However, this factor alone does not cause hemorrhoids but it is the incorrect way of lifting weights, if you hold your breath while lifting heavy objects then you put your stomach under more strain as the breath goes downwards which puts more pressure on the veins in your rectum.
How do I know if I have hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anal region and rectum. They can be internal and external; internal hemorrhoids occur in the rectum and external hemorrhoids occur in the anal region.
External hemorrhoids are more obvious to recognize as they cause constant itching and pain during bowel movements.
Other symptoms of hemorrhoids include:
- Pain and discomfort
- bloody stool
- swelling around the anus
How to treat hemorrhoids at home?
- Consume a high fiber diet
- Drink plenty of fluids
- take fiber supplements
- Over-the-counter ointments and medications
- Take sitz bath several times a day
- sit in warm water several times a day
- take shower everyday
- Wipe your anal region properly and maintain hygiene
Can deadlifting cause hemorrhoids?
It is not the exercise that causes hemorrhoids but the wrong way of doing the exercise that causes the hemorrhoids. So the perception that hemorrhoids from lifting heavy objects are possible breaks when you understand the science that happens when we perform a certain exercise.
The strain on the stomach caused by holding your breath when lifting heavy objects is the same as exerting pressure when you are constipated and are trying to push the stool out of the intestines.
This amount of strain definitely puts the veins around the anal region and veins in the rectum under a lot of pressure which is why they swell up and hemorrhoids happen.
As a deadlift involves lifting a very heavy amount of weight, it is very important to perform it with the perfect posture and proper breathing technique.
Inhaling and exhaling at the right time is very important when you are lifting heavyweight as it maintains the right amount of oxygen in your body and also relieves the strain caused by holding your breath in the body.
Can Lifting heavy objects cause hemorrhoids to bleed?
If you already have hemorrhoids (internal or external) then you are always at the risk of bleeding if you are going to lift heavy objects.
So it’s better to avoid lifting heavy objects if you already have hemorrhoids. However, there are other exercises that you can do to be active and even treat hemorrhoids such as swimming, long walks for around 30 minutes every day, yoga asanas such as Viparita Karani, Pawanmuktasana, and Baddha Konasana. 1, 2, 3, 4
You can do kegel exercises to strengthen your colon muscles which can ultimately help in smoother bowel movements.
Should I never again lift heavyweight?
People feel embarrassed to talk about hemorrhoids but they are very normal in most humans and they can occur due to a variety of reasons.
Most people get so scared that they stop doing their usual heavy weight lifting. But that is not a solution instead, you should talk to your trainer or instructor and perform every exercise with the right posture and breathing technique.
Avoid lifting heavy weights if you have hemorrhoid. Get it fully treated and then you can get back to your normal workout after proper rest.
The answer is simple lifting weights or exercising in the proper amount and with the right technique can never do bad to your health. So don’t stop working out just because of hemorrhoids but avoid lifting heavy objects till you recover.
So, hemorrhoids from lifting heavy objects are only possible when you do not perform the exercise with proper posture or if you hold your breath while doing it and put a strain on your stomach.
Take guidance from instructors and gym trainers about how to perform exercises.
Consume a high fiber diet, drink enough water, use over-the-counter ointments or medications, and if these treatment options do not help then consult your doctor and get treated.