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Aetiology

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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The causes of haemorrhoids are not well understood but the following factors are important:

constipation and prolonged straining at stool - this puts downward pressure on the anal vascular cushions and causes engorgement and dilation of haemorrhoidal tissue

  • the typical Western diet is low in fibre and haemorrhoids are more common
  • haemorrhoids are uncommon in developing countries

  • increased anal sphincter tone:
    • several effective treatments aim to reduce anal tone, including anal stretch procedures and nitroglycerine ointment

  • obstruction of venous flow may play a role:
    • during pregnancy
    • in patients with portal hypertension

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