You’re lifting heavy objects
You may think it’s harmless to pick up one end of the couch while you’re moving, but it could cause you to bear down too hard. That increases pressure in the rectum, causing the veins (called the hemorrhoidal plexus) to swell like a balloon, explains Darren Brenner, MD, gastroenterologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Boom: hemorrhoids. Unfortunately, there’s no surefire way to avoid this completely. Lifting correctly—you know, with your knees, not your back—can help.
You’re over-ambitious at the gym
For the same reason hoisting a big box can give you hemorrhoids, so too can lifting overly heavy weights at the gym, says Dr. Brenner. The idea is to challenge yourself, of course, but make sure that you’re catering the workout to your abilities, and using weights and workouts that are right for you. These weight-lifting mistakes can ruin your workout.
You’re sitting on the toilet…forever
When thinking about what causes hemorrhoids, consider your toilet time. Sure, it’s nice to hang out with your smartphone in the bathroom—it’s so quiet and relaxing in there!—but sitting too long on an open toilet bowl will cause gravity to put undue stress on these veins. Dr. Brenner gives you license to take all the time you need to go, but once you’re done, flush and head out. If you’re taking a long time in the john because you’re backed up, here’s how to get things moving again.