Hemorrhoid Myths – Part One

Myths associated with haemorrhoids

A Short Hello

Welcome to the Health Base, folks. Ann here with an article that will greatly interest you if you’ve ever had the misfortune of suffering from Piles. Unfortunately, I have had that very misfortune.

This is a nasty affliction that's something that you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy. It’s sore, irritating, distracting, and embarrassing. In short, it’s a real pain in the ass…pun intended. 😊

However, a super annoying factor about this health issue is that there is a lot of false information and half-truths surrounding it. These myths are really unhelpful as they can cause people to treat their own haemorrhoids incorrectly. Or, even worse, put off treating them entirely.

This is never an advisable course of action as health issues rarely just go away by themselves. So, with that said, this is why it’s important to have all the facts. Only then can we set about returning to top form.

In this article, I will look at some of the more common myths and fables that surround the issue of hemorrhoids. Hopefully you’ll find it helpful!

Myth 1: This is Not a Common Affliction

This first belief is completely wrong. This actually is a very common affliction that affect lots of people in every part of the world. In fact, a research study recently done hypothesized that 70-75% of people will suffer from this issue in one form or the other at some point in their lives.

This study alone completely disproves this myth. A potential reason why this myth is a common belief could be because of the stigma that surrounds the issue – the embarrassment and personal nature of this problem understandably means that it’s not talked about in an open manner.

The Reality: they are indeed a common medical issue, something that has been proven time and time again by medical research. This is also the reason why there are so many DIY home remedies for this problem, because of its ubiquitous nature. 

Myth 2: Pain Indicates a Problem

While pain in the rectal area can indeed indicate that you have an issue, this not a fool proof method of diagnosing this health concern.

The reason for this is because haemorrhoids can appear both in an internal and external form.

The external variety usually are quite sore as they are directly affected when we sit down or from the friction caused by clothes. Internal Piles on the other hand might not actually cause any pain whatsoever, though bleeding is a common side effect of this type.

Of course, pain in your rectal area could also indicate another health issue. This is why it’s always important that you visit your local health specialist if you believe that there is an abnormal change with your body.


The Reality: pain can indicate an external problem, but a lack of pain doesn’t mean that you are not suffering from this malady.

Myth 3: It Only Affects Elderly People

This myth is completely wrong. As mentioned before, this health issue is a very common one and is not restricted to a certain age group. However, in saying this, it is most probable that you will suffer from haemorrhoids between the ages of 45 and 65.

This is what the research has proven. Though, it must be noted, it’s still common to see this problem rear its ugly head in younger adults. The reason why it’s more common in people who have passed through their 20s and 30s is due to the fact that, over time, the connective tissue that lies between our anus and rectum weakens – this makes this area more susceptible to certain ailments.

Also, this myth depends on what exactly you think “old age” is!! Some people think 45-65 constitutes being old, other people (myself) scoff at this line of thinking. Life begins at 50, after all. 😊

The Reality: this problem is more common in people over the age of 50, but there are no age groups that are free from this problem occurring.

Myth 4: Spicy Food is the Culprit

This is quite a common myth that actually makes sense if you think about the affect that foods of a spicy nature have on our bodies. However, the truth actually is that spicy food plays no role in the emergence of this problem.

Hems originate from stress and strain that occurs in our anus – mainly due to the veins and blood vessels becoming enlarged. It has absolutely nothing to do with our metabolism. To strengthen this point, there is no research or evidence that proves hot foods cause haemorrhoids.

In saying this, such food can cause issues like constipation and diarrhea which can then put more stress on our rectal area. This can exacerbate the issue of Piles. In addition, and on a related train of thought, a safe bet is to stay away from the following food if you are in the midst of a hemorrhoid problem:

Foods to avoid

The Reality: spicy food won’t bring on this health issue, but it might lead to certain problems that you’d want to avoid.

Myth 5: Your Diet Has No Impact

Healthy Diet

I’ve touched upon this point in the previous paragraph, as there are certain food groups that you should avoid if you’re struggling with this particular health problem.

Basically, anything that you think might cause issues for your digestion and stomach is something that you’ll want to avoid.

Also, you’ll want to ensure that you are consuming a healthy dose of fiber on a daily basis.

Fiber is essential in making sure all foods pass through your body in a smooth fashion – something that is key to in your attempts to avoid irritating any existing hemorrhoids.

A healthy dose of fiber comes in at around 20 – 35 grams per day, depending on your size.  Males will often need to consume more than females as they are usually the larger of the two sexes.

The Reality: a healthy, balanced, fiber filled diet will greatly help any issues.

Myth 6: Do Not Exercise

I’m afraid that if you’ve been telling yourself and others that you don’t exercise because of Piles, then you may want to come up with a better excuse! 🙂 Exercise, of course, is very good for you and you should never skip it due to this problem.

There is only one exercise related issue when it comes to haemorrhoids – that being that incorrect weight lifting technique can cause your rectum to experience undue stress and strain. This can then lead to Piles emerging or, indeed, existing ones’ worsening.

However, if your form is good then you shouldn’t worry about any such issues. If you’re unsure about correct weight lifting form, then a quick search on YouTube will supply you with the right points. This is especially prevalent for exercises such a dead lifting and squatting.

The Reality: only incorrect lifting techniques can negatively this issue. Healthy exercise habits will cause no adverse reactions.

Myth 7: Cold Surfaces Can be a Cause

This a strange one and the only reason that I’m including it in this article is because a lot of people actually seem to believe that sitting on a cold surface can cause problems. I’ll alleviate those concerns by saying that this categorically untrue.

There is no evidence to support this myth. In fact, sitting on a cold surface, or using such tools as ice packs or a cold compresses, can greatly help with reducing the pain and swelling that is associated with haemorrhoids.

Though in saying this, there is a link between sitting and the emergence of this problem. Sitting for long periods can really exacerbate this problem so that’s something to keep in mind.

The Reality: there hasn’t been a tonne of research done on this issue, but the studies that have been done haven’t resulted in a link between cold surfaces and Piles.

Myth 8: Risk of Cancer is Increased

Again, as with most of these myths, there is absolutely no evidence to prove that this is true. Whether it be scientific research, group testing, or individual experiences, there simply isn’t any information out there that backs up this myth.

However, with this said, there are few cancer related points that you should be aware of. Symptoms associated with hemorrhoids are actually very similar to those of rectal cancer.

This is just another undeniable reason why you should always go and see a health professional if you think there’s an issue. Self-diagnosing is never recommended.

colon cancer

Hems cannot lead to cancer, but there is evidence that cancer in the rectum can you make you more vulnerable to Piles appearing – in particular colorectal cancer. This is due to the fact that a tumor in this area of you body will put pressure on the veins there.

The Reality: cancerous tumors are not caused by this issue, but tumors can indeed result in haemorrhoids forming.

Myth 9: Hot Surfaces Can Lead to Breakouts  

This myth is debunked for pretty much the same reasons as the cold surfaces myth. The heat in which your sitting on, or in, will have no effect on this particular health issue.

As with sitting on cold areas, it’s the amount of time that you spend in a seated position that will be the potential problem, rather than the temperature of you seat.

The best way to avoid any such issue is to try and not sit down for more than 40 minutes. Even if you only get up and walk around for a minute or so. This will help greatly, not only for any hemorrhoids issues but also for your spine and overall posture.

The Reality: sitting on a hot surface will not affect this issue in any way.

Myth 10: Surgery is the Only Solution

This is not only a complete fabrication, it’s also quite a harmful lie! If everyone believed that haemorrhoids could only be cured by surgery, then far more people wouldn’t even attempt to cure their problem – rather they’d just try and live with it instead of going under the knife.

This is absurd and unnecessary.

In most circumstances, surgery is the last resort, and it’s usually only used for serious health conditions. When it comes to Piles, it’s actually very rare that surgery would be required. 


The symptoms of this disorder can be alleviated from other, less invasive treatments.

One such treatment is to use a top quality cream – such creams have been proven by science and by consumer testing to bring relief to this issue. Another method is to include the use of essential oils. These natural oils have also been proven to be effective with this problem.

The Reality: not only is it inaccurate to say that surgery is the only solution, it’s not even a rarely used one. A cream is a far better option, and the Health Base’s recommended one.

The Bottom Line

(Intentional pun again 😉 )

As you can see, there is a lot of nonsense and confusion surrounding this issue. The trick, as with everything, is trying to separate the fact from the fiction. Easier said than done, I know. 

However, with the information that I’ve supplied in this article, you should be better placed going forward to know what the truth is. Hopefully this will also ensure that you’ll be able to spot the half-truths and straight up nonsense that surround this topic.

Take Care & Be Well,



My name is Ann and I am a Senior Editor for the The Health Base Team. I've accumulated a wealth of life experience over the years concerning health and beauty issues. This is why I decided to write for the Health Base - so I can share what I've learnt. I hope you find it helpful :) For a personal conversation, you can get in touch with me here. Take care!