Piles is another name for Haemorrhoids. It is a common condition among adults that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort if left untreated. They mainly result from straining during bowel movements or increased pressure on these veins during pregnancy. Haemorrhoids sometimes develop inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids), or may develop under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids).Sometimes they go away on their own after a couple of weeks while for some it might require surgery. They are a collection of tissue and vein that become inflamed and swollen near the lower rectum.
Symptoms of piles include:
- Painless bleeding during bowel movement
- an itchy anus
- feeling the urge to defecate frequently
- slimy mucus in your underwear or on toilet paper
- lumps around your anus
- pain around your anus
Bulging swollen veins or haemorrhoids develop from increased pressure in the lower rectum area due to:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long time on the toilet
- Chronic diarrhoea or constipation
- Anal intercourse
- Low-fiber diet
The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep your bowel movement regular and your stool soft, so that they can pass easily. To prevent the development of haemorrhoids follow these tips:
- Eat high-fiber foods. Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains softens the stool and increases its bulk, which keeps you from straining that result in haemorrhoids. Fiber rich diet may help to avoid problems with gas.
- Drink plenty of fluids. Drink plenty of fluid (not alcohol) each day to keep stools soft.
- Consider fiber supplements. Enough amount of fiber in the diet— 25 grams a day for women and 38 grams a day for men have shown to keep tool soft. Supplements like Metamucil and Citrucel, improve overall symptoms and bleeding from haemorrhoids by keeping stools soft and regular. Take supplements with enough water or they can make constipation worse.
- Don’t strain. Straining while trying to pass a stool creates greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum.
- Go to the toilet as you feel the urge. Waiting could make the stool dry and harder to pass so it is best to go to the toilet when there is an urge for it.
- Exercise. Staying active helps to prevent constipation and exercising can help to lose excess weight that may lead to formation of hemorrhoids.
- Avoid long periods of sitting. Sitting on the toilet seat for too long, can increase the pressure on the veins in the anus.
Treatment without surgery
Apart from the above some common treatments for Haemorrhoids include:
- rubber band ligation where a band is placed around the piles to make them drop off
- sclerotherapy is a process where a liquid is injected into your piles to make them shrink
- electrotherapy is a procedure where a gentle electric current is passed through your piles to make them shrink
- infrared coagulation is where an infrared light is used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink
You’ll be awake for this type of treatment, but the area will be numbed. You should be able to go home on the same day.
You may need surgery to remove your piles if none of the above methods work.
Surgical treatments include:
- Haemorrhoidectomy – Here the piles are cut out
- Stapled haemorrhoidopexy – In this your piles are stapled back inside your anus
- Haemorrhoidal artery ligation – In this type of surgery stitches are used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink