Ageing has its own advantages and disadvantages. Included in the latter are piles, clinically known as haemorrhoids, which is a condition when veins in your rectum or under the skin around the anus swell. These swollen blood vessels can turn bowel movement into an intensely painful experience. According to research published in the year 2017 by The Indian Journal of Surgery, half the men and women in India above the age of 50 may develop the symptoms of haemorrhoids during their lifetime. Even though piles are rarely dangerous, if left ignored, they can lead to serious health complications. In this blog, let’s get a clear picture of the causes, types, symptoms and measures that can help prevent or cure haemorrhoids.
It is not established yet what actually causes the veins around your anus to swell and bulge, yet nearly two out of the four adults undergo the symptoms of haemorrhoids. Some of the common factors contributing to an increased risk of suffering from piles are constipation, sedentary lifestyle, bad diet, smoking and alcohol, family history, being pregnant or obese, regular heavy eating, and stress.
Hemorrhoids are classified into 4 different categories Internal, Prolapsed, External and Thrombosed.
- Internal Hemorrhoids: They lie deep inside the rectum and so, are not visible to the naked eye. They might not cause any pain but their presence is marked with the symptom of bleeding through the anus.
- External Hemorrhoids: They are formed in the outer lining of the anal creating extreme discomfort and pain. They are sometimes invisible and the other times develop as a lump. These can also form blood clots within the mass that slips down.
- Prolapsed Hemorrhoids: When internal haemorrhoids swell and sticks outside your anus the situation is coined as prolapsed haemorrhoids. These lumps cause discomfort or pain along with itchiness and burning.
- Thrombosed Hemorrhoids: These swollen bulges around your anus are blood clots within the haemorrhoid tissue. Due to lack of blood supply to your rectal tissue, thrombosed haemorrhoids need to be attended to urgently to prevent severe complications.
Signs and symptoms
The symptoms of piles subside on their own in a few days. However, in some cases, these must not be ignored. Since ignoring the initial symptoms can lead to serious complications, keep a check on these symptoms:
- Rectal pain
- Sore and redness in the anus area
- Mucus discharge
It is strongly suggested that if you are bleeding during defecation or your haemorrhoids don’t improve after a week of home care, consult a doctor.
The treatment for piles may vary depending on the type, degree of prolapse or the severity of the situation. However, these self-help tips may ease haemorrhoid pain and promote healing:
Drink plenty of water
Drinking 2 liters of water daily reduces the risk of piles, as it helps to keep the stool soft.
Including fibre-rich foods in your diet tends to improve the overall symptoms and bleeding from haemorrhoids. A healthy diet should contain the recommended amount of 20-30 grams of fibre a day.
Don’t hold back
Rush towards the toilet when you feel the urge, don’t wait for a convenient time. Delaying or waiting puts on more pressure on the rectum veins, which can worsen constipation thus aggravating haemorrhoid.
Staying active prevents and eases constipation, thus reducing the pressure on the veins. It can also help you lose weight which is another major contributor to piles.
Avoid self medication
In case you feel your symptoms are worsening, consult a doctor immediately. Some over the counter medicines may give you temporary relief but for an effective treatment reach out to an expert medical practitioner.
Don’t exert pressure
Don’t force your bowel movement, pushing and straining can make haemorrhoids worse. If you are not relieved within 2 minutes then get up and try again later.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.