Piles

  • August 14, 2020
Piles Blog

The daily ritual of going to the toilet to pass stool had become a nightmare for Mr. Singh. The pain, discomfort and the constant feeling of itching was a condition he was initially embarrassed to share with his family. But he soon began experiencing a pain in his rectum, and was frightened when one he passed blood. His doctor confirmed that he was suffering from Piles, but reassured him that it could be treated easily.

Piles or Haemorrhoids are mainly a collection of a group of inflamed tissues in the anal canal. A condition that is not uncommon in adults, it usually results from straining during bowel movements or increased pressure on the anal veins during pregnancy. They sometimes develop inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids), or may develop under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids). They may go away on their own after a couple of weeks, but for extreme cases they may require surgery.

Symptoms of Piles:

External haemorrhoids

These are generally under the skin around your anus. Signs and symptoms might include:

  • Itching or irritation in the anal region
  • Pain or discomfort
  • Swelling around theanus
  • Bleeding

Internal haemorrhoids

These haemorrhoids lie inside the rectum. One cannot see or feel them, and they rarely cause discomfort. But straining when passing stool can cause:

  • Painless bleeding during bowel movements. People suffering from it may notice small amounts of bright red blood in the toilet pot.
  • A haemorrhoid pushing through the anal opening (prolapsed or protruding haemorrhoid), resulting in pain and irritation.

Causes

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
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Anal intercourse
  • Low-fiber diet

Prevention

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids is to keep bowel movement regular and stool soft, so that they can pass easily without requiring effort or straining. To prevent the development of haemorrhoids follow these tips:

  • Consume high-fiber food – Eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains soften the stool and increases its bulk, which prevents one from straining that result in the formation of haemorrhoids. Fibre rich diet may help to avoid problems with gas.
  • Drink plenty of fluids – Drinking plenty of fluid (not alcohol) each day helps to keep stools soft and easy to pass.
  • Consider fiber supplements – 25 grams of fibre in the diet a day for women and 38 grams a day for men have shown to keep tool soft. Supplements like Metamucil and Citrucel, help to improve overall symptoms and bleeding from haemorrhoids by keeping stools soft and regular. Supplements must be taken with enough water or they can make constipation worse and aggravate the problem
  • Don’t strain – Straining while trying to pass a stool creates greater pressure in the veins in the lower rectum thus it must be avoided and food that help to make it soft must be consumed.
  • Go to the toilet as you feel the urge – It is best to go to the toilet when there is an urge for it and not delay it as it makes the stool drier and hard
  • 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 anal veins and make them swollen and painful.

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 off blood supply to your piles to make them shrink

This can be done with slight anaesthesia and the area will be numbed. This is a day care surgery and you should be able to go home on the same day.

You may sometimes need surgery to remove your piles if none of the above methods work.

Surgical Treatment

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
  • Coagulation (infrared, laser or bipolar) – This technique use laser or infrared light or heat. They bleeding internal hemorrhoids to harden and shrivel. Coagulation has less side effects and usually causes little discomfort.

When to see a doctor

If you have bleeding during bowel movements or you have haemorrhoids that don’t improve after a week of home care, talk to your doctor. Although not all rectal bleeding may be due to haemorrhoids, especially if you have changes in bowel habits or if your stools change in colour or consistency. Rectal bleeding can also occur with other diseases, including for some cancer like that of the colon and anal cancer. So, seek emergency care if you have large amounts of rectal bleeding, light headedness, dizziness or faintness.

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