Piles or hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in the anal passage. There are two circular bunches of veins, one inside the anal canal and the second at the anal verge. Generally they are called internal and external hemorrhoids. There are certain conditions which predispose to formation of piles. These are:
- Excessive straining while passing stools e.g. chronic constipation, low fibre diet, poor bowel habits
- Increased backward pressure on pelvic blood vessels e.g. Pregnancy, Pelvic Tumors
Signs and Symptoms
In general, piles are not serious and go away on their own after 2-3 days. However, its symptoms are following:
- A hard lump around the anus
- Feeling of full bowels even after going to the toilet
- Bright red blood during a bowel movement
- Itching in the anus
- Mucus discharge when emptying the bowels
- Pain while defecating
Causes of Piles
There could be many reasons behind the onset of piles including:
- Anal intercourse
- Chronic constipation
- Chronic diarrhea
- Lifting heavy objects irregularly
- Putting too much strain when passing a stool
In most cases, piles resolve their own without the need for any treatment. Following treatment options are available:
- Diet – Patients are asked to eat more fiber, such as fruits and vegetables to keep the stools regular and soft.
- Body weight – Obesity is found to be a major cause for piles. So, losing weight might be a good option to treat piles.
- Ointments, creams, pads and other OTC medications
- Minimally invasive surgery – If other procedures show negative outcomes, surgery is done. Sometimes surgery is done on an outpatient basis - the patient goes home after the procedure, or he/she may have to spend the night in hospital. With the advancements in medical technology, today surgeons perform surgery that ensures minimal post-operative pain, faster recovery, shorter hospital stay, early resumption of normal activities etc.