Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels that occur in the anal canal or rectum. They can be internal (inside the rectum) or external (under the skin around the anus). Piles can vary in size and severity, and they can cause discomfort, pain, itching, and sometimes bleeding during bowel movements.
There are two main types of piles, also known as hemorrhoids: internal piles and external piles. These types refer to the location of the swollen blood vessels in the anal canal and rectum.
- Internal piles: Internal piles develop within the rectum, above the dentate line. The dentate line is an anatomical boundary in the anal canal. Internal piles are usually painless and may not be visible or felt unless they prolapse (protrude) through the anus. Common symptoms of internal piles include bleeding during bowel movements, mucus discharge, discomfort, and a feeling of fullness or pressure in the rectal area. Internal piles are graded based on their severity:a. Grade 1: These are small and often go unnoticed. They do not prolapse and remain inside the rectum.b. Grade 2: These piles prolapse during bowel movements but retract spontaneously afterward.c. Grade 3: Prolapse occurs during bowel movements and requires manual repositioning.d. Grade 4: These piles remain prolapsed and cannot be manually repositioned. They may be accompanied by significant discomfort.
- External piles: External piles develop under the skin around the anus. They can be felt as soft lumps or swellings around the anal opening. External piles may cause pain, itching, and discomfort. Blood clots can sometimes form within external piles, leading to a painful condition called thrombosed hemorrhoids. Unlike internal piles, external piles are visible from the outside. They can be treated with appropriate measures to alleviate symptoms and promote healing.
It’s important to note that a person can have both internal and external piles simultaneously. Additionally, there are cases where external piles may become internal piles if they prolapse into the rectum.
If you suspect you have piles or are experiencing symptoms, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. They can assess your condition, provide guidance, and recommend the most suitable treatment options based on the type and severity of your piles.
Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels that occur in the anal canal or rectum. The exact cause of piles is often unknown, but there are several factors that can contribute to their development. Here are some common causes and risk factors associated with piles:
Straining during bowel movements: The most common cause of piles is excessive straining during bowel movements. This can happen due to constipation, which leads to hard stools that require increased effort to pass. Straining puts pressure on the veins in the rectal area and can lead to the development of hemorrhoids.
Chronic constipation or diarrhea: Both chronic constipation and diarrhea can contribute to the development of piles. Straining during constipation and the irritation caused by frequent loose stools can put stress on the blood vessels in the anal area.
Pregnancy: Pregnant women are more susceptible to developing piles due to increased pressure on the veins in the pelvic area. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also weaken the blood vessels, making them more prone to swelling and inflammation.
Obesity: Being overweight or obese can put additional pressure on the rectal veins, increasing the risk of developing piles.
Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity and prolonged sitting or standing can lead to poor blood circulation in the rectal area, increasing the chances of developing piles.
Aging: The risk of piles tends to increase with age. As we get older, the tissues supporting the veins in the rectal area may stretch and weaken, making them more susceptible to swelling and inflammation.
Genetic factors: Some individuals may have a genetic predisposition to developing piles. If your family members have a history of hemorrhoids, you may have a higher risk as well.
Anal intercourse: Engaging in anal intercourse can cause irritation and trauma to the anal area, which can lead to the development of piles.
It’s important to note that while these factors can contribute to the development of piles, not everyone with these risk factors will necessarily develop the condition. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including a high-fiber diet, regular exercise, and proper bathroom habits, can help reduce the risk of piles. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms of piles, it’s advisable to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Piles in Women
Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, can affect both men and women. However, there are certain factors that make women more prone to developing piles. These factors include:
- Pregnancy: Piles are common during pregnancy due to increased pressure on the rectal veins caused by the growing uterus. Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also contribute to the development of piles.
- Childbirth: The strain and pressure exerted during childbirth can lead to the development of piles or worsen existing ones.
- Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations during the menstrual cycle can affect blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of developing piles or exacerbating existing ones.
- Menopause: Changes in hormone levels during menopause can affect the strength and elasticity of blood vessels, potentially making women more susceptible to piles.
- Constipation: Women are more prone to constipation compared to men due to factors such as dietary habits, hormonal influences, and pelvic floor muscle issues. Chronic constipation can contribute to the development of piles.
Piles Prevention | Precaution
Preventing piles, also known as hemorrhoids, involves adopting healthy habits and making lifestyle changes that reduce the risk of developing or exacerbating the condition. Here are some preventive measures you can take:
Maintain a high-fiber diet: Eat foods rich in fiber to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. Include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes in your diet. Fiber adds bulk to the stool, making it easier to pass without straining.
Stay hydrated: Drink an adequate amount of water and fluids throughout the day to keep your stools soft and prevent constipation. Aim for at least 8 glasses of water per day.
Avoid straining during bowel movements: Straining puts pressure on the rectal veins and can lead to the development or worsening of piles. When you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, respond promptly and avoid prolonged sitting on the toilet. If necessary, use a stool softener or fiber supplement to ease the passage of stools.
Practice good bathroom habits: Avoid sitting on the toilet for long periods, as it can contribute to increased pressure in the rectal area. After a bowel movement, gently clean the anal area with moist wipes or warm water instead of harsh toilet paper to prevent irritation.
Stay physically active: Engage in regular physical activity to promote healthy bowel movements and improve circulation. Exercise helps prevent constipation and reduces the risk of developing piles. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
Maintain a healthy weight: Being overweight or obese can increase the pressure on the rectal veins, making them more prone to swelling and inflammation. Maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise.
Avoid prolonged sitting or standing: Prolonged periods of sitting or standing can contribute to poor blood circulation in the rectal area. Take breaks and move around regularly if your job or lifestyle involves extended periods of sitting or standing.
Manage stress: Chronic stress can contribute to digestive problems, including constipation. Find healthy ways to manage stress, such as exercise, relaxation techniques, or engaging in hobbies you enjoy.
Avoid lifting heavy objects: Straining while lifting heavy objects can increase pressure in the rectal area. Use proper lifting techniques and seek help when necessary to prevent unnecessary strain.
Do not delay going to the bathroom: When you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, respond promptly. Delaying it can lead to the reabsorption of water from the stool, making it harder and more difficult to pass.
By implementing these preventive measures and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, you can reduce the risk of developing piles or prevent existing ones from worsening. However, if you experience persistent or severe symptoms, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
The symptoms of piles, also known as hemorrhoids, can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Here are some common symptoms associated with piles:
- Rectal bleeding: One of the most common symptoms of piles is the presence of bright red blood after a bowel movement. Blood may be seen on the toilet paper, in the toilet bowl, or on the surface of the stool. The bleeding is usually painless.
- Itching and irritation: Piles can cause itching and irritation in the anal area. This can be due to the swelling and inflammation of the blood vessels. Itching may be accompanied by a persistent urge to scratch the affected area.
- Pain or discomfort: External piles, which develop under the skin around the anus, can cause pain and discomfort. The pain may worsen during bowel movements or when sitting for prolonged periods. Internal piles, which occur inside the rectum, are typically painless but can cause discomfort or a feeling of fullness.
- Swelling and inflammation: Piles can result in swelling and inflammation in the anal area. This can lead to a bulge or a lump felt around the anus. The size of the swelling can vary, ranging from small to larger, more noticeable masses.
- Mucus discharge: Some individuals with piles may experience a slimy discharge of mucus from the anus. This discharge can cause discomfort and may be associated with itching or irritation.
- Difficulty in cleaning after bowel movements: The presence of piles can make it challenging to clean the anal area thoroughly after a bowel movement. This can lead to a feeling of incomplete evacuation or a constant sensation of moisture.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions, so it’s recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis. They can assess your symptoms, perform a physical examination, and recommend appropriate treatment options based on the severity and type of piles you may have.
Diet to follow during Piles
A healthy diet plays an important role in managing piles (hemorrhoids) and preventing their occurrence or recurrence. Here are some dietary recommendations that can help alleviate symptoms and promote bowel regularity:
- Increase fiber intake: Consuming an adequate amount of dietary fiber is crucial for preventing constipation, which can contribute to piles. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and nuts in your diet. Aim for a daily intake of 25 to 30 grams of fiber. Some high-fiber foods include apples, pears, berries, broccoli, spinach, whole wheat bread, oats, brown rice, lentils, and almonds.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of fluids, especially water, throughout the day to keep your stools soft and prevent constipation. Proper hydration helps maintain bowel regularity. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Avoid processed and low-fiber foods: Limit or avoid processed foods, refined grains, and sugary snacks as they are low in fiber and can contribute to constipation. Examples include white bread, white rice, pastries, chips, and sugary drinks. Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods.
- Incorporate probiotics: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support gut health. Including probiotic-rich foods in your diet, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, and other fermented foods, can help promote a healthy digestive system.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce inflammation associated with piles. Include sources of omega-3s in your diet, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts.
- Limit spicy and irritant foods: Spicy foods and certain irritants can exacerbate symptoms in some individuals. It is advisable to limit or avoid foods that trigger discomfort or worsen piles.
- Maintain portion control: Overeating and excessive weight gain can contribute to the development or worsening of piles. Practice portion control and maintain a healthy weight through a balanced diet.
- Consider stool softeners: In some cases, a healthcare professional may recommend over-the-counter stool softeners or fiber supplements to help prevent constipation and promote regular bowel movements. It’s important to follow their advice and dosage instructions.
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Do piles go away in their own?
Yes, if it is in early stage. Haemorrhoids (piles) often clear up by themselves after a few days by making simple dietary changes and not straining on the toilet are often recommended first. However, there are many treatments that can reduce itching and discomfort.
What is the main treatment of piles?
Apply an over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone, or use pads containing witch hazel or a numbing agent. Soak regularly in a warm bath or sitz bath. Soak your anal area in plain warm water for 10 to 15 minutes two to three times a day. A sitz bath fits over the toilet.
What are the 4 stages of piles?
Stage 1: small swellings on the inside lining of the anal canal.
Stage 2: are larger and have large swellings.
Stage 3: hang out from the anus (prolapse) when you go to the toilet.
Stage 4: permanently hang down from within the anus (prolapse), and you cannot push them back inside.
What is the main cause of piles?
Hemorrhoids can develop from increased pressure in the lower rectum due to: Straining during bowel movements. Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet. Having chronic diarrhea or constipation.
Which food causes piles?
Cheese, chips, fast food, ice cream, meat, prepared foods, such as some frozen and snack foods.
processed foods, such as hot dogs and some microwavable dinners.
How long do piles last?
Piles depends on the stage that you are in. Piles (Haemorrhoids) are lumps inside and around your bottom (anus). They often get better on their own after a few days if taken good care and rest.
How do I treat my piles at home?
Warm bath with Epsom salt can help soothe irritation from hemorrhoids.
Apply ice packs or cold compresses to the anus to relieve swelling for 15 minutes at a time.
Loose cotton clothing.
Tea tree oil.
What size of piles need surgery?
If someone has grade 3 hang out from the anus (prolapse) when you go to the toilet or stage 4: permanently hang down from within the anus (prolapse), and you cannot push them back inside, doctors often recommend surgery.
What can I drink to stop piles?
To help treat and prevent hemorrhoids it’s important to eat enough fiber (25 grams a day for women, 38 grams a day for men) and to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. These dietary changes can make stool easier to pass and keep the problem from recurring.
Can I drink milk during piles?
No as these can worsen constipation, which can trigger piles. Low-fiber foods to avoid include: Dairy products. These include milk, cheese, and other varieties