HEMORRHOIDS (PILES): MEANING, CAUSES, SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT /PREVENTION 

 

Hemorrhoids, or piles are swollen veins inside the rectum or outside the anus (organs at the end of your digestive tract that pass stools) can cause pain, anal itching and rectal bleeding. We are all given birth with hemorrhoids, but at baseline, they don’t disturb us. It’s only when they become swollen and enlarged that they produce irritating symptoms. Piles are not usually  serious and may heal within a week, but severe cases may require medical treatment. Eating more fiber can help prevent hemorrhoids.

Causes Of Pile

Piles can be caused by several conditions or habits. Piles are caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum. The blood vessels around the anus and in the rectum stretches under  pressure and may lead to swelling or bulging, forming piles. This may be due to:

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea
  • Sitting on the toilet for a long time
  • Straining too hard during bowel movements
  • Lifting heavy weights
  • Pregnancy

Other factors that may increase the tendency of getting piles include:

  • Old Age: the connective tissue in the rectum and anus becomes weaker, potentially resulting in bulging hemorrhoids as we get older.
  • Overweight: Obesity can put pressure on the hemorrhoidal tissue.
  • Lack of fibre in diet

The tendency to develop piles may also be inherited.

 

Symptoms Of Pile

The symptoms of piles in most cases are not serious. They  resolve on their own normally, after a few days. Seeing blood in your stool after a bowel movement is one of the main symptoms of piles. Other symptoms include:

  • Feeling that the bowels are still full after paying out stool
  • Red, sore and itchy areas around the anus
  • Painful hard lumps around the anus
  • Presence of bright red blood in stool
  • Pain during passing out stool

Avoid excess straining, rubbing, or cleaning around the anus, which can make irritation and itching worse, and can even lead to bleeding if you’re experiencing these symptoms. In addition, try to pat the area dry instead of wiping it.

Piles can develop into a more severe conditions such as anal fistula, fecal incontinence, anaemia and a strangulated hemorrhoid, in which the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is cut off, causing complications including infection or a blood clot.

Types Of Piles

Piles can be internal or external. Internal piles develop inside the anus and are not visible on the skin around it, while external piles develop on the skin outside the anus. Internal piles are category into  four grades, I to IV.

  • Grade I: There are small inflammations, usually inside the lining of the anus. They are not visible.
  • Grade II: here, the pile is internal but can extend outside of the anus while straining or passing a stool. The pile goes back inside by itself after passing out stool.
  • Grade III: this type of pile extends outside the anus while straining just like grade II, but doesn’t go back inside on its own. you must push it back in. It must be re-inserted.
  • Grade IV: The pile extends outside the anus and cannot be pushed back in. This type require an immediate treatment.

 

Treatment

Fortunately, most piles can be treated at home or with simple medical procedures, depending on the type of pile and the severity of your symptoms.

1. Home Remedies

Home remedies for piles include the following:

  • drinking lots of fluid and eating plenty of fibre to keep your poo soft
  • wiping your bottom with damp toilet paper
  • taking a warm bath to ease itching and pain
  • using an ice pack wrapped in a towel to ease discomfort
  • exercising regularly
  • cutting down on alcohol and caffeine (like tea, coffee and cola) to avoid constipation.
  • Avoid straining during bowel movements.
  • Sit on cushioned surfaces rather than hard ones, to reduce swelling and prevent new hemorrhoids from forming
  • take paracetamol if piles hurt

 

2. Hospital Treatment

There may be need for medical procedures for piles that don’t go away with home treatments. These procedures may include:

  • Infrared therapy in which infrared light is used to coagulate the blood vessels of the piles. One or two bursts of infrared light can cut off the circulation of small grade one or two piles.
  • Banding: here, the doctor places an elastic band around the base of the pile, disconnecting its blood supply. The pile falls off after a few days. This is potent for treating all hemorrhoids of grade I to III.
  • Sclerotherapy: drug is injected to make the pile shrink. The pile in the course of time falls off. Grade II and III piles can be effectively treated with this method and is an alternative to banding
  • Hemorrhoidectomy: this is the surgical removal of the excess responding for the bleeding.
  • Hemorrhoid stapling: Here, blood flow to the hemorrhoid  tissue is blocked. In as much as this procedure is less painful than hemorrhoidectomy, the procedure can lead to an increased risk of hemorrhoid recurrence and rectal prolapse, in which part of the rectum pushes out of the anus.

 

Prevention

Piles are common as one gets older. Practicing  of the aforementioned home remedies will help you not to have pile. Thanks for reading

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