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Piles (Hemorrhoids): Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Most of us don’t know that hemorrhoids – or piles, like they’re more commonly known – are really a part of our anatomy. Haemorrhoids are vascular cushions, located within our canals plus they help us move our bowels.

Unfortunately, the words haemorrhoids, and heaps, have been misused in well-known media, and therefore are now taken to imply the disease. Haemorrhoids only become an issue – termed as symptomatic haemorrhoidal disease – when they swell too, and result in symptoms like pain or bleeding, or they protrude from the anus.

Experts are divided on the precise cause of disease. It’s commonly associated with a continuing increase in intra-abdominal pressure, which may lead into the blood vessels becoming engorged. The pressure may be caused by straining during bowel movements, pregnancy, or severe diarrhoea.

Haemorrhoids might be classified as external or internal, dependant upon where they happen. Authentic hemorrhoids are internal and only protrude when they swell too. External haemorrhoids are blood clots which are shaped from the anus because of straining during bowel movements. The condition is more common among individuals between 25 and 50 years old, and affects women and men equally. Pregnancy can increase one’s risk of developing hemorrhoids, since the foetus puts increased pressure on the veins at the mother’s pelvis, and this may leads to swelling of the hemorrhoids.

The risk increases as a fetus develops, and during delivery when the mother is made to strain and push. Fortunately, as with leg swelling during pregnancy, such hemorrhoids usually shrink after the baby is born.

When treating hemorrhoids, the main goal is to restore them to their regular position in the anal canal. Depending upon the severity of the condition, treatment might involve only medications to reduce swelling, or surgery to remove excessive tissue or perhaps both.

Each treatment has its own advantages. It’s essential that a surgeon chooses the best method for every patient. The treatment has to be customized to optimise outcomes.

Equally significant is the identification and correction of some improper habits contributing to the symptoms, like habitual spending and straining an unnecessarily long time on the toilet bowl. Consuming moderate levels of dietary fiber and adequate fluids every day to prevent hard stools might help many patients avoid surgery.

Treatment choices for haemorrhoidal disease

Mild. Mild signs can be relieved by moderating the intake of dietary fiber, including fruits, veggies and cereals, as too much or too small can result in hard stools. Doctors can also recommend medication like lotions.

Persistent. For persistent bleeding or painful haemorrhoids minor procedures might be needed.

These include:

  • rubberband ligation, where a physician places up to three rubber bands around the base of an internal hemorrhoid to cut off its circulation. The hemorrhoid will then fade and fall off within a week.
  • Sclerotherapy, where the doctor injects a chemical solution into the haemorrhoid tissue to shrink it.