General Health

Piles (Haemorrhoids): Symptoms, Causes, Treatments

Piles are a health condition related to the digestive tract.

Even as it is common to resort to home remedies, it can get worse over time.

To treat it naturally, it is important to stay in touch with a healthcare professional.

November 18th, 2020
3 mins read

Piles or haemorrhoids are a health condition related to the digestive tract. Even as it is common to resort to home remedies, it can get worse over time. Moreover, most people don’t experience symptoms for a long time as they aren’t as obvious.

Piles affect the anus, which is a sensitive area that not many are open to having diagnosed physically. The problem presents itself in 4 different grades and can be self-managed with the right food. However, it does get progressively worse, even to a state that no amount of self-help information can help. Keep yourself informed about it so that you can connect with a specialist as and when required.

What are piles?

Piles or haemorrhoids are inflamed collections of tissue or veins inside the lower rectum or anus. They can develop both internally, within the rectum, and externally, under the skin around the anal cavity. It is found that 3 out of 4 adults are likely to develop the problem in their life. The condition may last several days or weeks but can be treated with proper care.

Internal piles are typically located up to 4cm from the anus and this is what makes it very difficult to identify. External piles present around the anus or the outside edge as small lumps. These are quite painful, itchy and can further worsen if they develop blood clots. There are 4 types of piles:

Grade I

Inflammation inside the lining of the anus, unlikely to be visible to external examination.

Grade II

In this, the inflammation is larger than in Grade I and is still inside the anus. There are occasions when the swollen vein or tissue may get pushed out of the anus during the passing of stools and later return.

Grade III

Known as prolapsed hemorrhoids, it appears externally. The tissue can be pushed back.

Grade IV

Significantly larger than Grade III and can cause immense pain if lumps develop blood clots. The tissue cannot be pushed back.

Piles causes

While it is not completely clear what causes piles, it is believed that increased pressure in the rectum has a role to play. This causes the blood vessels to stretch and swell, thus causing piles. Some possible causes of piles include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic constipation
  • Heavy lifting
  • Obesity
  • Low-fibre diet
  • Excessive straining during bowel movements
  • Anal intercourse

Age is another factor as well. As you grow old, the blood vessels in the anal region stretch and weaken, making it more likely for the elderly to develop this condition.

Piles symptoms

The symptoms include:

  • Slimy discharge from the anus
  • Itchy and sore skin around the anus
  • Pain during the passing of stools
  • Lump around the anus
  • Bleeding during a bowel movement
  • Excessive anal bleeding
  • Faecal incontinence

On noticing these symptoms, you must prioritise healthcare. Untreated piles can lead to anaemia, i.e., chronic blood loss due. This means the body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells to transport oxygen optimally. An anal fistula is another deadly complication, which then becomes a hotbed for infection.

Piles treatment

Piles can resolve on their own and be managed at home. But once it progresses to grade III or grade IV, you will have to seek medical care. The medicine is typically used to manage pain and the doctor may give you painkillers. In some cases, treatment may involve fiber supplements to help reduce the strain during bowel movements. Similarly, you may be prescribed laxatives to address constipation.

You can try and manage your symptoms using home remedies:

  • Soak in a tub of warm water to relieve pain
  • Clean your anus with warm water
  • Avoid using rough toilet paper
  • Eat plenty of high-fibre foods and drink sufficient water to avoid hard stools
  • Reduce caffeine and alcohol to keep constipation to a minimum
  • Use a cold ice pack to relieve pain from external piles

Surgical treatment is also an option, in case home remedies and medication do not work.

Piles prevention

Preventing piles from developing is fairly easy. You should definitely work towards it actively. Here are a few tips to rely on:

  • Avoid straining during bowel movements
  • Do not sit on the toilet for extended periods of time
  • Avoid sitting on hard floors or concrete
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Exercise regularly to avoid constipation

To treat it naturally, it is important to stay in touch with a healthcare professional. This is because it can be very easily treated at home and might help you avoid a surgery. Thankfully, with a provision like the Bajaj Finserv Health app, such healthcare is now easy to access and convenient too!

This app allows you to take advantage of telemedicine services and reap all the benefits it has to offer. With it, you can find the best specialists in your area, book appointments online, and even consult virtually over video. What’s more, you can also track your vitals and send over digital patient records for efficient diagnosis. With such a tool at your disposal, you can manage piles easily and comfortably, while availing yourself healthcare from your home. To get started, download this app for free from Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

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