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Hemorrhoids - Symptoms and causes

Everything you need to know about piles

1. What are Piles?
2. Symptoms of Piles.
3. Infection in Piles
4. Causes of Piles.
5. Diagnosis for Piles.
6. Treatments of Piles.
7. Medication for Piles.
8. Surgical option for Piles.

Hemorrhoids ( Piles )
Hemorrhoids ( Piles )

Piles is another term for hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are collections of inflamed tissue in the anal canal. They contain blood vessels, support tissue, muscle, and elastic fibers.

Many people have piles, but the symptoms are not always obvious. Hemorrhoids cause noticeable symptoms for at least 40 to 50 percent of people in India before the age of 50 years.

This article will explore piles, their causes, how to diagnose, grade, and treat them, and what effects they might have on the body. If you found these symptoms contact us at 9540414558.

Fast facts on piles:

  • Piles are collections of tissue and vein that become inflamed and swollen.
  • The size of piles can vary, and they are found inside or outside the anus.
  • Piles occur due to chronic constipation, chronic diarrhea, lifting heavy weights, pregnancy, or straining when passing a stool.
  • A doctor can usually diagnose piles on examination.
  • Hemorrhoids are graded on a scale from I to IV. At grades III or IV, surgery may be necessary.

What are piles?

Piles (hemorrhoids) are lumps inside and around your bottom (anus). They often get better on their own after a few days. There are things you can do to treat and prevent piles.
  • A person with piles may experience swollen collections of tissue in the anal area.
  • Piles are inflamed and swollen collections of tissue in the anal area.
  • They can have a range of sizes, and they may be internal or external.
  • Internal piles are normally located between 2 and 4 centimeters (cm) above the opening of the anus, and they are the more common type. External piles occur on the outside edge of the anus.

Symptoms Of Piles.

In most cases, the symptoms of piles are not serious. They normally resolve on their own after a few days.

  • An individual with piles may experience the following symptoms:
  • A hard, possibly painful lump may be felt around the anus. It may contain coagulated blood. Piles that contain blood are called thrombosed external hemorrhoids.
  • After passing a stool, a person with piles may experience the feeling that the bowels are still full.
  • Bright red blood is visible after a bowel movement.
  • The area around the anus is itchy, red, and sore.
  • Pain occurs during the passing of a stool.
  • Piles can escalate into a more severe condition.
  • excessive anal bleeding, also possibly leading to anemia

Infections in Piles.

External piles form small lumps on the outside edge of the anus. They are very itchy and can become painful if a blood clot develops, as the blood clot can block the flow of blood. Thrombosed external piles, or hemorrhoids that have clotted, require immediate medical treatment.

  • Fecal incontinence, or an inability to control bowel movements.
  • Anal fistula, in which a new channel is created between the surface of the skin near the anus and the inside of the anus.
  • Strangulated hemorrhoid, in which the blood supply to the hemorrhoid is cut off, causing complications including infection or a blood clot.

Piles are classified into four grades:

Grade I:- There are small inflammations, usually inside the lining of the anus. They are not visible.

Grade II:- Grade II piles are larger than grade I piles, but also remain inside the anus. They may get pushed out during the passing of stool, but they will return unaided.

Grade III:- These are also known as prolapsed hemorrhoids, and appear outside the anus. The individual may feel them hanging from the rectum, but they can be easily re-inserted.

Grade IV:- These cannot be pushed back in and need treatment. They are large and remain outside of the anus.

Causes of Piles.

The veins around your anus tend to stretch under pressure and may bulge or swell. Hemorrhoids can develop from increased pressure in the lower rectum due to:

  • Pregnancy may increase the risk of developing piles.
  • Piles are caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum.
  • Straining during bowel movements.
  • Sitting for long periods of time on the toilet.
  • Having chronic diarrhea or constipation.
  • Being obese.
  • Being pregnant.
  • Having anal intercourse.
  • Eating a low-fiber diet.
  • Regular heavy lifting.

Diagnosis of Piles.

A doctor can usually diagnose piles after carrying out a physical examination. They will examine the anus of the person with suspected piles.

  • The doctor may ask the following questions:
  • Do any close relatives have piles?
  • Has there been any blood or mucus in the stools?
  • Has there been any recent weight loss?
  • Have bowel movements changed recently?

What color are the stools?

The doctor may perform a digital rectal examination (DRE) or use a proctoscope for internal piles. A proctoscope is a hollow tube fitted with a light. It allows the doctor to see the anal canal up close. They can take a small tissue sample from inside the rectum. This can then be sent to the lab for analysis.

The physician may recommend a colonoscopy if the person with piles presents signs and symptoms that suggest another digestive system disease, or they are demonstrating any risk factors for colorectal cancer.

Piles Treatments.

In the majority of cases, piles resolve on their own without the need for any treatment. However, some treatments can help significantly reduce the discomfort and itching that many people experience with piles.

Lifestyle changes.

Eating a high fiber diet may help to prevent and treat the condition. A doctor will initially recommend some lifestyle changes to manage piles.

Diet:-  Piles can occur due to straining during bowel movements. Excessive straining is the result of constipation. A change in diet can help keep the stools regular and soft. This involves eating more fiber, such as fruit and vegetables, or primarily eating bran-based breakfast cereals.

A doctor may also advise the person with piles to increase their water consumption. It is best to avoid caffeine.

Bodyweight:- Losing weight may help reduce the incidence and severity of piles.

To prevent piles, doctors also advise exercising and avoiding straining to pass stools. Exercising is one of the main therapies for piles.

Hospital treatment for piles.

If there's no improvement to your piles after home treatments, you may need hospital treatment.

Talk to your doctor about the best treatment for you. Treatment does not always prevent piles from coming back.

Piles Treatments without surgery.

Common hospital treatments include:

  • Rubber band ligation: a band is placed around your piles to make them drop off.
  • Sclerotherapy: a liquid is injected into your piles to make them shrink.
  • Electrotherapy: a gentle electric current is applied to your piles to make them shrink.
  • Infrared coagulation: an infrared light is used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink.
  • You'll be awake for this type of treatment, but the area will be numbed.
  • You should be able to go home on the same day.

If these treatments do not work, you may need surgery to remove your piles.

Piles Treatments with Surgery.

Surgical treatments include:

  • Haemorrhoidectomy: your piles are cut out.
  • Stapled Haemorrhoidopexy: your piles are stapled back inside your anus.
  • Haemorrhoidal artery ligation: stitches are used to cut the blood supply to your piles to make them shrink.
  • You'll usually need to be asleep for this type of treatment and may need to stay in hospital for more than 1 day.

Medications for Piles.

Several medicinal options are available to make symptoms more manageable for an individual with piles.

Over-the-counter (OTC) medications:- These are available over-the-counter or online. Medications include painkillers, ointments, creams, and pads, and can help soothe redness and swelling around the anus.

OTC remedies do not cure piles but can help the symptoms. Do not use them for more than 7 days in a row, as they can cause further irritation of the area and thinness of the skin. Do not use two or more medications at the same time unless advised to by a medical professional.

Corticosteroids:- These can reduce inflammation and pain.

Laxatives:- The doctor may prescribe laxatives if a person with piles suffers from constipation. These can help the person pass stools more easily and reduce pressure on the lower colon.

Surgical Options for Piles.

Around 1 in 10 people with piles will end up needing surgery.

Banding:- The doctor places an elastic band around the base of the pile, cutting off its blood supply. After a few days, hemorrhoid falls off. This is effective for treating all hemorrhoids of less than grade IV status.

Sclerotherapy:- Medicine is injected to make the hemorrhoid shrink. Hemorrhoid eventually shrivels up. This is effective for grade II and III hemorrhoids and is an alternative to banding.

Infrared coagulation:-  Also referred to as infrared light coagulation, a device is used to burn the hemorrhoid tissue. This technique is used to treat grade I and II hemorrhoids.

Hemorrhoidectomy:- The excess tissue that is causing the bleeding is surgically removed. This can be done in various ways and may involve a combination of a local anesthetic and sedation, a spinal anesthetic, or a general anesthetic. This type of surgery is the most effective for completely removing piles, but there is a risk of complications, including difficulties with passing stools and urinary tract infections.

Hemorrhoid stapling:- Blood flow is blocked to the hemorrhoid tissue. This procedure is usually less painful than hemorrhoidectomy. However, this procedure can lead to an increased risk of hemorrhoid recurrence and rectal prolapse, in which part of the rectum pushes out of the anus.

Key Point.

While they can be painful and debilitating, piles do not usually pose any ongoing threat to health and can be self-managed up to grades III or IV. If a complication develops, such as a fistula, this can become serious.

The surgical options for more advanced piles are normally outpatient procedures with minimal recovery time.