Hemorrhoids Or Piles – Why, What & How to Stop

Haemorrhoid or commonly known as piles in simple words are the swollen blood vessels which develop inside or outside the anus (The opening at the lower end of the alimentary canal through which solid waste is eliminated from the body). These swollen vessels can cause pain & irritation & it can bleed or become infected, causing discomfort. As they are situated in such a sensitive position, that is the reason why they are painful. The veins in this area swell causing irritation when bowel movements pass from them. Hemorrhoids vary in size and can occur internally (inside) or externally (outside) the anus.

Hemorrhoids are very common. Piles do not pop up overnight, they develop slowly over time. Hemorrhoids are a chronic condition – but they are treatable. They are said to be more common in countries where the diet has traditionally been more processed and low in fiber. They are usually caused by years of straining on the toilet because of chronic constipation.

Hemorrhoids can be either internal or external, and patients also can have both types. Hemorrhoids that occur in your rectum are called internal hemorrhoids. It develops in the back passage, 2-4cm above the rim (opening) of the anus and those that occur around your anus are called external hemorrhoids. They look like one or more firm grape-like swellings.

Symptoms may include blood in the stool or on the toilet paper, incomplete bowel movements, rectal itching, persistent feeling of moistness in the anal area and a soft lump at the anal opening. Hemorrhoids are an extremely common problem, especially in western countries, where surveys suggest that as much as half of the population over 40 years of age may suffer some form of mild to severe discomfort from them. The most common symptom is fresh bleeding while passing stool. But bleeding can be a symptom of other digestive diseases too, like colorectal cancer. The doctor will examine the anus and rectum to look for swollen blood vessels that indicate hemorrhoids and will also perform a digital rectal exam with a gloved, lubricated finger to feel for any abnormalities. Hemorrhoids which have become very enlarged and painful may require surgical removal.

Hemorrhoids may be caused by more than one factor. Despite being examined in several studies, the development remains unclear. Some of the common causes of hemorrhoids are straining due to constipation, diarrhea, pregnancy, prolonged sitting, being overweight, cirrhosis, being overweight, or lifting things that are too heavy. Hemorrhoids may cause a feeling of ‘fullness’ in the rectum and it is tempting to strain at the end to try and empty the rectum further. So do not spend too long on the toilet which may encourage you to strain.

Hemorrhoids are common during pregnancy due to increased blood volume, increased pressure in the rectum/anus due to the weight of pregnancy and constipation.

Treatment for hemorrhoids includes herbal medication, anal cream and diet. Minor hemorrhoids, pain, itching, burning and inflammation can be brought under control with anti-itch creams and high-quality extracts specifically formulated for relief of symptoms. Eat only fresh fruits and vegetables like prunes, pineapple, bananas, and papayas.

Make this a regular practice. Eating the right amount of fiber and drinking 8-10 glasses of fluid result in softer, bulkier stools. Hemorrhoid sufferers should strictly limit time straining during bowel movement. A little bend sitting position is recommended to avoid the strain. Sitting in a shallow bath of hot water for 15 minutes several times a day, will reduce the pain. On the other hand sitting on hard surfaces for long stretches of time can also contribute to the development of hemorrhoids. Applying ice pack can also help relieve pain and swelling in severe case. Fiber helps to soften stools making their passage easier. Eat whole wheat bread that has high fibre content. Wearing tight clothing and underwear will also contribute to irritation and poor muscle tone in the region and promote hemorrhoid development. Avoiding red meat is something you may need to consider if you get hemorrhoids. Red meat is one food that is very tough to digest and can lead to difficult bowel movements. Avoid chocolates and spicy foods. You are the best judge about the effect of certain foods on your body and you need to take a call on the foods that may cause your body harm. Avoid prolonged sitting and/or standing at work or during leisure time. Take frequent short walks.

Finally, you will find that in some cases if the cause is removed the piles may disappear.