Haemorrhoids (also known as piles) are swollen and inflamed veins in the rectum or anus.
What are Haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are swollen blood vessels in or around the anus and rectum. The haemorrhoidal veins are located in the lowest part of the rectum and the anus. Sometimes they swell so that the vein walls become stretched, thin, and irritated by passing bowel movements.
What different types are there?
Haemorrhoids are classified into two general categories - internal and external.
1. Internal haemorrhoids
lie far enough inside the rectum that you can't see or feel them. They don't usually hurt because there are few pain-sensing nerves in the rectum. Bleeding may be the only sign that they are there. Internal haemorrhoids are deeper and initially form above a point 2-3 cm inside the back passage (anal canal) in the upper part of the anal canal.
2. External haemorrhoids
lie within the anus and are often uncomfortable. If an external haemorrhoid prolapses to the outside (usually in the course of passing a stool), you can see and feel it.
External haemorrhoids start off nearer the surface, below a point 2-3 cm inside the back passage.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms often depend on whether a haemorrhoid is located on the inside or outside of the body. Signs and symptoms of haemorrhoids may include:
pain or discomfort, especially when sitting
pain during bowel movements
itching or irritation around the anal region
bright red blood on your stools, toilet paper or in the toilet bowl
swelling around the anus
one or more lumps near the anus, which might be tender or painful.
Bleeding during bowel movements is the most common sign of haemorrhoids. Rectal bleeding can, however, indicate a more serious condition, such as bowel cancer or anal cancer. You should consult if your haemorrhoids:
bleed frequently or excessively
do not respond to self-treatment
if haemorrhoid symptoms have been accompanied by an obvious change in bowel habits
if you are passing black or maroon-coloured stools
blood clots have formed
blood is mixed in with the stool.
Haemorrhoids are caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum. The blood vessels around the anus and in the rectum will stretch under pressure and may swell or bulge, forming piles. This may be due to:
Lifting heavy weights
Straining when passing a stool
Spinal cord injury
More serious or repeat cases may require medication or a surgical procedure. Haemorrhoids can recur after treatment; hence, they are controlled rather than cured.
We will initially recommend some lifestyle changes to manage Haemorrhoids.
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.
Losing weight may help reduce the incidence and severity of piles. Exercising is one of the main therapies for piles.
Several medicinal options are available to make symptoms more manageable for an individual with Haemorrhoids.
These are available, including painkillers, ointments, creams, and pads, and can help soothe redness and swelling around the anus. Do not use them for more than 7 days in a row
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.
Advanced Haemorrhoids require surgical treatment.
The excess tissue that is causing the bleeding is surgically removed. This can be done in various ways.
An elastic band around the base of the pile, cutting off its blood supply. After a few days, the hemorrhoid falls off. This is effective for treating all hemorrhoids of less than grade IV status.
Blood flow is blocked to the hemorrhoid tissue. This procedure is usually less painful than hemorrhoidectomy.
Medicine is injected to make the hemorrhoid shrink. The hemorrhoid eventually shrivels up. This is effective for grade II and III hemorrhoids and is an alternative to banding.
Keeping your stools soft is the best way to prevent haemorrhoids from occurring. The following steps can help to prevent haemorrhoids from occurring and reduce symptoms of existing haemorrhoids
Eat high-fibre foods
Drink plenty of fluids
Avoid straining when on the toilet
Go to the toilet as soon as you feel the urge
Do plenty of exercise
Avoid sitting for long periods
Consult doctor before going for any treatment
Trusted Team of Surgeons for Piles, Fissure, Fistula and Hemorrhoids at Hitech City and Begumpet, Hyderabad
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