What is Piles (Hemorrhoids)? Know its Types, Causes, Symptoms and Home remedies
Piles or Hemorrhoids is a very common and painful disease. In this condition, swelling occurs at the bottom of the rectum and anus. As a result, swelling beginsto form inside the anus or on the initial parts of the rectum. These swellings sometimes stay inside, sometimes protrude out from anal opening. Around60 to 70 percent of people have to go through the problem of piles at some point of their age. If it is not treated ontime, the pain can increase significantly.
What is Piles (Hemorrhoids)?
Piles are lumps that growin and around the anus. In the lining of the anal canal, there is a network of small veins (blood vessels). These veins sometimes become wider and full of blood than usual. The blocked veins and overlying tissue may then form in one or more swellings. Piles often don't cause any problem, but can cause bleeding sometimes. If it causes bleeding or pain, you should immediately see a doctor.
Types of Piles
Piles falls into 4 different types. These include
- Internal Piles:They are located deep within the rectum and are therefore invisible to the naked eye. They might not cause any pain, but their presence is characterized by symptoms of bleeding through the anus.
- External Piles:They are formed on the outer lining of the anal region and causes extreme pain while passing stools or sitting. Sometimes, they may not be visible and develop like lumps.
- Reduces inflammation:Carnosol and carnosic acid are two powerful antioxidants, which help in neutralizing harmful particles like free radicals and anti-inflammatory compounds found in rosemary that help reduce inflammation in muscles, joints, and blood vessels.
- Prolapsed Piles:When internal piles swell and stick outside the anus, the situation is known as prolapsed piles. These lumps cause discomfort or pain, accompanied by itching and burning.
- Thrombosed Piles:These swollen lumps around the anus are blood clots within the hemorrhoid tissue. Due to the lack of blood supply to your rectal tissues, thrombosed piles must be treated promptly to avoid serious complications.
Symptoms of Piles
- Bleeding from the rectum while passing stools.
- Feeling of something coming downwards while passing stools.
- Feeling difficulty while passing bowel movements.
- Mucous discharge during bowel movements.
- Frequent urination but not defecating during bowel movements.
- Formation of one or more hard lumps around the anus
- Itching, burning, redness and swelling around the anus.
- Unbearable pain during bowel movements.
Risk Factors of Piles
The risk factors for developing piles are
- Prolonged constipation.
- Excessive straining during bowel movements.
- Hard and thick stools.
- Sitting in the toilet for a long time.
- Vigorous tension.
- Chronic diarrhea.
- Colon cancer.
- Alcoholic liver diseases (causing hypertension and ascites)
- Lifting heavy objects.
- Poor posture (lack of erect posture)
- Loss of tone of the rectus muscle (muscle in the rectum).
- Episiotomy (This is a surgical incision made by the obstetrician during delivery to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal without any complications).
- Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.
- Surgeries related to the anal canal and rectum.
What causes Piles?
Piles are caused due to several reasons
- Watery or solid stools.
- Low fiber diet.
- Liver disease causing high blood pressure in the vessels supplying the anus and rectum (portal hypertension), Ascites (buildup of fluid in the abdomen).
- Family history.
- Prolonged diarrhea.
- Exercise to lift heavy objects.
- Rectal cancers.
- Excessive weight gain.
- Continuous coughing, sneezing and vomiting.
- Prolonged squatting while defecating.
- Anal intercourse.
Diagnosis of Piles
If your doctor suspects you have piles, he or she will perform a visual examination of your anus to diagnose piles. They may also perform a digital rectal examination to look for signs of piles within the anus.
Your doctor may also prescribe an additional test called a sigmoidoscopy (small fibre optical camera) that your doctor uses to diagnose internal piles. The sigmoidoscope is placed in a small tube and inserted into the rectum. It provides a clear view of the inside of the rectum and shows abnormalities in the rectum.
The doctor may also prescribe other tests such as colonoscopy, anoscopy, and proctoscopy, which can clearly show the presence of internal hemorrhoids.
How to prevent Piles?
Practices that can prevent Piles (Hemorrhoids) from developing
- Eat a high-fiber diet that includes fruits (pears, bananas, apples, raspberries), (lentils, black beans, lima beans), vegetables (green beans, broccoli, Brussels sprouts), and whole grains (oatmeal, barley, brown rice). The recommended daily fiber intake is 20-38 grams for both men and women.
- Drink enough water (6-8 glasses of water).
- Practice good bowel habits, such as going to the washroom as soon as you feel like having a bowel movement.
- Regular exercise (hemorrhoids can be prevented by staying active and maintaining a reasonable BMI).
- Avoid straining during bowel movements.
- Avoid sitting for long hours, especially on the toilet, prolonged squatting (knees and thighs are bent when the body weight falls on the feet).
- Additional fibers (Methylcellulose, Calcium polycarbophil, and psyllium) can be used to increase fiber absorption in the body.
- Stool softeners can sometimes be used for stress-free bowel movements.
Home Remedies for Piles
- Black cumin seeds:Take 1/2 tablespoon of powdered roasted black cumin seeds (shah jeera) with a glass of lukewarm water once a day to get rid of hard stools and piles.
- Radish juice:Radish juice taken in the morning and night is one of the best home remedies for treating hemorrhoids. Start with 1/4 cup and gradually increase to 1/2 cup over a period of 1 month. Topical application of radish paste mixed with honey can help relieve pain.
- Figs:Figs are one of the best ayurvedic treatments for piles. Wash 3-4 figs. Soak in a glass of water overnight. Eat them in the morning. Repeat at night.
- Ripe bananas:Boil 1 ripe banana in 1 cup of milk, mash it well. Consuming this mixture at least 3-4 times a day will help relieve the pain associated with hemorrhoids.
- Bitter gourdjuice:Crush the bitter gourd leaves and squeeze out the juice. Mix 3 tablespoons of extract in 1 glass of buttermilk and drink on an empty stomach every morning for one month to treat hemorrhoids.
- Buttermilk:Drink a glass of buttermilk with 1/4 teaspoon of carom seed powder (ajwain) and a pinch of rock salt (kala namak). Buttermilk is recommended as part of a regular diet and is effective in piles.
- Almond oil:Dip a cotton swab in almond oil and apply it on the swellings to get relief in piles.
- Sitz bath technique:Adding warm water to the bathtub and sittingfor 10-15 minutes reduces the pain and burning of hemorrhoids and the swelling is more,you may add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to it.
When to visit a doctor?
If you bleed during bowel movements or have hemorrhoids that don't improve after a week of home treatment, talk to your doctor. Get emergency help if you have heavy rectal bleeding, dizziness or fainting.