Piles are swollen veins found around the lower rectum or anus. It is a painful and most common issue these days. Approximately 50% of the adult population faces the symptoms of piles.
The symptoms of piles include severe pain and bleeding especially during the passage of stools. There are certain medicines and home remedies that can cure piles easily. Sometimes it may disappear without any treatment. If piles cannot be disappear or treated with medication and become severe with excess bleeding then surgery is the last option.
Types of Piles (Hemorrhoids)
Piles are also known as hemorrhoids. It can be either external or internal. External hemorrhoids occur outside of the anus while internal hemorrhoids occur within the rectum or anus. Sometimes, internal hemorrhoids protrude outside the anus and referred to as prolapsed hemorrhoids.
Internal hemorrhoids are divided into four categories according to whether they come out and if so how far they come out. It’s a general classification and symptoms may vary in individuals.
- 1st-degree hemorrhoid: It’s not come out from your anus and sometimes may bleed.
- 2nd-degree hemorrhoid: During a bowel movement, it comes out from your anus but goes back after some time.
- 3rd-degree hemorrhoid: It also comes out from your anus while passing stools but only goes back inside by physically pushing them.
- 4th-degree hemorrhoid: It is the most painful and severe bleeding condition of internal hemorrhoids in which swollen veins always hang down from your anus.
External hemorrhoids are the most common and painful. Hemorrhoids cause itching, severe pain, and trouble sitting. It’s possible to have both external and internal hemorrhoids at the same time. But, luckily, both types of hemorrhoids are curable.
Causes of Piles (Hemorrhoids)
The swelling of veins during piles occurs due to increase pressure in the small vessels. The pressure in small vessel increased due to:
Low Fiber Diet
A low fiber diet is the major cause of increased pressure within the blood vessels.
It also causes hemorrhoids. The pressure increases on hemorrhoids vessels due to prolonged sitting on the toilet.
Obesity is the most common cause of piles because excess weight exerts pressure on the vessels or veins of the anus, rectum, or colon.
Pregnant women most commonly faced piles or hemorrhoids. During pregnancy size of the uterus increases which increases the pressure on the rectum and anus. Moreover, hormonal changes occur during pregnancy which may weaken your muscles and support the rectum and anus.
Acute or chronic diarrhea may also cause piles.
Some other factors like previous rectal surgery, colon cancer, lack of erect posture, and spinal cord injury are also responsible for piles.
Complications of piles
The Piles can not cause any serious problem but sometimes may lead to the following complications.
- Anemia. Piles or hemorrhoids sometimes cause anemia due to the successive loss of blood. It is a condition in which your red blood cells are not enough to carry oxygen to your cells.
- Ulcer: Sometimes, an ulcer develops on inflamed or swollen external piles.
- Strangulated hemorrhoid. In this condition, the patient feels extreme pain because in strangulated hemorrhoids blood supply to the internal hemorrhoids is cut off.
- Blood clot. Sometimes, blood clots are formed in external hemorrhoids (thrombosis) which are not hazardous but can cause extreme pain.
- Sometimes mucus leaks from the hemorrhoid region which can make surrounding skin very sore.
Best ways to prevent Piles
You should follow the following tips for preventing piles (hemorrhoids).
- Eat fiber-rich foods. You should eat fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Fibers rich foods soften your stool and make its passage easy which will help you to prevent straining that cause piles.
- Drink plenty of water. Water is essential for making your stool soft. So you should drink at least 2 to 3 liter of water and other liquids daily.
- Take fiber supplements. If your diet did not contain the recommended amount of fiber (20-30 grams) a day then you should take fiber supplements like methylcellulose (Citrucel) and psyllium (Metamucil). Fiber supplement reduces the symptoms of piles. For taking fiber supplements you should drink at least 2 liters of water daily otherwise these can cause severe constipation.
- Don’t strain. Straining and holding your breath while trying to pass a stool produces larger pressure in the lower rectum veins.
- Don’t wait to pass. If you feel an urge then go to the washroom as soon as possible for passing a bowel movement. If you wait to do this then your stool might be dry out and difficult to pass.
- Don’t sit for long periods. Long sitting especially on the toilet increases the pressure on the veins of your anus. So don’t sit for a long period.
- Exercise. Being physically active helps you to lose excess weight and help you to prevent constipation. Both of these factors are responsible for piles.
Piles or hemorrhoids are the most common problem these days. It is a highly painful condition and about 50% of the adult population faces this problem. The symptoms of piles include bleeding and severe pain particularly during the passage of stools.
Hemorrhoid is categorized as internal and external hemorrhoid. Internal hemorrhoid occurs within the anus or rectum. It is further categorized into four degrees according to swollen vein and bleeding. External hemorrhoid occurs outside the anus and associated with severe pain and bleeding. There are many causes of piles which include a low fiber diet, constipation, obesity, diarrhea, pregnancy, etc.
Piles can cause some complications like anemia, ulcers, strangulated hemorrhoid, blood clots, and rashes. So, to prevent these conditions you should eat fiber-rich foods, drink plenty of water, take fiber supplements, don’t sit for a long time, and exercise regularly.