Hemorrhoids (Piles) – Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Hemorrhoids, also known as Piles, is a painful disease. Due to being a very sensitive part of the body, it causes more embarrassment and pain. While hanging lifestyles and eating habits is one thing to blame, the number of Piles patients is increasing rapidly. Sitting for long hours in one position and eating anything without any schedule are also big reasons behind piles.

How are Hemorrhoids formed?

Hemorrhoids are formed due to inflammation and swelling of veins and blood vessels of the anus and lowest part of the rectum. The outer walls of the vein become thin due to swelling and hypersensitive. This can cause serious discomfort and pain, especially when you poop or sit down.

Hemorrhoids stages

Piles can cause rectal bleeding and patients often see bloody discharge with the fecal matter. This happens when the blood vessels are ruptured due to piles. Though this condition is temporary, not considered a serious health problem, this can be severely painful. So consult a doctor as soon as possible once you see any symptoms of the piles.

Symptoms of hemorrhoids

Piles are of two types – Internal and External.

external and internal hemorrhoids

Internal Piles: Formed usually inside the rectum, the internal piles are usually unseen. Since there are very few sensory nerves present on the inside of the rectum, you might never feel pain due to Internal piles. They are noticed only when the patients see rectal bleeding.

External Piles: These are formed in the skin on and around the anus. As the skin is filled with sensory nerves, external piles cause more pain and bleeding.

Sometimes, the thin walls of blood vessels form a blood clot, that appears as a soft pink bulging mass outside the anal sphincter. This is called as Hemorrhoids Prolapse. This condition is very painful while pooping and patients feel while sitting and walking around.

Some, piles don’t always have a visible of noticeable symptom and you may not realize that you have piles. Some commonly noticed symptoms of piles:

  1. Mass, bulging out of the anus, that appears pinkish or purple and has a moist texture.
  2. Blood spots on the toilet seat, toilet paper or on the fecal matter.
  3. General discomforts such as pain or itching in the close proximity with the anus.

Causes of Hemorrhoids

Many lifestyle and environmental factors can cause piles. We are listing some of the main reasons behind this painful problem:

causes of hemorrhoids

  • Eating Spicy and greasy foods
  • Obesity
  • Low fiber diet
  • Anal Intercourse
  • Strained bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Sitting for long hours
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Pregnancy
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis

The risk of piles increases with age of the person. Aging can affect the elasticity of the veins in the rectum and makes them weak.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Hemorrhoids

If the piles are external, they can be easily diagnosed by a Doctor upon seeing. However, if you are suffering from internal piles then the doctor has to take the help of other medical procedures of digital and visual inspections. Doctors can administer anoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or proctoscopy.

Hemorrhoids Complete guide

Treatment at Home

When you suspect any symptoms of piles and feel pain in the rectum, you can relief it using many steps at home. Below listed some steps that will ease the pain at home:

Dietary Changes: Eat more fiber-rich foods. Include more of fruits, green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and meat in your diet. For example; Black peas, Split beans, Beetlenuts and Indian Plantago (Isbagol) are few foods that contain High amounts of dietary fiber. Fibers make it easier for food to digest appropriately and hence makes the stool softer. It relieves constipation and eases bowel moments. Eased bowel moments prevent pain from any existing Hemorrhoids.

Moisturize with water: Moisturizing piles makes it lose and ease the pain. Soak your bottom area for 10-15 minute within bathtub with clean water.

Maintain Hygiene: Clean the anal area thoroughly and try to keep it dirt free. Shower daily with warm water. Avoid alcohol based cleaner and wipers as alcohol can reduce the natural moisture of the skin and makes the skin drier. Clean the area with water and pat dry with a soft towel.

Keep the area Cold: For this, you can use an ice pack or other cold compresses on the anal area. This relieves the pain. Don’t use dry toilet paper. To help keep the anal area clean after a bowel movement, use moist towelettes or wet toilet paper that doesn’t contain perfume or alcohol.

Hemorrhoid remedies

Avoid toilet paper: Avoid using toilet paper to clean after bowel moments. Use a wet towel or wet wipes to clean the anus. Use the alcohol-free and water-based wipes. Avoid using perfumed wipes.

Medicinal treatments

OTP Ointments: There are so many creams and ointments available over-the-counter (OTC) for the treatment of piles. You can apply any Hemorrhoid cream which contains hydrocortisone or Witch hazel as the pain numbing agent.

Oral Painkillers: You can also take Common painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and acetaminophen to relieve the pain symptoms temporarily.

Medical Procedures

Another minimally invasive surgical process can be also used to treat the piles if the pain and bleeding are persistent. These procedures are done by a qualified doctor under strict observation and care:

Sclerotherapy: It is the procedure involves injecting medicated chemical solutions into the problem area of the rectum to reduce the pain.

Litigation with Rubber bands: In this procedure, Doctor will tie the root of hemorrhoid with a tiny rubber band. Tightening of the rubber band stops the blood circulation in hemorrhoid and the bulging mass eventually become dead and falls off. This procedure can be extremely uncomfortable for some patients and can cause bleeding. This process takes up to a weeks time under the observation.

rubber-band litigation for hemorrhoids

Coagulation: It is a process of drying and removing the piles using the heat from the laser and infrared rays. This may cause little discomfort immediately, and a little bleeding, but it is an effective method of treating internal piles.

Surgical Procedure

If at first, the above-discussed procedures were not effective in removing the Hemorrhoids, Doctor may have to suggest to through surgical procedures described below:

Stapled Hemorrhoidectomy – Also called Hemorrhoidal stapling or stapled hemorrhoidopexy. The procedure is quick and rather less painful. The doctor will opt this procedure only in the case of third-degree piles. When the bulge coming protrude out of the anal verge and manual reduction is required it is known as a 3rd degree Hemorrhoid.

Hemorrhoidectomy – This surgical procedure is used to remove a pile completely with the root tissues. Your surgeon will numb your sensation with Anesthetics and surgically remove the piles. Hemorrhoidectomy may cause complications such as temporary difficulty in urination and excretion, but the treatment is considered as permanent relief from piles.

Preventing Hemorrhoids

Well, the best way to prevent Hemorrhoids is to keep your stool soft and easy to pass through the rectum. Soft stool prevents the exertion of pressure on blood veins. You can follow few steps to reduce the symptoms of existing hemorrhoids and also prevent hemorrhoids from occurring in the first place:

High fiber foods

  • Drink Water and plenty of liquids. However, avoid consuming alcoholic drinks and sodas.
  • Eat foods that contain high amounts of dietary fibers. You can also consider taking fiber supplements
  • Avoid straining your rectum while in the toilet. Drink hot water to soften the stool and avoid the chances of constipating.
  • Go to the toilet as soon you feel the urge, do not wait and keep your bladders filled.
  • Avoid sitting for long hours. Get up and take a walk every few hours.
  • Maintain good health and fitness with healthy diet and exercises. Exercising boosts your metabolism and supports better digestion.
  • Change your posture while pooping. Studies have shown that sitting in a natural squat position with your knees folded up, eases the stress on the rectum and makes the anal opening wider. Use the Indo-Asian style of toilet.