Piles or hemorrhoids are swellings that occur inside and around the anus and the anal canal. The anal canal is the last part of the large intestine. There are many small veins or blood vessels within the lining of the anal canal.
These veins sometimes become wider and swollen with more blood than usual. The puffed-up veins and the overlying tissue might develop one or more small swellings called piles.
Different types of piles
1. Internal piles – These form above a point 2-3 cm inside the anus in the upper part of the anal canal. They are usually painless as the upper anal canal has no pain nerve fibers.
2. External piles – External piles form below a point in the lower part of the anal canal. These are painful as the lower part of the anal canal has pain nerve fibers.
Causes of piles
• Hereditary factors
• Other causes like heavy lifting and persistent cough
Symptoms of piles
There are many symptoms. Sometimes a person may not realize that they have piles as there are no symptoms which is felt. The most common symptom that one experiences is bleeding after going to the toilet to pass stools. The blood is usually bright red.
Another symptom is a hemorrhoid hanging down and can be felt outside the back passage or anus. It pushes back after you have been to the toilet. However, if the piles is severe, then it remains hanging permanently and cannot be pushed back inside. One complication is that the blood supply to the hemorrhoid can be cut off and this intensely painful. Another complication is a blood clot or thrombosis which can form within the hemorrhoid. This is uncommon yet painful.
You should consult doctors for piles treatment, when you face the above symptoms.
Treatment of piles
1. Avoid constipation and straining at the toilet – You should try to keep the stools soft and do not strain on the toilet. For this, eat plenty of fiber, drink lots of water, have fiber supplements like ispaghula, methylcellulose, bran or sterculia. You should avoid painkillers that contain codeine which is the root cause of constipation. You must go to the toilet as soon as you feel the need for it.
2. Use ointments, creams and suppositories – A bland smooth ointment which is of anesthetic nature can ease the discomfort. Sometimes, doctors advise steroids for treating piles if inflammation is there around the piles.
3. Banding treatment – It is usually done by a surgeon for some kinds of piles. Banding of internal piles is generally painless. This method can be used to treat up to three piles. Piles are less likely to comeback after using this method.
4. Other options – Some options are – Injection sclerotherapy, infrared coagulation/photocoagulation, diathermy and electrotherapy, traditional operation, stapled haemorrhoidopexy and Haemorrhoidal artery ligation. These are some options for piles treatment in extreme cases.
Piles should be taken extremely seriously and treatment by doctors is a must whenever you feel uneasy.