Piles are hemorrhoids that are inflamed. Hemorrhoids are masses, clumps, cushions of tissue in the anal canal. They are full of blood vessels, support tissues, and muscle fibers.
The thought of hemorrhoids is not very pleasant, but let’s admit that we all have them. It is when they become inflamed, they are called piles. Symptoms of piles include feeling of soreness, irritation or pain while passing stool. As a person passes stool, piles get aggravated because of pressure on the rectal area. In some cases, when the condition is severe, bleeding can also occur.
Causes of Piles
There are a number of factors that are responsible for the development of piles.
- Irregularity in bowel movement with susceptibility towards constipation and diarrhea is one of the causes.
- Constipation aids the condition of piles by giving way to prolonged straining.
- Absence of fiber, imbalanced diet with insistence on junk food contributes towards piles.
- Hereditary factors may also be responsible for the pathogenic condition of piles.
- Pregnancy may well give rise to the condition of piles with the developing fetus exerting pressure on the vascular structures.
- Obese people and those prone to long hours of sitting are also more likely to develop piles.
- An obstruction or abnormal growth on the way to the anal canal can also lead to piles.
- Other factors contributing to the pathological condition of piles include age and vascular structure guarding the anal passage lacking in valves.
Types of Piles
Piles can be broadly classified into two broad kinds on the basis of their locations.
- The ones located internally.
- The ones located externally.
Symptoms of Piles
Piles which tend to affect elderly people often turns out to be a major source of irritation. Those located externally are more painful than the internal ones. The external ones exist as painful inflammation or swelling. Internally located piles can be a source of extreme irritation when they tend to hang out through the anal passage. The ones located internally are susceptible to take on a necrotic form, whereby they develop into clots of blood. Necrotic ones are however quite painful. One of the most common clinical features of piles includes passage of blood along with stool. Along with bleeding, itching and irritation may also persist.
Diagnoses of Piles
The piles which exist in prolapsed form can be usually diagnosed by means of an external examination of areas surrounding the anal cavity. Proctoscpy usually serves to highlight the presence of internal piles. By means of proctoscopy the presence of tumors or polyps and that of an inflamed prostate are also detected as the detection is valuable in determining the line of treatment. Proctoscopy or anoscopy is usually performed with patients being subject to sedation.
Treatment for hemorrhoids
- Avoid constipation and straining at the toilet.
- Keep the feces (sometimes called stools or motions) soft, and don’t strain on the toilet.
- Eat plenty of fiber such as fruit, vegetables, cereals, wholegrain bread, etc.
- Have lots to drink. Adults should aim to drink at least two liters (10-12 cups) per day. You will pass much of the fluid as urine, but some is passed out in the gut and softens feces. Most sorts of drink will do, but alcoholic drinks can be dehydrating and may not be so good.
- Fiber supplements. If a high-fiber diet is not helping, you can take fiber supplements (bulking agents) such as ispaghula, methylcellulose, bran or sterculia. You can buy these at pharmacies or get them on prescription. Methylcellulose also helps to soften feces directly which makes them easier to pass.
- Avoid painkillers that contain codeine such as co-codamol, as they are a common cause of constipation.
- Toileting. Go to the toilet as soon as possible after feeling the need. Some people suppress this feeling and plan to go to the toilet later. This may result in bigger and harder feces forming which are then more difficult to pass. Do not strain on the toilet.
- Wear cotton undergarments. Wearing silk or another fabric can trap moisture around the anal area, causing repeated hemorrhoid flare-ups.
- Avoid perfumed soaps, toilet paper, or clothes detergent. Start using unscented, dye-free products, since the chemicals in perfumes and dyes can cause irritation.
- Keep your anal area clean. Bathe daily using plain warm water.
- Moisture can cause irritation, so pat the anal area dry with a cotton ball, or gently dry the anal area using the lowest setting on a hair dryer.
- Use a sitz bath filled with warm water. A sitz bath is an over-the-toilet bath for hips and buttocks. It can be used to ease the pain of hemorrhoids. Sitz baths are available at pharmacies and medical supply stores.
- To reduce the pain felt due to piles, drink buttermilk to which rock salt, ginger and peppercorns has been added. Have this twice a day.
- Drinking radish juice twice a day is a common remedy for piles. Start off with 1/4 th cup and gradually increase it to half a cup, twice a day.
- Natural home remedy using cumin seeds: Take 1 tablespoon cumin seed powder. Add water to make a thick paste. Mix well. Apply on the affected area. Leave for 15 min. Wash off with water. Do this 2 times a day
- Natural home remedy using ginger and mint leaves: Crush some ginger (1 inch piece) and make a paste. Crush a handful of mint leaves and make a paste. Take 1 teaspoon ginger paste. Add 2 teaspoon mint leaves paste. Mix well. Press the paste on a sieve and extract its juice. Add 2 teaspoon lemon juice to it. Add 1 teaspoon honey. Mix well. Consume 2 times a day
- Lemon juice. Saturate a cotton ball in a glass of freshly squeezed lemon juice. You should then apply the saturated cotton into the affected area. While this might cause you to deal with a mild burning or tingling sensation during the first application, you have an assurance that this will quickly go away. The solution will then start to perform its function of eliminating the pain caused by hemorrhoids.
- Aloe Vera. One of the most effective ways to use this as a piles treatment is to cut it in half and slightly heat it before applying into the affected area during bedtime. It is said to work wonders when attempting to obtain relief from swollen and painful veins. It also works in curing bleeding piles.
- Soak three to four dried figs in water, overnight. Have these twice a day along with the water in which they have been soaked.
- Boil the peel of pomegranate in some water. Strain and drink this water twice a day.
- Crush bitter gourd leaves and extract the juice. Mix 3 tsp in 1 glass of buttermilk, and drink on an empty stomach every morning, for a month.
- Powder dried mango seeds. Mix two teaspoons of this powder with a little honey and eat this twice a day.
- Mix one teaspoon of ginger and lime juice along with mint leaves and honey. Have this two to three times a day.
- To reduce pain due to piles, mix one ripe mashed banana in a cup of milk. Have this mixture three to four times a day.
- Jamblang better known as jambul fruit is effective in treating piles. This fruit is available during the summers, so make full use of their availability. Eat a handful of jambul with a little salt early in the morning on an empty stomach.
- Turmeric has antiseptic and healing properties. Therefore, eat a teaspoon of ground, fresh turmeric root.
- Prepare a mix of ground, black cumin seeds better known as shahjeera and cumin seeds. Add a teaspoon of this powder to a glass of water and drink once a day, preferably in the morning.
- Mix two tablespoons of honey to one grated raw onion. Have this twice a day.
EHC has observed, as many of you would have, that a healthy diet, active lifestyle, and a stress-free environment is the key to general health, especially while avoiding piles. A bleeding bum is the last one we need in life.