What are Piles?

Patient Information for piles (hemorrhoids) by Amrita Clinic


What are piles (hemorrhoids)?

Piles have been known and described for centuries.

Piles are dilated blood vessels in the rectal mucosa, which form a mass in the anal canal.

They are medically known as hemorrhoids.they are classified as internal or external hemorrhoids.

How common are piles?

Piles are common in both men and women . those exposed to improper dietary habits, sedentary lifestyle, etc. have a greater incidence of piles. According to recent heath estimate,over 40% of the people world wide suffer from piles and as many as 40% of the population have experienced symptoms of this disease sometime in life. In India , approximately 80% of sufferers are in the age group of 21-50 year. Piles re also seen among pregnant women.

What are the cause of the piles?

It is said that piles are a natural consequence of adoption of erect posture by mankind.

Chronic constipation,obesity improper dietary habits and liver disease are some of the contributory factor for piles.

Factor such as family history, temperament, climate, age , sex, pregnancy and suppression of hemorrhage in other areas have also been held responsible . Other factor include irritation of the rectum , and the continuous use of pessaries and suppositories.

What are the symptoms of piles?Piles symptoms

The main symptoms of piles are swelling and irritation in or around the rectum . pain, itching and bleeding also occur while passing stools.

Bleeding from the anus is a common symptom in severe piles. The blood is bright red and not mixed with stools. It occurs from local injury to the dilated blood vessels of the rectum.

Some patients may complain of rectal fullness, mucus discharge , and prolapse of the pile mass.

How to manage/treat piles?

There are many viewpoints of the treatment of piles.

A common outdoor treatment is Sclerotherapy, where in a chemical solution is injected around the dilated blood vessel to shrink the pile mass . this treatment is unsuited for prolapsed and larger piles.

Infrared Coagulation (IRC)
Small circular burn are placed above the piles. Three-to-seven burns are placed at the base of each pile. Most patient do not feel much discomfort.

Rubber Bandaging of large pile mass is also done . But , this can result in ulcers(non healing wounds), and construction around the periphery of the pil massRubber Bandaging of large pile.

Routine Surgical removal of the piles is also done. But this is associated with a great deal of post-operative pain and requires hospitalization for 7-10 days.

Sitting in a shallow bath of warm water for 15 minutes reduces the pain. Ice procedure also used to reduce the swelling.

Cryotherapy is another outdoor form of treatment where freezing is due to shrink the pile mass. The disadvantages are discomfort,swelling, discharge and plus.

Relatively minor piles can be treated by applying cream or ointment to the affected area, which relieves pain and swelling, controls bleeding, helps to shrink to pile mass and thus hastens the healing process.

How to help yourself prevent piles?

Piles(hemorrhoids) can be prevented by adopting a healthier lifestyle.

Have high-fiber food like green leafy vegetables, fresh fruits and whole grain cereals (e.g wheat, barley,oats,corn, rice,etc.) Piles-treatment

Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday.

Establish regular bowel habits and avoid constipation.

Avoid spicy food , alcohol,coffee and tea , which irritate and aggravate piles.

Try to reduce weight if you are obese with regular exercise and diet control.

Avoid prolonged sitting or standing position as it puts pressure on the anorectal region.

Wear loose fitting clothing and undergarments made from natural materials such as cotton.

Now that you are informed about piles and how to overcome them , it is essential to realize that pile are a medical concern. Piles are a fairly common clinical problem , which cause great inconvenience in day to day activities. Piles can be treated surgically, but the results are not always satisfactory and recurrence may occur.

We hope the information provided gives you a clear understanding of piles and helps you manage this condition better.

The above information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat your condition without consulting your doctor.

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