Description of Piles

Description of Piles
Hemorrhoid, also called piles or rectal lumps, is a medical condition that occurs when veins in the lower portion of the anus or rectum swell and become painful. Based on the location of the lump, hemorrhoids can be internal or external.

External ones occur at the opening of the anus and cause pain, swelling, and irritation. Internal hemorrhoids develop inside the rectum and because the area has fewer pain receptors, they are comparatively less painful. When irritated, internal hemorrhoids can cause bleeding. Sometimes, both the internal and external types can occur together.
Signs and Symptoms of Piles
Hemorrhoids are characterized by one or more of the following symptoms:
1. Bleeding while passing stools
2. Pain in the anus or rectum during bowel movements
3. Pain in the anal or rectal area while sitting
4. Small lumps around or near the anus
5. Itching in the anal area
Causes and Risk Factors of Piles
Hemorrhoids mostly occur due to strain in the anal area during bowel movements. The causes include:
1. Prolonged periods of sitting
2. Strained bowel movements
3. Constipation
4. Anal infection
5. Low fiber intake
6. Irregular bowel habits
7. Pregnancy
8. Aging
9. Certain diseases like cirrhosis
Doctors can identify external hemorrhoids by visually examining the anus and the area surrounding it. There are also a few clinical methods available to diagnose internal lumps. 
1. Stool guaiac test: A sample of the stool is analyzed to find any traces of blood in it.
2. Sigmoidoscopy: A sigmoidoscope is inserted into the anus to view the insides of the rectum and sigmoid colon and identify any lumps.
3. Anoscopy: An anoscope is pushed through the rectum to check the anus, anal canal, and lower portion of the rectum for the presence of hemorrhoids.
Prevention of Piles
1. Drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water per day helps in the formation of soft stools.
2. Physical activity that includes regular exercises and walking
3. Fiber rich diet consisting of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains 
Treatments of Piles
1. Hemorrhoids can be treated by simply modifying the diet and bowel habits.
2. Home remedies like sitz baths, using cotton undergarments, and unscented wet wipes also help to ease pain.
3. Stool softeners and ointments available over-the-counter are commonly prescribed to treat the condition. 
4. Medicated crèmes containing lidocaine and corticosteroids applied to the affected area help reduce swelling and pain.
5. Infrared coagulation is one such procedure that uses heat to shrink the lumps.
6. Rubber band litigation is performed in patients who do not respond well to noninvasive treatments.
7. Large and painful hemorrhoids that cannot be treated using nonsurgical procedures are surgically removed by hemorrhoidectomy.
Content Details
Last updated on:
01 Feb 2018 | 03:09 PM (IST)
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