Science / Health

Piles Symptoms & Causes: All You Need to Know

Piles (Hemorrhoids) appear as swollen, and inflamed veins in your lower rectum and anus. Studies show that nearly three out of four adults will experience piles in their lifetime. Hence, it is imperative to understand the various piles symptoms & causes to receive appropriate treatment quickly.

There are two types of Hemorrhoids:

  • Ones that develop inside the anal canal (internal hemorrhoids)
  • Ones that develop outside the anus (external hemorrhoids)

While it may sound like a cause for concern, there are several options to treat piles effectively. Most Indians can get instant relief from simple dietary and lifestyle changes.

What Piles Symptoms Should I Look Out For?

An individual with hemorrhoids may experience the following symptoms:

  • Presence of a hard, painful lump outside of the anus
  • A person with piles may feel that their bowels are still full, even after passing a stool.
  • Presence of blood in the stool
  • Sharp pain during the passing of stool
  • Redness and itchiness around the anus

In some cases, piles can escalate into a more serious condition, if left untreated. Complications include:

  • Infection
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Blood supply to hemorrhoid may be cut off, leading to a blood clot or a severe infection
  • The appearance of an anal fistula, where a new channel is created between the skin surface and the inside of the anus.

It is a common misconception that an anal fistula and piles are the same medical  condition. However, they require separate treatments and it is important to understand the differences between anal fistula and piles. In short, hemorrhoids or piles are swollen tissues in your rectum and anus, whereas a fistula is the presence of an abnormal channel between your skin and anus.

Causes of Piles – What do they include?

Piles are primarily caused by increased pressure in the lower rectum. This may be due to:

  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Pregnancy
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Straining your muscles while passing a stool

Piles can also be related to inheritance and the likelihood of developing one increases with age.

Treatment Options for Piles:

In most cases, piles do not require treatment as they can resolve on their own. However, some remedies can relieve any discomfort/ pain. Some of them include:

  • Dietary changes
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Over-the-counter medications (painkillers, creams, ointments, etc.)
  • In-house surgery

With the ongoing pandemic, it is understandable that you may not want to step out of your home to visit a clinic/ hospital for a treatment. If you need to visit one, ensure that you wear a mask and sanitize your hands frequently. If you or someone you know have been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, consider performing the RTPCR test immediately. The swab test will be able to confirm whether or not you have been affect by the novel coronavirus.

To summarize: Hemorrhoids can be painful, but they are usually not a cause for concern. There are plenty of treatment options available to bring you relief from any discomfort.

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