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Piles

Piles

Piles

WHAT ARE PILES?

You must have seen engorged, bluish veins behind the legs of certain women called Varicose veins. Now imagine a similar bunch of veins at the anal opening or lower part of the rectum known as Piles.

SEX OR AGE MOST AFFECTED

Adults of both sexes, but many women get affected after childbirth.

SIGNS & SYMPTOMS

  • Rectal bleeding. Bright-red blood may appear as streaks adhering to stools, or it may be a slow trickle for a short while after passage of stools.
  • Pain, itching or mucus discharge during/after passage of stools.
  • A lump that can be felt in the anus.
  • A sensation that the rectum has not emptied completely after passage of stools (only in large piles).

CAUSES

Repeated pressure in the anal or rectal veins--usually caused by straining that could be

  • due to constipation
  • while urinating due to prostate enlargement, in men
  • during labor
  • due to pressure of enlarged uterus.

RISK INCREASES WITH

HOW TO PREVENT

  • Don't try to hurry bowel movements.
  • Lose weight if you are overweight.

OTHER

Straining during bowel movements increases pain.

DIAGNOSTIC MEASURES

POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS

  • Iron-deficiency anemia if blood loss is significant.
  • Severe pain caused by a blood clot in a hemorrhoid.
  • Infection or ulceration of a hemorrhoid.

TREATMENT

GENERAL MEASURES

  • Never strain while passing stool.
  • Keeping feet on a low footstool may aid defecation.
  • Clean the anal area gently with water each time you pass stool. Using dry toilet paper will aggravate the condition
  • To relieve pain, take sitz bath several times a day.
  • In case of a blood clot or thrombosed pile, stay in bed and apply ice packs to the anal area, to reduce swelling and pain.
  • Surgery may be required to remove hemorrhoids.

SURGICAL OPTIONS

MEDICATION

There is NO medical treatment.

  • For minor pain, you may use non-prescription ointment.
  • Your doctor may prescribe a stool softener or bulk laxative, such as Isabgol .

ACTIVITY

No restrictions. Bowel function improves with good physical conditioning.

DIET

To prevent constipation, eat a well-balanced diet that contains many high-fiber foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables and whole-grain cereals.

CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR

  • A hard lump develops where a pile has been.
  • Severe pain that isn't relieved by treatment above.
  • Rectal bleeding is excessive (more than a trace or streak).

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