Overview 

Many people have piles, but the symptoms and causes are not always obvious and also most people shy away from talking about it because the disease is associated with intimate areas. Haemorrhoids cause noticeable symptoms for at least 45% of people in India over 50 years of age. This article will explore piles, their causes, how to diagnose, grade, and treat them, and what effects they might have on the body.

What is Piles?

Haemorrhoids, popularly known as piles (bavaseer) are formation of lumps of swollen veins and tissues in or around the anus or lower rectum area that lead to significant discomfort. These formations can vary in location and size and are caused due to constant pressure in the lower rectum. When a person constantly exerts pressure in and around the areas of anus and rectum due to several reasons like constipation or heavy weight lifting, the blood vessels around those parts swell and bulge, forming piles. Also, in case of constant straining, the veins might get engorged, enlarged and wider with more blood than usual leading to the formation of one or more piles.

Type of Piles

The condition of this anorectal disease is broadly classified as two types of piles, including internal and external. While internal piles are formed inside the rectum and are usually not visible during an external examination. However, in some cases an external piles might also grow to protrude outside the anus. This external piles condition is prolapsed haemorrhoid. The proctologists grade the internal piles condition on a four-point scale based on its severity as explained below:

  • 1. Grade 1: No protrusions of haemorrhoids, yet
  • 2. Grade 2: Protruding haemorrhoids that spontaneously reduce
  • 3. Grade 3: Protruding haemorrhoids possible to push back in manually
  • 4. Grade 4: Protruding haemorrhoids that can not be pushed back in manually anymore
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Common Symptoms of Piles

Below listed are some of the top piles causes and symptoms:

  • 1. Bloody stool
  • 2. Painful lump around the anus
  • 3. Pain while passing stool
  • 4. Discomfort in the anal area while sitting
  • 5. Feeling of unclear bowel even after passing stool
  • 6. Chronic constipation
  • 7. Chronic diarrhoea
  • 8. Pain while lifting heavy weights
  • 9. Fatigue
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If you have escalated into more severe condition, you might be experiencing be the below given serious piles symptoms:

  • Anal infection
  • Fistula
  • Faecal incontinence
  • Excessive anal bleeding leading to anemia
  • Strangulated haemorrhoid
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How to Cure Piles?

During the initial phases, piles can be managed at home by following a healthy lifestyle. You can include a fibre-rich diet, take a sitz bath, keep yourself hydrated and avoid straining during bowel movements. Apart from this, you can take the below-given piles medicines to manage the symptoms associated with piles:

Painkillers: A few over-the-counter drugs, such as acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen are recommended by doctors. These medications cannot cure piles but can relieve the pain associated with piles.

Corticosteroids or ointments for piles: A few of the doctor-recommended steroid ointments and piles cream can relieve pain, itching, and inflammation.

Laxatives or stool-softeners: These medications, including isapgol, looz, laxopeg, etc.

However, it is recommended that these piles medicines must not be used beyond a week if the condition is worsening. As mentioned above, these medications cannot cure piles but can provide temporary relief from the condition. Also, in case of severe grades of piles or appearance of side symptoms, such as dry skin, rashes, etc. you must immediately consult a doctor and get the recommended surgery done.

Treatment of Piles

If your condition of piles is not that severe, your proctologist might suggest a non-surgical treatment of piles. These days, the two most popular non-surgical treatment to cure piles are explained below:

Rubber band ligation: During this procedure, the proctologist places a rubber band around the base of the internal piles. The rubber band cuts off the blood flow to the piles tissues causing it to shrink and fall off within 5-7 days.

Coagulation: Also known as infrared coagulation, is a medical non-surgical procedure to treat piles of medium and small sizes.

How Glamyo Health Helps Treatment of Piles?

Glamyo Health is a one-stop multi-specialty healthcare service provider for all elective and cosmetic surgeries with personalized care. Since the USP of Glamyo Health is its patient- centric approach, Glamyo Health provides end-to-end services for advanced laser technology piles treatment, thereby ensuring a hassle-free experience during the treatment. It has a plethora of expert proctologists who perform piles surgery with utmost precision making it risk free. Glamyo Health also provides other lucrative offers, including additional discounts on diagnostic tests, pick-up and drop facility to the hospital, a private ac room for the patient and the attendant, free post-surgery follow-ups, etc. making the piles treatment cost-effective, stress-free and easily accessible.

Surgical Option in Piles

Hemorrhoidectomy (Traditional Surgery): This surgical procedure is performed to eliminate the protruded anal tissues that cause bleeding. It is suggested by the surgeons when the grade of piles is severe. Hemorrhoidectomy is performed under general or local anaesthesia. During this surgery, the surgeon makes a few small incisions around the piles tissue and the swollen veins inside the haemorrhoids are tied off to prevent bleeding post which the piles are removed.

Hemorrhoid Stapling (Stapler Surgery): This surgical technique disrupts the blood flow to the inflamed tissues and is used to treat internal piles. During the procedure, the arterial blood vessels inside the haemorrhoid are cut off, thus the blood flow to the piles vessels is disrupted. Therefore, with time, the size of the piles reduces and gradually shrinks off. It is a minimally invasive procedure that does not involve much pain and ensures quick recovery of the patient. However, if instructions prescribed by the proctologist post-surgery are not followed, it can cause piles recurrence.

Laser surgery: It is the latest, effective and the most advanced surgical treatment for piles. During this minimally invasive technique, a laser beam is used to burn and shrink the hemorrhoidal tissue. The anorectal surgeon focusses a narrow beam of light on the anal tissues such that they complete reduce.

Risk Factors

During & after the surgery: Piles surgery is not complicated, hence the chances of any risks are very rare also, as it is performed by expert surgeons having an experience of more than 10 years, the surgery involves highest success rates. But like many other surgical treatments, the success rate of piles surgery is also highly dependent upon the severity of the condition and experience of the surgeon. Soon after the piles surgery, the patient might feel a little pain, soreness, bruising and some discomfort but the pain and discomfort are taken care of with painkillers while the bruising and soreness diminishes within 1-2 days. Mostly, it is noticed that the patient completely recovers and returns to normal life within 3-4 weeks post-surgery. However, in rare conditions, a patient might suffer from any of the following conditions post piles surgery, including bleeding, infection, reaction to anaesthesia and rectal prolapse.

If left untreated: The most common risk factor associated with piles escalation if left untreated for a long time can get strangulated, thereby cutting off the blood supply to those tissues. Due to this, the person might experience venous thrombosis within the piles leading to excruciating pain. Also, since the major symptom of piles is bleeding, if the condition is left untreated for a long time, it can lead to anaemia which in return is also characterized by further complicated health hazards.

Diagnosis

Self-diagnosis: Self-diagnosis of piles is not difficult if you are well aware of the piles symptoms. You can closely monitor your rectal motions. If you have piles, you will feel a painful and hard lump around your anus. You might also experience chronic constipation, characterized by incomplete bowel movements and pain. The colour of stool might also change which may also contain blood or smell. You might also be experience pain, soreness and redness in the anal area,

Diagnosis by doctor: Most proctologists diagnose piles through physical examination. Once you visit the anorectal surgeon, you are likely to followed up with several crucial questions as enlisted below:

  • 1. When did you start experiencing the symptoms?
  • 2. Do you have any family history of piles?
  • 3. Do you pass blood with your stool?
  • 4. What is your fitness regime?
  • 5. What are your lifestyle and dietary habits?
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If the doctor senses that it is piles, he might recommend a few digital examinations, including  anoscope, proctoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy to check for the presence of any gastrointestinal disease. If the proctologist finds out that the piles are in the initial stage then he might just recommend lifestyle and food habit changes along with a few medications. However, if the diagnosis detects severity in condition, he might recommend you to undergo a piles surgery.

Tests: In case of external piles, the anorectal surgeon will be able to diagnose it through physical examination. In case the formation of haemorrhoids are internal, the rectum might need to examine the rectum and anal canal. Two common tests which are done to diagnose piles are enlisted below:

  • Digital examination: In this diagnostic examination, the piles specialist inserts a finger into the rectum using a glove after lubricating it. After inserting the finger the proctologist checks for any kinds of abnormal growth.
  • Visual inspection: The internal haemorrhoids are too soft to be felt, the piles doctor might closely examine the lower rectum using an anoscope, proctoscopy or a sigmoidoscopy. Using these devices, the doctor will carefully examine the anal tissues of the anus lining to check the severity, grade and growth of piles

Prevention

Although people find it extremely discomforting to talk about piles because it is associated with an intimate area, haemorrhoids are extremely common and can happen to anyone. As doctors say there are no definite ways of preventing piles, however through a few lifestyle changes, piles can definitely be managed.

Drink sufficient water: The proctologists suggest that if you drink enough water, it will help you in preventing constipation which in turn decreases the strain while passing a bowel movements. As per directions, you should intake around 6-8 glasses of water to your system so that your digestive system functions well.

Stop sitting on the toilet seat for long and do not hold the urge to pass stool: If you spend more time on the toilet seat, you are more likely to strain and exert pressure on blood vessels of the anus, causing them to protrude, thus making your bowel movements worse.

Stay physically active: If you are staying physically active, your colon will stay active and function in a regular manner. However, you should avoid activities that put pressure and strain on your abdominal muscles. If you have mild piles symptoms, you should avoid lifting weights and not sit at one place for long hours. Moderate to light exercises should be included in your lifestyle, including yoga, jogging, walking and swimming that can help the piles tissues from flaring.

Increase fibre intake in your diet: Piles is especially prominent in people with fibre deficiency. To prevent piles, one of the easiest steps to undertake is to stock up your diet with fibre-rich foods. It is recommended that you should consume at least 25-50 grams daily which can include oatmeal, whole grains, brown rice, beans, lentils, sprouts, green vegetables, pears, berries, apples, bananas, cucumber, etc.

Home Remedies for Piles

Piles treatment at home is possible however it may not gurrantee 100% effective results. In case of initial stages, the home remedies for piles may cure the condition. For severe grades of piles, one needs to seek medical help without any failure. The basic piles treatment at home remedies which are trending are listed below:

Lukewarm Bath with Bath (Epsom) Salt: For a person suffering from piles, a sitz bath is highly recommended by doctors. This type of bath contains a plastic tub that is filled with warm water. The bath salt in it helps you relax your rectum area from uneasiness and pain. It’s recommended that you go through this process after each bowel movement so that your rectum area can stay relaxed. You can also use bathtubs for the same process.

Cold Compress for Decreasing Swelling: During piles, doctors recommend that you apply an ice pack or cold compress as it can decrease the swelling caused in your rectum area. The duration for using the cold compression is 15 minutes. Don’t think of applying ice directly to the affected area as it can cause skin damage. Make sure to cover the ice with some clothing and then gently go through the process.

Utilization of Witch Hazel: Witch Hazel is a plant that is able to relieve suffering and swelling as well. For Piles, this product is highly recommended by doctors and experts. You can apply it directly to the affected area as you purchase it in the liquid form too. You can also get sanitary products such as wipes and soaps of witch hazel.

Applying Aloe Vera Gel: Since aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties, it can help soothe the irritation caused by haemorrhoids. You can easily find aloe vera products in the market, but ensure that you purchase pure aloe vera only. This is because those other products contain extra ingredients, which can cause more irritation. Also, ensure that you are not allergic to aloe vera.

Switch to Cotton Clothing: Using soft cotton clothes instead of tight polyester clothes is beneficial when suffering from piles. This helps the affected area to stay clean and dry. That way, the symptoms can be reduced significantly and give you relief.

Tea Tree Oil and Coconut Oil: Since tea tree oil works as a natural antiseptic, it can reduce pain and irritation caused by the piles. Tea tree oil also assists in eliminating the bacteria that cause problems to the skin and damaged areas caused by the piles. Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties which assist in reducing swelling and inflammation around the rectum and anus area. It also contains antibacterial properties, which boost the recovering speed from piles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do piles go away on their own?

Piles, if in the initial stage can go away on their own if dietary and lifestyle changes are made along with a few home remedies. However, for severe grades of piles, treatment or surgical intervention becomes the only way to get rid of piles.

How do I get rid of piles?

A. The top effective ways of getting rid of piles are:

How do I know if I have piles?

If you face one or more of the following symptoms, you should get diagnosed yourself for piles:

  • 1. Itching around the anus
  •  2. Bleeding while passing stool
  •  3. Swelling and pain in and around the anus
  • 4. Discomfort while sitting
  • 5. Constipation
  • 6. Diarrhoea
  • 7. Painful bowel movements
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What do piles look like?

External piles or prolapse haemorrhoids look like swollen red lumps protruding from the anus. However, internal piles are not physically visible because it is located inside the anus lining and thus it might require the intervention of a proctologist to get it diagnosed.

Can we apply mustard oil on piles?

Yes, it is recommended for piles patients to apply mustard oil. It helps in making the bowel movement smooth. Also, you can mix turmeric powder with mustard oil along with a teaspoon of onion juice and then apply to the external piles. This will act as an effective home remedy to provide relief against piles. However, it is advised to consult a proctologist before trying any kind of treatment or

Can I get pregnant with piles?

Piles can bring discomfort and pain to pregnancy. This is why it is important to get rid of haemorrhoids before the pregnancy in order to minimize the uncomfortability while delivering the baby.

What is the best remedy for piles?

The best remedy for piles is getting a surgery done from an expert proctologist at a trusted healthcare partner, like Glamyo Health. The surgeons perform the procedure using a laser diode and thus it involves minimal risks and quick recovery.

Is egg good for piles?

Since eggs are considered one of the healthiest food items and are high in cholesterol and protein, therefore eggs can be good for piles. Infact, many proctologists recommend introducing duck eggs in every day’s dietary plan as it is rich in fibre as well.

Is curd good for piles?

Yogurt or curd is an excellent source of probiotics (an ingredient that contains live bacteria). Curd helps to improve digestion. Including curd into your regular diet will boost your immunity and digestive health, alleviating symptoms of piles.

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