Haemorrhoids, commonly called as piles are swollen or inflamed veins in the anus and rectum that causes discomfort. Anus is the opening through which solid waste or fecal matter is removed from the body. Rectum is the lower part of the large intestine that ends in the anus. Haemorrhoids can be external or internal. External haemorrhoids are seen under the skin around the anus. Internal haemorrhoids are seen inside the rectum.
The swelling of veins is caused due to increased pressure. The possible reasons for increased pressure resulting in haemorrhoids are:
- Anal intercourse
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting for long periods
- Taking unhealthy and low fibre diet
- Family history
- Regular weight lifting
- Persistent cough
- Pain around anus
- Lumps around anus
- Pain while passing stool
- Itchy anus
- Mucous secretions from anus
Diagnostic procedures depend on presenting signs and symptoms. Different tests may be done to rule out other diseases of the digestive tract.
- Review of signs and symptoms
- Digital examination
- Visual examination using an anoscope
- Eat foods rich in fiber
- Drink plenty of water
- Exercise regularly
- Keep anal part clean and dry
- Avoid alcohol and caffeine
- Avoid sitting for long periods
- Do not strain
- Do not hold your stool. Pass it when you feel the urge.
If the condition is mild a few home remedies can be done and if the symptoms still persist after a week or two that the doctor may prescribe medicines.
- Some practices at home to relieve the symptoms include:
- Drink plenty of water
- Take fiber rich foods
- Sitz bath (sitting in a tub of warm water)
- Avoid sitting for long duration
- Intake of pain relievers.
- Medications include creams, ointments and suppositories that can relieve pain and itching.
- Surgical procedures mostly used in the treatment of haemorrhoids are haemorrhoidectomy and haemorrhoid stapling.
- Haemorrhoidectomy : surgical procedure done to remove haemorrhoids, especially larger ones.
- Haemorrhoid stapling : use of a stapling tool to remove internal haemorrhoid tissue.
- Many other medical procedures are used in the treatment of haemorrhoidectomy. Some of them are:
- Rubber band ligation to treat bleeding haemorrhoids. A special rubber band is placed at the base of a haemorrhoid that cuts off its blood supply and the haemorrhoid falls off.
- Sclerotherapy : a chemical solution is injected into an internal haemorrhoid that cuts off its blood supply and it shrinks.
- Electrocoagulation : electric current is sent into an internal haemorrhoid that cuts off the blood supply and as a result the haemorrhage shrinks.
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