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What causes piles?
Pressure and strain on the veins in the rectum area cause piles. Piles usually develop slowly over several years. Piles are also associated with increased age and smoking, pregnancy (especially during the 4th month), too much sitting, overweight, and poor diet. It is better to avoid being overweight as it can increase your risk of developing piles, but losing weight does not always get rid of the problem.
Symptoms of piles:
The symptoms of piles usually develop slowly over some years, so they are sometimes called ‘silent piles”.
The main symptoms of piles are:
Bleeding/Discharge:Â The cause is excessive pressure and friction on the inner lining of the anus.
Itching:Â The discomfort associated with piles is due to pressure caused by the swelling against the anus and its skin. The pressure causes irritation which can lead to an itching sensation.
Aching pain: Patients feel painÂ around the anus even when they do not pass stool or gas.
How do piles become chronic?
The piles become chronic when the haemorrhoidal cushions lose their elasticity, and they tend to prolapse. The pressure of the prolapsed tissue is transmitted to the nerves and blood vessels located in the muscular part of the rectum. As a result, this leads to pain, swelling, and bleeding.
Severe Hemorrhoids vs. Mild Hemorrhoids
- First-degree hemorrhoids: Piles that bleed but do not prolapse. These are slightly enlarged hemorrhoids, but they do not protrude outside the anus.
- Second-degree hemorrhoids: Piles that prolapse and retract on their own. These may come out of the anus during certain activities like passing stool and then return inside the body.
- Third-degree hemorrhoids: Piles that prolapse and must be pushed back in by a finger.
- Fourth-degree hemorrhoids: Piles that prolapse and cannot be pushed back in the anal canal. Fourth-degree piles also include thrombosed piles (containing blood clots) or that pull much of the rectum lining through the anus.
What can I do about piles?
Piles may not cause symptoms, and many people live with piles for years before deciding to see their doctor. However, they can become itchy when bleeding occurs, which can be a nuisance.
- Learn to empty your bowel each time you go to the toilet and sit down in a good position for opening your bowels. For example: Find a comfortable height of the toilet seat by checking with the seat lid.
- Stand straight up from stooping (bending over) gradually and avoid heavy lifting if possible.
- Having regular firm stools will help reduce piles development so, eat a high fiber diet and drink plenty of water.
- Try taking at least 150 minutes of physical exercise every week (including walking), as this will help keep your bowels working well.
- Increase your fiber intake to reduce the risk of developing piles. Good sources of fiber include whole oats, wheat bran, fruit, and vegetables. Also, try eating several small meals rather than three big ones a day.
- Avoid constipation by increasing your daily fluid intake to at least eight glasses.
If you smoke, stopping smoking can improve the symptoms of piles.
- Unavoidable pain killers such as diclofenac or aspirin may relieve some people with mild to moderate piles.
- Corticosteroid cream is also a possible treatment option, although it has several side effects.
- You can also use firm cushions or foam rubber pads to put between the piles and buttocks while sitting.
- A cold sitz bath can help relieve an acute attack of piles but should only be used immediately after bowel evacuation as you may weaken pelvic floor muscles if done too often.
- After childbirth, it may take up to 6 weeks before you get back into your usual pattern of bowel movements. You can help speed up recovery by being sure to drink plenty of fluids during the first 24 hours after delivery and eating nutritious meals (such as high-fiber cereals).
Try home remedies to prevent piles from getting chronic:
In general, piles treatment usually consists of ointments, painkillers, or anti-inflammatory drugs to help relieve the pain and itching. Piles may disappear spontaneously if you try these home remedies.
Witch hazel:Â Apply witch hazel with a cotton wool ball directly to the pile. You can apply it at least three times per day and for as long as required. It has anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to soothe the pain.
Aloe Vera: It helps to relieve the itching and is also anti-inflammatory. Apply the fresh gel directly to the affected area from the inside of a leaf. Do this three times every day. Drinking aloe vera juice can also help.
Calendula:Â It is an anti-inflammatory and analgesic herb. YOu can use it externally to help with the symptoms of piles. Apply a few drops of oil on affected areas 2-3 times per day.
Cucumber juice:Â It contains mild purgatives that may help move your bowels without straining at the stool or contracting the pelvic muscles too strongly. Drink 1 cup (250ml) of cucumber juice each day until regular bowel movements are resumed.
Cold cloths or ice packs:Â This can help to reduce swelling and pain. Put a piece of cotton wool or cold towel in cool water, wring it out and apply to the affected area for 15 minutes. Repeat this up to 4 times per day until you are better. You may also use ice cubes instead of lukewarm water but not put them directly against your skin.
Psyllium Husk:Â Psyllium husks are cereals in the form of a powder. It is also known as “Isapgol” or “Plantago Ovata.” It is used to treat constipation, piles, and other disorders of the digestive system. It contains soluble fiber, which absorbs water and swells when wet to form a gel-like substance that can help eliminate body waste from the colon. Take psyllium husks twice daily with plenty of water or fruit juices, i.e., 100 ml 2 times a day before breakfast and dinner.
Plain yogurtÂ helps improve digestion and clear bowels naturally due to its healthy bacteria, Bacillus acidophilus. You could try eating two small servings daily to get relief from piles.
Olive Oil:Â Massage some olive oil around your anus, using your fingers to spread it for 2-3 minutes. Leave it on for an hour before taking a bath and then repeat the treatment during the day whenever possible. It helps to soften piles and relieve itching, burning pain, and other symptoms associated with hemorrhoids. You can also use this oil as a lubricant when passing stools but do not use it more than you need to as the long-term application may cause damage to anal skin and delay healing of affected tissues.
When to see a doctor if you have piles?
Most people have piles at some stage in their lives, but they are often not severe enough to need treatment. However, the symptoms may be so troublesome that you decide to consult your doctor.
How are piles diagnosed?
There is no single or simple test for diagnosing piles. Doctors who specialize in treating this condition often need to use several techniques to confirm the diagnosis.
Visual inspection:Â It is possible to diagnose a person for piles by visually inspecting the anal area of that person. On examination, swelling of the skin around the anus may be seen, indicating internal hemorrhoid. Fissures (cracks and ulcers) are also visible on visual inspection.
Digital Examination:Â Habitual digital examination is suggested to patients with symptoms of piles. Increased pile masses are usually felt when a doctor inserts a finger in your rectum.
SigmoidoscopyÂ â€“ where doctors insert a thin tube into your bottom so they can see whether any bleeding or sores could indicate cancer.
Anoscopy: ItÂ uses a similar technique to sigmoidoscopy but allows doctors to view the inside of your anus and lower rectum. They may also take biopsies (small tissue samples) from the lining of your anus, around the prolapse, and other affected areas if necessary.
Biopsy for piles: The biopsy procedure for piles is simple and doesn’t cause pain to the patient. A local anaesthetic is given so that you will not feel any pain during the process. The expert doctor doing it makes a small cut on your skin through which he takes out a tiny sample of tissue for testing. It helps him identify the exact kind of disease in your body and its growth stage and then suggests an appropriate treatment plan with medications or surgery depending upon the case.
In most cases, these tests are done to determine whether any internal haemorrhoids are present or not because external ones can be detected easily by just examining them. Painless hair-like projection from the anus indicates that you have internal piles.
What are the treatments available for piles?
Treatment depends on the severity of your piles. Simple ‘internal’ hemorrhoids (piles) that are only felt as a soft lump in your bottom. Over-the-counter pain relief and lifestyle changes can help to treat external piles. These measures may not entirely flatten or shrink internal hemorrhoids but relieve pressure and make them less painful.
Ointments, creams, and suppositories containing hyaluronidase can help reduce swelling and discomfort. Some products contain lidocaine as well to make them a little more comfortable when they’re applied. These may provide some relief from symptoms, but they don’t cure piles.
Some people are reluctant to use ointments, creams, or suppositories because they are embarrassed about being seen buying them or using them.
On a positive note, these treatments may make your piles less painful and reduce the pressure. It helps to reduce the chance of bleeding from your hemorrhoids. Consider trying this treatment first for internal hemorrhoids (piles) that aren’t causing you any pain.
Surgery is also an option for internal hemorrhoids (piles) that can’t be treated with over-the-counter products or stayed in a seated position when they are painful. Surgery involves removing the blood vessels from your anus and from around the piles.
Choose homeopathy for piles:
- Homeopathy can be as effective as modern medicines in treating acute and chronic piles (haemorrhoids).
- Homeopathic treatment helps to increase blood circulation in the rectal area. It helps to relieve the pain and swelling of piles.
- Homeopathic medicine is very safe, but it should only be used under proper medical supervision as with any other medication.
- Homeopaths prescribe remedies individually and consider the lifestyle, diet, stress patterns, general health condition before prescribing them.
- Homeopathy is a holistic system that treats symptoms and gives an insight into the root cause of disease rather than suppressing it by relieving excess pressure in areas where piles develop.
- Homeopathy is highly recommended for the management of piles.
- Homeopathy works on the principle that ‘like cures like’ means that an illness can be cured by a substance that produces similar symptoms in healthy people.
- Homeopaths select remedies based on your unique symptoms and overall well-being rather than just treating your disease or discomfort. This ensures lasting recovery without side effects. You can visit Dr Batras homeopathy clinic for piles treatment.
5 Best Homeopathic medicine that can prevent chronic piles:
Homeopathy is the most popular alternative medicinal system in treating various diseases.Â Dr Batras homeopathic treatment also gives great relief to piles and helps to cure them quickly. Homeopathic medicines work on the principle of ‘like cures like, which means the substance that can cause disease symptoms if taken in large doses, when administered in small doses cures those same symptoms.
Following are some homeopathic medicines that can be used for the treatment of chronic piles:
- Arsenic Album: When there is bleeding with burning pain in the anus, it feels like a piece is sticking out, and it is difficult to pass stool or gas from the rectum. The patient becomes irritable during bowel movements due to griping spasms of the colon. All food has a bitter taste, and the lower abdomen feels as if worms are crawling.
- Sulphur: One of the most common homeopathic medicines for piles, bloody stool with burning and cutting pain in the anus and rectum. The stool is lumpy like balls and hard to pass through the anus. Burning pain starts from the perianal area spreading to the thighs, rectum, and anal canal. The homeopath should not be surprised when patients report that they feel better just by getting up in the morning due to the elimination of painful stools as long as there are no other remedies that will ease this issue.
- Nux vomica: Nux Vomica helps to cure constipation. It is beneficial in piles when the bowels are cleaned thoroughly and regularly. Nux Vomica 30c significantly reduced the pain and increased comfort level, thereby confirming its utility for the treatment of piles.
- Bryonia: The remedy for piles is Bryonia Alba 30c. The main indications of this remedy are irritable, restless and always aching pain in the anus or rectum with bleeding. The stool is hard as well as blackish colour and difficult to pass.
- Aesculus: The piles are so irritable, sore, and painful they seem to be touched with fire. Worse in sitting; better in a warm room or when riding in a carriage forward and after eating. Lying down aggravates them, but walking lessens it. Pains come on without warning as if a hand pricked them so that they cry out. If the piles are very painful and burning, you can give Aesculus 30 or 200.
If want to know more about piles and treatment of piles you can consult a registered homeopath through OHO Homeopathy. Scroll up the page to book an appointment now!