Piles can be of various sizes and may be internal (inside the anus) or external ones (outside the anus). Typically, internal piles occur from 2 to 4cm above the opening of the anus. External piles (perianal hematoma) occur on the outside edge of the anus. The internal ones are much more common. According to the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), symptomatic hemorrhoids affect at least half the American population at some time in their lives before the age of 50. In the majority of cases, piles are effectively treated with over-the-counter medications, a good fluid intake, and by following a diet high in fiber. In severe cases, the piles may have to be surgically removed. About 10% of patients who go and see their doctor about piles eventually require surgical intervention.
In most cases piles are not serious and go away on their own after a few days.
An individual with piles may experience the following symptoms:
A hard lump may be felt around the anus. It consists of coagulated blood, called a thrombosed external hemorrhoid. This can be painful.
After going to the toilet, a feeling that the bowels are still full
Bright red blood after a bowel movement
Itchiness around the anus
Mucus discharge when emptying the bowels
Pain while defecating
The area around the anus may be red and sore.
In the majority of cases, piles resolve on their own without the need for any treatment. Treatments can help significantly reduce the discomfort and itching that many patients experience.
A good doctor will initially recommend some lifestyle changes.
Diet - piles can be caused by too much straining when doing bowel movements, which is the result of constipation. A change in diet can help keep the stools regular and soft. This involves eating more fiber, such as fruit and vegetables, or switching your cereal breakfast to bran. Water is the best drink, and the patient may be advised to increase his/her water consumption. Some experts say too much caffeine is not good. Body weight - if the patient is obese, losing weight may help reduce the incidence and severity of hemorrhoids.
Simple things you can do yourself to help prevent piles
Try not to strain when you go to the toilet
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