Piles or hemorrhoids is a painful condition of inflammation and swelling that affects the veins around the anus or rectum. Although the pain can often be unbearable, in most cases the condition itself is not threatening. The condition is characterized by severe pain, especially with the passage of stools, and in some cases there may also be bleeding. Hemorrhoids may disappear by themselves without any treatment or may become itchy or inflamed and cause a significant amount of discomfort.
Piles relate to the disorder that is characterized by the swelling of the inside part of the anal canal. The function of anal canal is to connect the rectum with the anus.
Symptom Of Piles or Hemorrhoids
- 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.
The swellings are round in shape and are similar to grapes in appearance. Many people confuse between piles and varicose veins which is actually quite different.
Types of Piles
First degree piles refer to the swellings found inside the lining of the anal canal. They also result in blood flow but remains unseen when viewed from outside.
Second degree piles are much larger and often stick out in a prolapsed condition. They are found to return to the normal position on their own.
Third degree piles are similar in appearance with the only difference that they need to be pushed back in externally.
Fourth degree piles relates to the permanent hanging down of the swelling from the anus.
In this case, the swelling can not be pushed back inside. They might become extremely swollen and extremely painful as the blood in them clots.
Causes Of Piles
- Sitting for long periods of time
- Sitting on the toilet for long stretches of time
- Medical conditions such as cirrhosis of the liver
- Severe diarrhea
- Low-fiber diet
- Poor diet high in fats and processed foods
- Bowel disorders
- Strenuous work or hard labor
- General weakness of the body
- Anal intercourse
Swellings that develop from area beneath the anal cushions are sometimes referred to as external piles.
Pain and discomfort as the bowels are opened, lump in the anal region, slimy discharge of mucus which might be accompanied by itching etc are the other commonly found symptoms of piles.
The exact cause of piles remains to be known. The commonly accepted theory in medical circles is that piles occur as a result of weakening of the tissues that connects the anal cushions to the muscle layers below.
You have an increased risk of being affected with piles if you have constipation, eat a diet that is low in fiber content or if you have chronic diarrhea.
Pregnant women are also found to be more prone to develop this disorder as an after effect of the hormones on the blood vessels. Increased abdominal weight is yet another reason.