Piles or haemorrhoids as they are more accurately referred to can be an often embarrassing, sometimes painful problem. Piles are exceedingly common; almost every adult will experience them at some time or another. Piles rarely pose a serious health threat, or are indicatives of a more severe problem. A pile or haemorrhoid, is a bit of swollen tissue that appears within the anal canal, the tube that connects the rectum with the anus. The inflamed tissue causes itching and discomfort. Piles develop on the inside, and those that stay there are called first degree piles. There are several other type of piles that make their presence known externally. These are:
- Second Degree Piles – which “peek” out during a bowel movement, but recede back in afterwards.
- Third Degree Piles – Are similar however they remain external unless they are pushed back in
- Fourth Degree Piles – Are those that hang out of the anus and are too large to be pushed back in. Fourth Degree Piles can be quite swollen, and are the ones that can cause the most pain and discomfort.
What Causes Piles?It really is not known exactly what causes piles. But what is known are the factors that can contribute to their occurrence, and these include:
- Chronic constipation or straining to pass hard bowel movements
- A Low Fiber Diet
- Chronic Diarrhea
- Family History
- Siting for Long Periods of Time
Treatments for PilesMost mild flare-ups of piles can be treated effectively with lifestyle changes and over the counter haemorrhoid preparations. The surest way to avoid piles is to have a daily easy to pass bowel movement. And the best way to do that is to have a diet rich in fiber. That means a lot of whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods such as white breads with processed flour that are very low in fiber. The other key to avoiding piles with good regular bowel movements is to drink lots of water. Many people enjoy reading or doing word puzzles while sitting on the toilet, this is not a recommended practice of you want to avoid piles. If after adding more fiber to your diet you still are having trouble with hard stools you may want to consider a fiber supplement. pIf you have done your best to avoid piles and regardless they have reared their head so to speak, there are several home remedies that should help. There are any number of over the counter creams and ointments that can relieve the symptoms of piles. These products use a variety of anesthetics and other ingredients designed to reduce inflammation and ease pain and itch.
In the circumstance where piles are very severe and have progressed to the fourth stage and have not responded to self-help measures, they may require more extensive treatment by a professional. Medical treatments for piles may include:
- Banding – where a doctor will place a small elastic band above the pile, cutting off its blood supply, causing it to die and fall off.
- Sclerotherapy – A treatment commonly used to reduced spider veins, it is also effective in treating some types of piles. A solution is injected into the pile, which cause it to die.In advanced cases of recurrent piles where none of the other treatments have proven effective they can be surgically removed. A haemorrhoidectomy can be performed using traditional surgical technique, or more recently laser surgery has been employed to remove haemorrhoids.