Saturday, 2 November 2013

Facts You need to Know about Haemorrhoids (Pile)

Haemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in or around the anus and rectum. The haemorrhoidal veins are located in the lowest part of the rectum and the anus. Sometimes, they swell so that the vein walls become stretched, thin, and irritated by passing bowel movements. Haemorrhoids are classified into two general categories: internal and external. Internal haemorrhoids lie far enough inside the rectum that you can’t see or feel them. They don’t usually hurt because there are few pain-sensing nerves in the rectum. Bleeding may be the only sign that they are there. Sometimes internal haemorrhoids prolapse, or enlarge and protrude outside the anal sphincter. If so, you may be able to see or feel them as moist, pink pads of skin that are pinker than the surrounding area. Prolapsed haemorrhoids may hurt because they become irritated by rubbing from clothing and sitting. They usually recede into the rectum on their own; if they don’t, they can be gently pushed back into place.
External haemorrhoids lie within the anus and are often uncomfortable. If an external haemorrhoid prolapses to the outside (usually in the course of passing a stool), you can see and feel it. Blood clots sometimes form within prolapsed external haemorrhoids, causing an extremely painful condition called a thrombosis. If an external haemorrhoid becomes thrombosed, it can look rather frightening, turning purple or blue, and could possibly bleed. Despite their appearance, thrombosed haemorrhoids are usually not serious and will resolve themselves in about a week. If the pain is unbearable, the thrombosed haemorrhoid can be removed with surgery, which stops the pain. Anal bleeding and pain of any sort is alarming and should be evaluated by a doctor; it can indicate a life-threatening condition, such as colorectal cancer. Haemorrhoids are the main cause of anal bleeding and are rarely dangerous, but a definite diagnosis from your doctor is essential.

What causes haemorrhoids?


Anyone at any age can be affected by haemorrhoids. They are very common, with about 50% of people experiencing them at some time in their life. However, they are usually more common in elderly people and during pregnancy. Researchers are not certain what causes haemorrhoids. “Weak” veins – leading to haemorrhoids and other varicose veins – may be inherited.
It’s likely that extreme abdominal pressure causes the veins to swell and become susceptible to irritation. The pressure can be caused by obesity, pregnancy, standing or sitting for long periods, straining on the toilet, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, and holding your breath while straining to do physical labour.
Diet has a pivotal role in causing – and preventing – haemorrhoids. People who consistently eat a high-fibre diet are less likely to get haemorrhoids, but those who prefer a diet high in processed foods are at greater risk of haemorrhoids. A low-fibre diet or inadequate fluid intake can cause constipation, which can contribute to haemorrhoids in two ways: it promotes straining on the toilet and it also aggravates the haemorrhoids by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins.

The symptoms of haemorrhoids include: Bright red bleeding from the anus. Blood may streak the bowel movement or the toilet paper,tenderness or pain during bowel movements, a painful swelling or a lump near the anus, anal itching, a mucous anal discharge.

Treatments for piles


There are treatments for piles available from pharmacies or through a general practitioner. Creams, ointments and suppositories can help relieve swelling and inflammation symptoms in the short term. However, a doctor may recommend corticosteroid cream for severe inflammation. An internal haemorrhoid can be injected with a solution that creates a scar and closes off the haemorrhoid. The injection will only hurt a little. If your hemorrhoids produce only mild discomfort, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter creams, ointments, suppositories or pads. These products contain ingredients, such as witch hazel or hydrocortisone, that can relieve pain and itching, at least temporarily. Don’t use an over-the-counter cream or other product for more than a week unless directed by your doctor. These products can cause side effects, such as skin rash, inflammation and skin thinning.
Also, warm (but not hot) sitz baths are a traditional therapy for piles: sit in about 8 cm of warm water for 15 minutes, several times a day, especially after a bowel movement. Painkillers, such as paracetamol, can help relieve pain caused by piles. Products with local anaesthetic may be prescribed to treat painful haemorrhoids. If you are constipated, a GP may recommend using a laxative. However, these treatments do not get rid of the haemorrhoids themselves. If you are pregnant, discuss any treatment, including dietary changes, with your doctor before proceeding.If symptoms persist, your doctor may suggest one of the following procedures. Many can be performed as a day-case.

Culled From PunchNG

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