MORE ABOUT PILES/HAEMORRHOIDS?
Piles, also known as haemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels that develop inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids) or under the skin surrounding the anus (external haemorrhoids). They are very common and usually result from excessive straining during bowel movements, being overweight or pregnancy.
Piles are one of the top causes of rectal and anal bleeding, and may be accompanied by pain, discomfort and an itchy feeling. They usually go away on their own, though some may require diet and lifestyle modifications, medications, or even piles surgery to treat.
WHY DO THEY OCCUR
Piles occur as a result of excessive pressure in the blood vessels. It is believed that repetitive straining during bowel movements result in high pressures on the blood vessels in the anus, causing it to become swollen. The wall of the blood vessel gets stretched and thinned out and therefore tends to break easily. Once this happens, bleeding occurs.
Repetitive straining also causes supporting ligaments in the blood vessel to become overstretched and lose their elasticity. When the blood vessel loses its elasticity, it descends further down the anal canal and eventually protrudes outside the anus. Once it is outside, it becomes a prolapsed hemorrhoid, which differs from external piles.
On top of the usual causes mentioned above, age can also increase one’s risks of developing piles, as the rectal and anal vessels tend to weaken and stretch with time.
SYMPTOMS OF PILES
There are many people with haemorrhoids without any symptoms and are not even aware that they have haemorrhoids. The symptoms also do not correspond well with the stage of the haemorrhoids. Some of the symptoms such as itching, bleeding or pain may be due to other conditions and not necessarily due to haemorrhoids. For example, bleeding may be due to colon cancer and pain may be due to anal fissures (tear).
- Bleeding during bowel movements
- Lump at the anus coming out during bowel movements
- Persistent lump(s) at the anus
- Itching in the anal area