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Piles - Know About Its Types And How to Prevent Them!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Manish K. Gupta 91% (79 ratings)
F.I.A.G.E.S , MNAMS (Membership of The National Academy) (General Surgery), DNB (General Surgery), MBBS, IAGES
General Surgeon, Delhi  •  21 years experience
Piles - Know About Its Types And How to Prevent Them!

Piles, another term for haemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels in or around the anus and rectum. Haemorrhoid swelling occurs when there is an increase in the pressure in the small vessels. Therefore, the vein walls become stretched, thin, and irritated by passing bowel movements, and this is when piles develop.

Types of Piles: Haemorrhoids are classified into two general categories:

  1. Internal haemorrhoids: Internal haemorrhoids are located far within the rectum, and cannot be seen or felt. They are normally located between 2 and 4 centimetres above the opening of the anus. The only symptom is usually bleeding.
  2. External haemorrhoids: External haemorrhoids occur on the outside edge of the anus under the skin, where there are many pain-sensing nerves. Despite the name, external piles aren’t always seen outside of the opening of the back passage.

Symptoms of piles: Generally, the symptoms of piles are not serious. They normally resolve on their own after a few days. These symptoms can also vary depending on the size, position, and grade of the pile. So before discussing the symptoms, let’s take a look at the grades. Grades are nothing but the intensity by which piles occur:

Grade 1: These are small swelling

Grade 2: These are larger swellings

Grade 3: In this case, it hangs out from the anus during bowel movements

Grade 4: In this case, the hanging from within the anus is permanent

The most common symptom is bleeding after going to the toilet or to pass stools. A lump in and around the anus, a feeling that the bowels haven’t emptied completely, watery discharge from the anus, an itchy or sore skin around your anus and pain and discomfort during or after a bowel movement are some of the common symptoms.

Cause of piles: Anyone at any age can be affected by piles. However, they are usually more common in elderly people and during pregnancy. Modern lifestyle, excessive consumption of junk food, stress, and improper eating habits accounts for a majority of anorectal complications, including piles. Diet has a pivotal role in both causing and preventing piles. People who eat high fiber diet are less likely to get haemorrhoids, but people those who prefer a diet high in processed foods are at greater risk of piles. There can be a lot of reasons. However, some of the basic reasons are low fibre diet, prolonged sitting on toilet, indigestion, obesity, diarrhoea, long-term coughing, having a family history of piles, excessive heavy weight lifting, spinal cord injury and lack of erect posture.

Prevention of piles

The preventive measures include:

  1. Eating plenty of fibre-rich foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, and pulses
  2. Drinking plenty of fluids such as water helps prevent constipation
  3. Avoiding sitting in the same place for long time
  4. Staying active
  5. Simplest one is to avoid fighting the urge

Stapler Surgery For Piles 
Stapling is used to treat prolapsed hemorrhoids. A surgical staple fixes the prolapsed hemorrhoid back into place inside your rectum and cuts off the blood supply so that the tissue will shrink and be reabsorbed. Stapling recovery takes less time and is less painful than recovery from a hemorrhoidectomy.

Small changes in lifestyle can make bowels regular and faeces soft, thereby preventing constipation and piles. There are several lifestyle changes that may be adopted to reduce the symptoms of piles and reduce episodes of aggravated piles in susceptible individuals.

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