Piles/Haemorrhoids

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:

  1. Internal Haemorrhoids
  2. External Haemorrhoids

Internal_and_external_hemorrhoids

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.

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.

Cause

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.

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.

Symptoms

  • Bright red bleeding from the anus. Blood may streak the bowel movement or the toilet paper.
  • Tenderness or pain during bowel movements.
  • Painful swelling or a lump near the anus.
  • Anal itching.
  • A mucous anal discharge.

Haemorrhoids can be Diagnosed by

  • Per rectal Examination
  • Proctoscopy
  • Sigmoidopscopy

Prevention

A healthy diet and lifestyle are good insurance for preventing haemorrhoids, whether you already suffer haemorrhoid symptoms or are intent on preventing them. Regular exercise is also important, especially if you have a sedentary job. Exercise helps in several ways: keeping weight in check, making constipation less likely, and enhancing muscle tone.

Healthy bowel habits also help prevent haemorrhoids. Use the toilet as soon as you feel the urge to do so. Also, avoid sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods (more than five minutes) and avoid straining during a bowel movement.

 

 

Reference from

  • www.webmd.com
  • API Textbook of Medicine
  • Manipal Manual of Surgery