All about Hemorrhoids

The medical name for piles is hemorrhoids. This is a fairly common complaint found in a large number of people. It is said that by the age of 50 almost 50% of the population has to with some or the other type of symptom concerning the presence of piles, with their prevalence between the ages of 45 to 65 year olds. Hemorrhoids can be described as small masses of tissue within the anal canal.

These swellings are filled with blood caused by dilated varicose veins. While piles are not dangerous, they are in the least a discomfort, if not agonizingly painful. Contrary to popular belief that bleeding hemorrhoids are abnormal, the fact of the matter is that they are present in everyone. They are considered a disease only when the hemorrhoid cushions enlarge and start causing problems in passing motions.

There are two types of hemorrhoids. The ones originating at the top of the rectal side of the anal canal are known as internal hemorrhoids, while the ones that originate at the lower end of the anal canal near the anus are external hemorrhoids. Internal hemorrhoids are classified in 4 grades. Grade 1 are small swellings on the inside lining of the back passage. These piles cannot be seen or felt from the surface skin of the anus.

Grade 2 are slightly larger than grade 1 piles and partly pushed out from the anus while passing excretions, but instantly spring back inside. The grade 3 hemorrhoids are prolapsed from the anus. You can see and feel them as soft lumps that hang from the anal cavity, but can push them back inside the anus with a finger. The fourth kind grade 4 piles hang down permanently from within the anus. They cannot be pushed inside and can become quite large.

External hemorrhoids are sometimes called perianal haematoma. These are far less common as compared to the four grades of internal hemorrhoids. While in many cases these piles do not cause any discomfort, a thrombosed external hemorrhoid can be very painful. In such cases, immediate medical attention may be needed.

The number one cause of piles is an increased pressure in the veins of your rectum. This excessive straining during bowel movements can start the swelling. Hemorrhoidal disease can be caused by a number of other factors too, including things like chronic constipation, prolonged periods of standing or sitting, bowel disorders, obesity, mental tension or stress, heredity factors, general weakness of the body tissues, having a diet that is low in fiber, dysentery, hormonal changes during pregnancy, prostate problems in older men, chronic diarrhea, strenuous physical activity, cancer and growth in pelvis or bowel.

To avoid piles or hemorrhoids causing constipation and straining to empty the bowels during motions, the best care you can take is to do everything in your power to keep the stools soft. This can be achieved through the following ways. You can incorporate a lot of fiber rich items in your daily diet such as fruits, salads, vegetables, cereals, etc.

In case you are not fond of such foods or a fiber rich diet is not helping, you can try fibre supplements such as bran, ispaghula and the like. Have lots of water and other liquids throughout the day. While a majority of the fluid is passed out as urine, some is absorbed in the gut to soften stools. Also, you should make a habit of going to the toilet as soon as you feel the need. Suppressing the feeling may result in hardening and enlarging of faeces, which in turn is harder to pass. If you feel constipated, take a stool softener recommended by your physician before deciding to force and strain the stools out.

To avoid piles or hemorrhoids causing constipation and straining to empty the bowels during motions, the best care you can take is to do everything in your power to keep the stools soft.