This article is reviewed by Dr. Vipin
Piles, also known as haemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels that develop in the anal canal or rectum. They can cause discomfort, pain, and itching, affecting both men and women. Piles can be classified into two types: internal and external. Internal piles occur inside the rectum, while external piles develop around the anus. Understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment options, prevention strategies, and home remedies for piles is essential for managing this condition effectively   .
Causes of Piles
Piles can be caused by various factors. One of the primary causes is chronic constipation, which leads to straining during bowel movements. When individuals strain, it puts pressure on the blood vessels in the anal area, causing them to swell. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity contribute to the development of piles. Obesity is another risk factor as it increases pressure in the abdominal area. During pregnancy, hormonal changes and increased pressure on the rectal area can lead to piles. A low-fibre diet, inadequate fluid intake, prolonged sitting or standing, and a family history of piles are also considered risk factors  .
Symptoms of Piles
The symptoms of piles can vary depending on the type and severity of the condition. Common symptoms include pain, itching, swelling, discomfort, and bleeding during bowel movements. In the case of external piles, a painful lump may be felt around the anus. Some individuals may also experience mucus discharge and a sense of incomplete bowel evacuation. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and it is important to seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment  .
Treatment for Piles
There are various treatment options available for managing piles. In mild cases, home remedies and self-care measures can provide relief. Increasing dietary fibre is essential to soften the stool and ease bowel movements. Consuming fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help achieve this. Staying hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water is also important to prevent constipation. Over-the-counter creams, ointments, and suppositories may help alleviate symptoms such as itching and pain. Taking warm sitz baths, where the affected area is soaked in warm water, can provide relief from discomfort. In more severe cases, medical procedures such as rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, infrared coagulation, or surgery may be necessary to remove or shrink the piles .
Prevention of Piles
Preventing piles involves adopting healthy habits and lifestyle changes. Including an adequate amount of fibre in the diet is crucial to promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. Fibre-rich foods such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes should be included in daily meals. Regular physical activity and exercise help maintain proper bowel function and prevent the development of piles. Avoiding prolonged sitting or standing and taking breaks to move around can reduce pressure on the anal area. It is important to avoid straining during bowel movements and to maintain proper hygiene by keeping the anal area clean and dry  .
Home Remedies for Piles
Several home remedies can provide relief from piles symptoms. Sitz baths, where the affected area is soaked in warm water, can help reduce pain and inflammation. Adding Epsom salt or baking soda to the bathwater may enhance its soothing effect. Applying cold compresses or ice packs to the anal area can alleviate swelling and discomfort. Consuming aloe vera juice, which has anti-inflammatory properties, may help promote bowel regularity and reduce inflammation. Witch hazel, known for its astringent properties, can be applied topically to reduce itching and swelling. Triphala powder, a traditional Ayurvedic remedy, can be mixed with warm water and consumed to ease constipation and promote smooth bowel movements. These home remedies can provide temporary relief, but it is important to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and comprehensive treatment plan .
Ayurvedic Treatment for Piles
Ayurveda, the traditional Indian system of medicine, offers natural remedies for managing piles. Herbal preparations, such as Triphala Churna, and Arshoghni Vati, are commonly used in Ayurvedic treatment. These remedies aim to improve digestion, relieve constipation, reduce inflammation, and strengthen blood vessels. However, it is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized guidance and appropriate dosage .
Food to Avoid in Piles
Certain foods can exacerbate piles symptoms and should be avoided. Spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol can irritate the digestive system and worsen haemorrhoids. Processed foods that are low in fibre can contribute to constipation and make bowel movements more difficult. It is advisable to limit the consumption of these foods and opt for a diet rich in fibre, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Drinking an adequate amount of water is also important to maintain hydration and soften the stool .
In conclusion, piles are a common condition that can cause discomfort and affect daily life. Understanding the causes, symptoms, treatment options, prevention strategies, and home remedies is crucial for managing this condition effectively. Lifestyle modifications, home remedies, and medical interventions can provide relief and promote healing. It is essential to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and personalized treatment. By adopting a healthy lifestyle, including a high-fibre diet, regular exercise, and practising good hygiene, individuals can prevent the occurrence or recurrence of piles and maintain optimal digestive health.
Disclaimer: This article is written from a health and lifestyle perspective. It is for general information and not meant to substitute any medical advice. Please consult your doctor for appropriate medical consultation.