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Piles Symptoms, Causes & Risk Factors

Hemorrhoids are basically muscle cushions in the anal cavity. It when these cushions get inflamed, problems start to occur. Piles or Inflamed Hemorrhoids are basically lumps found in rectum or around the anal canal that are full of blood vessels, support tissue, muscle and elastic fibers, which have become swollen and engorged. Piles symptoms are first noticed with the appearance of blood in stools.

Piles can be of various sizes and may be found internally 2-4 cm above the opening of the anus or externally on the outside edge of the anus. Internal piles are more common as compared to external. According to a research conducted by Right Diagnosis, about 40% of the Indian population is affected by piles. In majority of the cases, piles treatment can happen via medication and diet changes. It is estimated that only 10% of the cases require a surgical treatment for piles.

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Piles Symptoms

In most cases, piles get resolved on their own by making changes in diet, but it may be a bad experience till the time they last.

In most cases patients suffering from piles may face the following symptoms:

  • Feeling of a hard lump around the anus, this may be due to presence of coagulated blood, and can be very painful
  • Constant pain while passing stools
  • Presence of mucus discharge and blood in the stools
  • Feeling of fullness even after defecating and going to the toilet
  • Bright red blood after a bowel movement
  • Itchiness around the anus
  • Area around the anus may be red and sore

Causes

There may be multiple causes for piles and these may cause blood vessels around the anus to stretch under pressure which may then swell or bulge. Inflammation of veins usually happens when there is an increased pressure in the lower rectum. This may be due to:

  • Lack of fiber in the diet
  • Consumption of highly processed food
  • Chronic constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Lifting heavy weight
  • Pregnancy
  • Straining when passing a stool

Risk factors

  • Chronic constipation and diarrhea
  • Excessive straining leads to piles
  • Obesity and being overweight
  • Lifting of heavy objects on regular basis
  • Sedentary lifestyle with long sitting hours
  • Pregnancy poses as one of the major risk factors for piles because growth of the baby puts pressure on the pelvis and may lead to enlargement of the anal and rectal blood vessels and consequent development of piles. These piles however, disappear with child-birth

Here are the Frequently Asked Questions about Piles Surgery.