What are Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids – Also called: Piles (Arshas) are swollen and inflamed veins around the anus or in the lower rectum. Rectum is the last part of the large intestine leading to the anus.

Piles are of two types viz. EXTERNAL PILES – which are located under the skin around the anus and INTERNAL PILES – develop in the lower rectum which may protrude or prolapse through the anus. According to the severity of the prolapse of the internal pile masses through anal aperture they are further divided into 4 grades also.

What are the symptoms of piles?

Following are the symptoms of hemorrhoids

  • Bright red blood in the toilet bowl while passing stools.
  • Non prolapsed internal piles are usually painless.
  • Prolapsed piles often cause pain, discomfort and anal itching.
  • Blood clots in external piles are called thrombosed piles which cause severe pain, bleeding and hard lump around the anus.

How common are piles ?

  • Hemorrhoids are very common in both men and women.
  • About half of the population have hemorrhoids by age 50.
  • Hemorrhoids are also common among pregnant women.
  • The pressure of the fetus in the abdomen, as well as hormonal changes, cause the hemorrhoidal vessels to enlarge.
  • These vessels are also placed under severe pressure during childbirth.
  • For most women, however, hemorrhoids caused by pregnancy are a temporary problem.

What causes piles?

Causes are-

  • Straining during bowel movement.
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhea.
  • Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time.
  • A lack of fiber in the diet.
  • Weakening of the connective tissue in the rectum and anus in old age.
  • Pregnancy may cause piles by increasing the pressure in the abdomen

How are piles diagnosed?

On performing physical examination of anus and proctoscopy doctor will diagnose the condition.

Sometimes patient s may have to undergo for sigmoidoscopy , colonoscopy and barium enema X-ray to rule out the other conditions

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