In haemorrhoids also knowns as piles, swollen, inflamed veins form around the bottom of your rectum or anus.
In general, there are two types:
- External haemorrhoids: Occur under your skin around your anus
- Internal haemorrhoids: Occur in the lining of your anus and bottom of your rectum
Whenever the veins around the anus are under too much pressure, haemorrhoids occur.
There are several reasons for this:
- Straining when passing stool
- Sitting on the toilet for a long period of time
- Chronic constipation
- A low-fiber diet, may cause chronic constipation
- Weakening of the support tissue in the anus and rectum. Pregnancy and aging can cause this.
- Lifting heavy objects on a regular basis
Symptoms of haemorrhoids vary depending on the type.
Symptoms of external haemorrhoids include:
- Itching in the anal area
- Near your anus, there may be a hard, tender lump
- Pain in the anal region, especially when seated
The symptoms of anus may worsen if you strain, rub, or clean the area around it too much. Symptoms of external haemorrhoids usually disappear within a few days for most people.
Symptoms of internal haemorrhoids include:
- After a bowel movement, you might notice bright red blood in your stool, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl
- Having a haemorrhoid prolapse, which is when it falls into your anal opening
Unless prolapsed, internal haemorrhoids are rarely painful. A prolapsed internal haemorrhoid may be painful and uncomfortable.
Home remedies for haemorrhoids include:
- Fiber-rich foods
- Fiber supplements or stool softeners
- Keeping hydrated at all times
- During bowel movements, avoid straining
- Avoid long periods of sitting on the toilet
- The use of over-the-counter pain relievers
- Several warm baths a day can relieve pain. It could be a regular bath or a sitz bath. In a sitz bath, you sit in warm water in a special plastic tub.
- To relieve mild pain, swelling, and itching caused by external haemorrhoids, use creams, ointments, or suppositories available over-the-counter
Consult your doctor if you suffer from any of the following symptoms:
- Symptoms persist after 1 week of at-home treatment
- Experiencing rectal bleeding. In addition to haemorrhoids, bleeding can also be caused by other conditions. Anal cancer, colorectal cancer, and Crohn’s disease are among them. It is therefore important to see your provider to find out why you are bleeding.
Physical examination and sometimes a procedure like anoscopy can be performed to diagnose haemorrhoids.
Haemorrhoids can be treated at home, but you may need a medical procedure if those treatments don’t work. Several different non-major procedures can be performed by doctors. They aim to cut off the blood supply, which usually shrinks the haemorrhoids by forming a scar tissue near the affected veins. You may need surgery in severe cases.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about piles, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/piles-haemorrhoids/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych