Piles are blood vessels located in the smooth muscles of the walls of the rectum and anus. They are a normal part of the anatomy and are located at the junction where small arteries merge into veins. They are cushioned by smooth muscles and connective tissue and are classified by where they are located in relationship to the pectinate line, the dividing point between the upper 2/3 and lower 1/3 of the anus. This is an important anatomic distinction because of the type of cells that line hemorrhoid, and the nerves that provide sensation.
While they may not be life-threatening, hemorrhoids represent a highly delicate topic in medical discourse. That’s because they affect parts of the body, specifically, the anus and rectum, that few of us want to discuss openly. And yet, millions of Americans suffer from hemorrhoids, also known as piles, which are swollen veins found in the rectum or the skin located just around the anus.
1.While the presence of hemorrhoids is a reflection of the normal anatomy, most people and care professionals refer to hemorrhoids as an abnormal finding because they only present when they swell and cause problems.
Hemorrhoid swelling occurs when there is an increase in the pressure in the small vessels that make up hemorrhoids causing them to swell and engorge with blood. This causes them to increase in size leading to symptoms. Increased pressure may be caused by a variety of factors:
A low-fiber diet and smaller caliber stool cause a person to strain when having a bowel movement, increasing the pressure within the blood vessels.
Pregnancy is associated with hemorrhoid swelling and is likely due to increased pressure of the enlarged uterus on the rectum and anus. In addition, hormonal changes with pregnancy may weaken the muscles that support the rectum and anus.
Prolonged sitting on the toilet may increase pressure within the hemorrhoid blood vessels.
2.Diarrhea, both acute and chronic
4.Previous rectal surgery
5.Spinal cord injury and lack of erect posture
Several medicinal options are available to make symptoms more manageable for an individual with piles.
Over-the-counter (OTC) medications: These are available over-the counter or online. Medications include painkillers, ointments, creams, and pads, and can help soothe redness and swelling around the anus.
OTC remedies do not cure piles but can help the symptoms. Do not use them for more than 7 days in a row, as they can cause further irritation of the area and thinning of the skin. Do not use two or more medications at the same time unless advised to by a medical professional.
Corticosteroids: These can reduce inflammation and pain.
Laxatives: The doctor may prescribe laxatives if a person with piles suffers from constipation. These can help the person pass stools more easily and reduce pressure on the lower colon.
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