Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles are the swollen veins and tissues in anus and lower rectum. Piles are a common ailment in modern times and it is said that nearly three out of four adults will have piles from time to time. Based on their location we have internal piles that are located inside the rectum and can?t be seen or felt on examination. They are the more common type. External piles develop under the skin on the outside edge of anus. If a clot is formed in piles they are called thrombosed piles. They are not dangerous but can be extremely painful.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids are:
- Painless bleeding during bowel movements
- Itching and irritation in anal area
- Pain or discomfort in anal area
- Swelling around anus
- A lump near the anus which is very painful and sensitive (maybe a thrombosed pile).
- In addition hemorrhoids symptoms depend on location. Internal piles rarely cause discomfort, but at times straining can push internal piles through anal opening. This is known as prolapsed piles and can cause pain.
Irrespective of location piles are formed when veins around anus stretch due to pressure leading to swelling and bulge. Various factors that can lead to an increase in the pressure in the lower rectum are:
- Straining to pass stools
- Sitting for long periods in the toilet like reading newspaper while passing stools
- Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
- Pregnancy especially in the third trimester
- Anal intercourse
- Ageing puts a person at a greater risk factor to develop piles. This is because as one gets older the tissues that support the veins in the rectum and anus grow weak and stretch.
If not treated properly piles can lead to complications as well such as:
- Chronic blood loss from piles may cause anemia
- If the blood supply to the internal piles is cut off the hemorrhoid may get strangulated leading to a lot of pain.
Common mistakes that aggravate piles are:
- Sitting or standing for long as it puts pressure on the veins in the lower body. If one?s work profile requires long sitting one must get up and move around for a few minutes every hour. Also one must avoid sitting and watching TV or surfing the net for long.
- Wrong eating habits lead to chronic constipation or diarrhoea. To avoid constipation one must eat fibre rich food including whole-grain cereals and bread, fruits and vegetables. Take plenty of water and do cardio exercises like brisk walks or jogging for at least 30 min a day. As chronic diarrhea can also aggravate piles so one must carefully monitor one?s diet to find out the likely food items causing inappropriate bowel movements.
- Being overweight
- Lifting very heavy objects on daily basis like while working out in the gym.
- Poor hygiene. As sweat can aggravate the itching of piles one must take bath regularly and keep the anal area clean and dry as much as possible. One can use toilet paper for this.
- High stress and anxiety are seen to flare up piles. To deal with this one must spend some time on a daily basis in an activity that calms one down.
- Overuse of laxative for more than a week.
- Spending more than 10-15 minutes at a stretch on the toilet. It?s seen that reading newspaper or using mobile while sitting on toilet makes one lose track of time ending up putting a lot of pressure on the blood vessels. Also use of Indian toilets is recommended to facilitate bowel movements.
- Using wet wipes. These are not recommended as they contain alcohol that can cause excruciating pain in the affected parts. Instead one can use a sitz bath to remove fecal matter.
- Using nails or scratching the affected as it can lead to more pain.
- Avoid intake of excessive coffee or alcohol as they both cause dehydration leading to constipation that can aggravate piles.
- Not answering nature?s call and controlling the urge to defecate which puts more pressure on the anal area. To avoid this one must schedule timings to go to the toilet according to bowel movements and stick to that routine.
Along with the right management practices homoeopathic medicine provides the best treatment option for hemorrhoids. Homoeopathic medicine alleviates pain, itching or any such local discomfort faced by the person. It also helps to control the recurrence of hemorrhoids by treating related disorders like constipation that cause and aggravate piles.
While dealing with a case of hemorrhoids especially in cases where a person is having chronic tendency for piles the homoeopathic physician takes a detailed history of the patient. He makes prescription based on holistic approach and tries to elicit characteristic symptoms whether in a mental, physical or particular sphere.
Best homoeopathic medicine for piles can be based on the cause leading to hemorrhoids e.g Collinsonia canadensis is a good medicine for piles during pregnancy. ?Where piles are the outcome of modern day lifestyle with sedentary routine and unhealthy eating habits Nux vomica has a good role to play.
Best homeopathic medicine is the one most similar to a given case and it can also be based on the nature of pain. E.g. for piles with pain as if cuts Nitric acid is good medicine). In some cases factors that aggravate piles or give relief are seen of considerable importance for making prescription. E.g. for pain in piles better bleeding per rectum while passing stools Aesculus hippocastanum, for burning pain of piles better warm application Arsenicum album.
Apart from internal medicine, Homoeopathic medicine like calendula mother tincture can be used for sitz bath to soothe irritation. Thus homoeopathy has a lot of scope in managing and preventing recurrence of piles cases.