As age increases, your chance of getting piles also increases by weakening the support structures [blood vessels] in the anal area
Hemorrhoids, also called piles, are clusters or groups of inflamed and infected blood vessels, tissues, and muscles inside or outside the anus. Regardless of age, gender, race, and body stature, anyone can develop hemorrhoids.
Several medical journals published, “More than four  crores Indian population are reported to have hemorrhoids. Also, in India alone, one  new million hemorrhoid cases are being reported every year. Worldwide, approximately 40 to 75% of the population are suffering from hemorrhoids.”
Because of hemorrhoids, one can suffer from symptoms such as:
- Abnormal swelling of the anal cushions
- Rectal bleeding
- Difficulty sitting and walking
- Pain in the anus during passing stool
- Soiling and mucus discharge
- Presence of blood in the tissues after bowel movements
- Perianal itching and irritation
- A hard lump near the anus
Usually, signs and symptoms of hemorrhoids depend on the type of hemorrhoid from which you are suffering [either internal or external].
If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, consult a proctologist. Using advanced diagnostic tests, a proctologist will examine your piles and will evaluate your overall health condition to find out the root cause of your piles.
Based on the severity and cause of piles, a proctologist or an anorectal surgeon will decide the treatment method. The main aim of piles treatment is to cure piles without any chance of recurrence. So, finding out the main cause of piles is as important as choosing the right treatment method.
Hemorrhoids are commonly caused due to improper bowel movements associated with.
- Straining during bowel movements: Straining during bowel movements can increase a sudden rise in blood pressure in the hemorrhoid cushion [internal structure of the anal canal that is composed of smooth muscles, blood vessels, and connective tissues], which in turn, can cause blood vessels and muscles to slip and stretch.
- Sitting for long periods on the toilet: Sitting for a long time on the toilet or in the same place exacerbates the problem by stretching the walls of blood vessels. As a result of this, blood vessels begin to bulge and dilate.
- Chronic diarrhea or constipation: Chronic diarrhea or constipation can trigger persistent inflammation of the anorectal tissues.
Also, hemorrhoids are caused in individuals who are suffering from any of the following medical conditions.
- Anal injury: Injury to the anal area can damage blood vessels, muscles, and tissues in a hemorrhoid cushion. Because of this, one can develop piles.
- Liver cirrhosis: Liver cirrhosis can cause ascites, accumulation of fluid within the abdomen. Due to excess fluid in the abdomen, pressure on blood vessels and tissues in the anal area increases and leads to develop hemorrhoids.
- Inflammatory bowel diseases [IBD]: Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can cause hemorrhoids by putting additional pressure on the rectal veins. IBDs can also cause irritation and inflammation in the anal area. So, if you doubt having either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, consult the best proctologist and get treated for the same.
If you are diagnosed with any of the above medical conditions and started suffering from chronic diarrhea and constipation, contact the doctor immediately and seek medical attention.
Also, look out for the risk factors that can increase your chances of developing hemorrhoids. Here are some of the most common risk factors of hemorrhoids.
- Aging: As age increases, your chance of getting piles also increases by weakening the support structures [blood vessels, muscle tissues] in the anal area.
- Being pregnant: Pregnancy will predispose women to symptoms from hemorrhoids. And after delivery, most women can return to their previous symptomatic state. Most doctors believe that hormonal changes and direct pressure on the abdomen in pregnant women make them vulnerable to developing piles.
- Eating a low-fiber diet: Eating healthy and fiber-rich food is essential for good digestive health. But many people don't get enough fiber in their dietary habits and are developing piles. Eating low-fiber foods can cause constipation, which is an important cause of piles. Some foods that contain low fiber are red meat, processed foods, chips, cheese, frozen meals, snack foods, etc. So, try to avoid eating these foods and add fiber-rich foods to your diet.
- Lack of regular activity: Lack of physical activity and regular exercises can cause loss of muscle tone, including anal rectal muscles. As a result of this, you can suffer from constipation and difficulty passing stool, which can increase your risk of developing piles.
- Obesity: Obesity is known as overweight, and because of this, excessive stress on the pelvic floor muscles can be placed. In turn, the hemorrhoid cushion can get stretched and can lead to cause piles.
- Genetics: Genetics can also play a role in the development of hemorrhoids. One of the inherited disorders is Ehlers-Danlos syndrome [EDS], in which the lack of collagen can lead to the impairment of pelvic floor tissues. Hemorrhoids are a common symptom of EDS.
Not only these but other risk factors that are associated with the development of hemorrhoids include:
- Lack of erect posture
- Familial tendency
- Colon malignancy
- Hepatic disease
- Elevated anal resting pressure
- Spinal cord injury
- Rectal surgery
- Episiotomy [a cut or incision through the area between the vaginal opening and the anus]
Minimizing your risk factors of hemorrhoids is an important step in avoiding the development of hemorrhoids.
If you develop piles and plan to permanently cure them, we suggest you undergo a laser piles treatment. Many proctologists and anorectal surgeons use the laser technique to cure both internal and external hemorrhoids. Our doctors use the latest diagnostic tests at our partnered hospitals to find the main cause of your piles and plan appropriate treatment based on your overall health condition. So without delay, book an appointment with our expert proctologists and get free from hemorrhoids at an affordable cost.
Disclaimer: No Asian Age journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.