By Doc Yo
Haemorrhoids (often known as Piles) are enlarged and engorged blood vessels in or around the back passage (anus). These may be associated with pain, bleeding, itching and feeling as if a lump or bump is hanging down. Piles affect many people at some stage during their lifetime. Pregnant women and some 27% of mothers suffer from piles.
Haemorrhoids are usually more prevalent in countries where fibre consumption is low.
Pain or ache around the anus and rectum which can be quite sharp, itching, bleeding from the back passage, usually bright red blood often seen on the toilet paper, a feeling of something coming down, or a bulge or lump at the anus. Sometimes the haemorrhoid is at the outside of the anus like a tender, hardish lump. Discovering piles can be quite a scary experience if you do not know what they are.
Haemorrhoids are usually caused by straining on the toilet, being overweight, pregnancy, sitting for too long or lifting heavy items.
Lifestyle is a big contributory factor as well as diet. Apart from pregnancy, piles usually come about from a combination of different factors. Sometimes, they may come about seemingly without reason, but upon close inspection one would find "something" that is the cause.
For example a person with a seemingly healthy diet who is not pregnant, eats well, doesn't sit on the toilet for too long and does not lift heavy items may suffer from piles. This may be caused by lack of exercise or their office job, where they are sitting down for too long.
Piles may not affect you on a daily basis, but if you do suffer from them, you "must" make it your priority to get rid of them. It is not healthy to have piles and their existence is often a sign from your body that there is something wrong somewhere in your world and you need to address it. i.e. you are lifting too many heavy items or your diet is poor.
If you suspect you suffer from piles, you must go to your doctor to have it diagnosed. Depending on how good your doctor is, he or she may suggest certain ways to treat the condition. Do not just rely on their medicines. Try and find out for yourself what you think has caused the problem. Doctors very often do not care about the "cause" of the problem and don't advise you on it.
Take it upon yourself to find out why you have piles and what could have caused them and go about addressing the problem.
Sometimes piles disappear by themselves within a few days but often they do not.
Your doctor may give you suppositories, creams or ointments to get rid of the problem. They will often reduce the swelling, itching and soothe the affected area. This may be all that's needed.
It is still suggested for you to look at what the cause of your piles may be. If you do have an office job, make sure you start moving around during the day. If your diet lacks fibre, make sure you increase the fibre in your diet. Eat wholesome foods, vegetables, reduce meat and dairy product intake, eat more fruit such as apricots, apples, prunes, figs etc. Drink lots of fresh water daily and cut out junk foods and caffeine.
If you are lifting heavy items, wear a belt and improve your lifting technique, or change your job!
Other ways of helping yourself are making sure that you do not sit on the toilet for too long. Only go when you need to (but DO go when you need to) and get out as soon as you are finished!
You can apply cold water and ice to your anus to reduce the swelling or use alternate hot and cold water.
One other thing that's worth mentioning is that the medication the doctor will give you will often be selective. i.e. he or she will choose one cream or ointment to give you.
Your local pharmacy will have various haemorrhoids creams and surprisingly, they DO NOT share the same ingredients. This may be a reason why some creams are very successful at getting rid of piles and others are not. Some have zinc, others have shark's liver extract, others contain yeast.
If you suffer from piles and nothing seems to be working, address the issue by "combining" several treatments under the supervision of your physician if need be. The logic behind this is to bombard the haemorrhoids with different treatments from different ingredients.
Surgery should be a last resort thing so try and deal with piles at an early stage and remember piles are your body's way of communicating that something is wrong somewhere so don't ignore them and make the necessary changes.
* If you find that none of the above is helping, then you may want to consider visiting a Chinese Medicine practitioner for herbal/Acupuncture treatment.
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