Piles (haemorrhoids)

What are haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, are swollen veins in the anus or lower part of the rectum. They are a very common ailment. Haemorrhoids may be either internal or external. External haemorrhoids generate protuberances in the ring of the anus on the outer side, making them easier to diagnose and can cause pain when sitting, in addition to traces of blood when defecating. On the other hand, internal haemorrhoids occur inside the anus causing bleeding in the stool and itching in the anal region.

What are the symptoms of haemorrhoids?

The main symptoms of haemorrhoids are:

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Anal itching
  • Anal pain, especially when sitting
  • Pain when passing stool
  • Feeling one or more hard and tender bumps near the anus

What causes haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoids occur due to increased pressure in the anus. They can be caused by:

  • Effort during bowel movements
  • Constipation
  • Sitting for extended periods of time
  • Pregnancy or childbirth

Can they be prevented?

To prevent haemorrhoids, it is necessary to avoid constipation. For this reason, it is important:

  • To drink plenty of hydrating liquids
  • Eat a diet rich in fibre
  • Use stool softeners to prevent straining if you are constipated

How are haemorrhoids treated?

In the case of external haemorrhoids, the treatment consists of applying creams and warm water in the affected area. In cases of severe pain, you can take painkillers. As for internal haemorrhoids, surgical intervention may be necessary to remove them.

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