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Piles symptoms

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Piles symptoms

What are the piles?

Haemorrhoids are masses, clumps or cushions of tissue in the anal canal, which help with stool control. Although a haemorrhoid is an unpleasant term, we all have them in our body. When the haemorrhoidal cushions become too big (inflamed), problems may occur. Piles are the swollen, problem causing, painful haemorrhoids.

Males and females are equally susceptible to developing troublesome piles.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH, USA), symptomatic haemorrhoids affect at least half the US population at some time in their lives, and approximately 5% of all adults have piles at any given time. National Health Service (NHS, UK) declares that piles affect between 4% and 25% of the UK adult population. They are more common among adults aged between 45 and 65 years, as well as pregnant mothers.

How do we recognize and classify the piles?

Piles types

Piles or Haemorrhoids types


Piles types

Piles or Haemorrhoids types

Most cases of piles are mild and the symptoms often disappear naturally, after a few days. Tough it is a pathological infection, some of the affected persons may not even realise they have haemorrhoids as they do not experience any severe, unpleasant piles symptoms.

Piles can be of various shapes and sizes, and according to their position, they may be external or internal. Usually they appear as a combination of the two types of piles.

What are the piles symptoms related to?

Where piles may occur, they include the following characteristics:

  • bleeding after passing a stool (the blood will be from bright to dark red)
  • a pile may move down, outside of the anus (prolapse) after passing a stool
  • a mucus discharge after passing a stool
  • itchiness, soreness and inflammation around your anus
  • feeling like your bowels are still full and need to be emptied

Due to their position, piles symptoms may occur on the following model:

  • External piles may produce few piles symptoms. If thrombosed, they can cause significant pain and swelling in the area of the anus. The haemorrhoids associated with external blood clots beneath the skin are known as perianal haematoma. A thrombosed external haemorrhoid is a hard lump made up of blood clots which develops around the anus. Both perianal haematomas and thrombosed external piles are very painful. Nevertheless, this pain typically resolves in 2 “ 3 days, but the swelling may take a few weeks to disappear, leading to a skin tag that will remain after healing.
  • Internal piles are the ones that are easily identified with painless rectal bleeding, during, or following a bowel movement. The blood typically covers the stool, is on the toilet paper, or drips into the toilet bowl. The stool itself is usually normally coloured. Other symptoms may include mucous discharge, a perianal mass if they prolapse through the anus, itchiness and faecal incontinence. Internal haemorrhoids are usually a little painful if they become thrombosed or necrotic.

Why do piles occur?

The exact cause of symptomatic piles is unknown, but it might be related to the blood vessels around the anus and in the rectum will stretch under pressure and may swell or bulge. Inflamed veins (haemorrhoids) can develop when pressure increases in the lower rectum.

The tendency to develop haemorrhoids may also be inherited. The risk of developing piles symptoms also grows with age.

When to seek for medical advice?

You should see your doctor if your haemorrhoid symptoms are persistent and severe. A qualified doctor can usually diagnose piles fairly rapidly after carrying out a physical examination. The patient’s anus will be examined for swollen veins.

What are the treatment options for piles?

In the majority of cases, piles resolve on their own, without the need for any treatment. Treatments can help significantly reduce the discomfort and itching that many patients experience. The therapy for the piles symptoms may involve lifestyle changes, increasing the fluids and fiber intake or applying haemorrhoidal cream or suppository containing hydrocortisone to the affected area.