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What are Piles? Symptoms and causes of piles.

Updated: Mar 5, 2022

Our anus includes several glands that make up fluid, sometimes when these glands get blocked or clogged, a bacterium builds up and creates a swollen pocket of infected tissue and liquid that’s called an abscess. Piles also called hemorrhoids are swollen, inflamed veins around the anus or the lower part of the rectum. Its most commonly observed in people in the age category of 45-65 years. Piles can be painful, uncomfortable and causes rectal bleeding. They take place both inside or outside the rectum. The type depends on where exactly the swollen veins have develops.

Types include:

a) External hemorrhoids :- Swollen veins which forms under the skin around the anus. They can be itchy, painful and occasionally may bleed. It’s not dangerous, but result in pain and swelling.

b) Internal hemorrhoids :- Swollen veins which are normally located between 2 - 4 cm above the opening of the anus, and they are the more common types. It may sometimes bleed, but aren’t painful.

Causes of Piles

Piles are caused by increased pressure on the veins around the anus. The blood vessels around the anus and the rectum stretch under pressure and swell or bulge forming piles.

Common causes of piles are:

  • Straining during bowel movements

  • Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea

  • Low-fiber diet

  • Old age and pregnancy.

  • Frequently lifting heavy objects

  • Chronic constipation and diarrhoea

  • Obesity

  • Colon cancer

  • Spinal cord injury

  • A persistent and prolonged cough, sneezing, vomiting and squatting while defecating

  • Anal Intercourse

Symptoms of Piles

In most cases, symptoms of piles are not very serious as they resolve on their own after a few days. An individual with piles may experience the following symptoms:

  • A hard, possibly painful lump is felt around the anus.

  • Increased pain during anal straining or sitting

  • Bright red blood is visible after a bowel movement.

  • Itchiness, bleeding, redness and soreness near the anus.

  • Painful stool passing.

  • Slimy mucus in underwear or on toilet paper after wiping the bottom.


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