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Piles (Hemorrhoids) Overview
Hemorrhoids are normal vascular structures in the anal canal, which help with stool control. They become pathological or known as piles when swollen or inflamedthey are enlarged veins located in the lower part of the rectum and the anus.
They become swollen because of increased pressure within them, usually due to straining at stools and during pregnancy most people think hemorrhoids are abnormal, they are present in everyone. It is only when the hemorrhoidal cushions enlarge that hemorrhoids can cause problems and be considered abnormal or a disease.
The symptoms of pathological hemorrhoids depend on the type present.
Internal hemorrhoids usually present on the upper side of the anal canal and cannot be felt externally they are associated with painless rectal bleeding
External hemorrhoids present on the lower end of rectal canal can be seen and felt on the outer border of the anal canal associated with pain in the area of the anus.
What are the causes of Piles (Hemorrhoids)? Top
The major causes of piles are those which lead to straining of the anal canal these include:
  • Irregular bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea),
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Nutrition (low-fiber diet),
  • Increased intra-abdominal pressure (prolonged straining),
  • Pregnancy: Due to pressure of the uterus usually this condition resolves after delivery
  • Genetics
  • Obesityand sitting for long periods of time.
What are the sign and symptoms of Piles (Hemorrhoids)? Top
Hemorrhoids usually present with symptoms like
  • Painless bleeding of bright red blood on the outside of stool
  • Rectal Itching
  • Rectal Pain (more often associated with external hemorrhoids)
How Piles (Hemorrhoids) are diagnosed? Top
Diagnosis of hemorrhoids is usually made by history and physical examination. A visual examination of the anus and surrounding area may be able to diagnose external or prolapsed hemorrhoids. A rectal exam may be performed to detect possible rectal tumors, polyps, an enlarged prostate, or abscesses. Sometimes anoscopy may be required in case of internal hemorrhoids and to rule out other diseases.
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