Piles – or haemorrhoids as they are medically known – are distended veins, like varicose veins on the leg, located in lower parts of the rectum, bowel and anus. Internal haemorrhoids are located in the cavity of the bowel, in the anus or rectal area; external ones, which are the more common, protrude outside the anus. This condition is not serious, but the symptoms, including bleeding, itching and discomfort on defecation, are distressing and can be deeply uncomfortable or painful. If you do have bleeding from the anus, you should consult your doctor immediately, as it could be an indication of something more serious.
Haemorrhoids are brought about by pressure on the veins, which causes them to swell. It’s rather like a balloon: if you blow it up again and again, the shape and size changes. Piles most often result from constipation, pregnancy, carrying heavy weights and standing for a long time. When you are constipated, you strain to Pass stools, which are usually hard or sticky, and the downward pressure on the veins increases, causing the walls to distend. It’s very common to develop piles after having children, as in your case.
Pregnancy causes particular problems during the third trimester, when the weight of the foetus on the veins of the colon and rectum can caused is tension; then, during labour, intensive pressure is directed downwards, further distending the walls of the veins. In most cases, haemorrhoids due to pregnancy, disappear soon after the birth.
Internal haemorrhoids cause bleeding more easily, as the hard stool masses scratch their walls and cause abrasions. However, it is external haemorrhoids that can cause the greater discomfort, because the mucus on the anal tissue dries, forming crystals of salt and protein, which itch like mad. Then, as the ring of muscles called the anal sphincter closes after defecation, it strangulates the external haemorrhoids, sometimes causing persistent pain, even at night. The pain means that passing stools causes further discomfort and may involve further bleeding. In fact, haemorrhoids are a common cause of anaemia because of the chronic daily blood loss.
Conventional medical treatment may consist of topical or suppository corticosteroids to reduce the swelling and itching, and/or an anaesthetic spray to help relieve pain. If this doesn’t work small internal haemorrhoids may be treated by sclerotherapy, where the affected area is injected with a solution that causes the veins to shrink; alternatively, a band is placed around the base, causing the haemorrhoid to shrink and fall off. lf these measures fail, doctors may consider electrical, laser or infrared heat treatment or surgical removal, which can be very uncomfortable. Although the surgery is done under a general anaesthetic, the wound cannot be stitched because of the risk of infection in this germ-filled area, so the patient is left with a large and painful gash.
Anyone with haemorrhoids should take action immediately. Don’t let the haemorrhoids grow. The most important thing is to change your diet to make sure that the stools are soft, which will make your life a lot easier.
Here are my suggestions:
- Drink two litres of still Pure water daily, mainly between meals; but avoid gulping down lots of water at one time as it can make you feel sick.
- If you have a tendency to be constipated, eat a portion of the following daily: papaya, figs, prunes, bananas, beetroot spinach and bran.
- Avoid acidic foods including citrus fruits, chillies, excess salt, coffee and alcohol.
- If very constipated, take one tablet of Qurs Mullayan – a herbal supplement to aid bowel movement – at bedtime for three months (Hamdard, tablets).
- Also, take one to two tablespoonfuls of isabgol psyllium husks in a glass of water at bedtime. Drink fast as it turns to jelly within seconds.
- Take one tablet twice daily of Hamdroid – a herbal supplement to help healing and prevent haemorrhoids – for two months.
- After going to the lavatory, use a wet tissue to wipe the area, as hard or rough paper can cause abrasions. After wiping, push the haemorrhoids back into the rectum where they will remain moist. This may hurt at first but they will heal better inside the body.
- Do this exercise: contract and release the anus 20 times, three to four times a day: You can do this in any position.
- If the haemorrhoids hurt, apply ice cubes.