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Causes and Symptoms of Piles

Loveleen Gupta | August 13, 2018

Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, are vascular cushions that are found in the anal passage. They help in bowel movement. When hemorrhoids swell excessively and the blood vessels in them become enlarged, they result in pain, bleeding, itching or prolapsing-a condition termed as symptomatic hemorrhoidal disease.

Piles are a common condition that affects nearly 70 percent of the Indian population. In many cases, they piles are small and do not cause any symptoms. This is the reason why people might not realize that they have piles.



The exact cause of a haemorrhoidal disease is not known, but doctors usually attribute it to continuous pressure in the abdominal region.

This pressure can be a result of the following:

  • Excessive straining during bowel movement.
  • Lifting heavy objects.
  • Eating very spicy food.
  • Weakened support tissues due to aging. 
  • Colorectal cancer.
  • A chronic cough.
  • Delay going to the toilet.
  • Repeated vomiting.
  • Anal intercourse.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Constipation.
  • Lack of exercise.

  • Low fiber diet.
  • Liver disease.
  • Spinal cord injury or
  • Diarrhea.

Though these are the common causes of developing piles, family history or genes may also be at play.



The most common symptoms of piles include

  • Soreness, redness, and itchiness around the anus.
  • Hard lump formation around the anus. This lump has coagulated blood and might be painful.
  • Bleeding during a bowel movement. This might be painless. The color of the blood would be bright red.
  • Swelling around the anus.
  • Continuous pain and discomfort in the anal region.
  • The feeling of the bowels not clearing out properly.
  • Pain during a bowel movement.
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoid. This is when hemorrhoid hangs out of the anus.

In more severe cases, the symptoms may include

  • Excessive bleeding from the anus, possibly leading to anemia.
  • Infection
  • Inability to control bowel movement, also known as fecal incontinence.
  • Formation of anal fistula, that is, a new passage between the skin inside the anus and near it.
  • Formation of blood clots as a result of blood supply being cut off to hemorrhoid.
  • Mucous discharge in the stool.
  • Short-lived anal spasms
  • Permanently prolapsed hemorrhoid.

Piles usually resolve on their own with home remedies or lifestyle changes. The main changes that an individual can introduce are as follows: 

1) Increase intake of fiber and water in your diet.

2) Not prolonging your trip to the toilet


3) Losing Weight

4) Avoiding very spicy food.

If in spite of introducing these changes, one does not get respite from the bleeding or the pain in the anus, then one must visit the doctor. The doctor can conduct a physical examination of the area, diagnose the condition and advise treatment accordingly.

Image sources: Wikimedia, Pexels and Pixabay

Loveleen Gupta




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