What are haemorrhoids / piles / aambeie?
Hemorrhoids (US English) or haemorrhoids (Commonwealth English), are an arterial-venous vascular network in the anal canal which help with stool control. They are located at the end of the bowel and support the sphincter when closing the anus. They become pathological or known as piles when swollen or inflamed. In their physiological state they act as cushions composed of arterio-venous channels and connective tissue that aid the passage of stool. The symptoms of pathological haemorrhoids depend on the type present. Internal haemorrhoids usually present with painless rectal bleeding while external haemorrhoids present with pain in the area of the anus.
What are the causes for piles?
Piles can be caused by obesity, bad eating habits, low-fibre diet, pressing to strongly during bowel movements, irregular bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea), as a result of pregnancy and childbirth, or inherited tissue disorders.
What kind of symptoms are typical?
- Pain while sitting and acute bleeding can occur.
- There can be light red blood on the stool and toilet paper.
- Pain during bowel movements.
- Rectal burning, pain, itching and / or bleeding.
- Painful swelling or lump around the anus
What can be done prevent getting piles?
The best way to prevent haemorrhoids is to keep stools soft so they pass easily, thus decreasing pressure and straining, and to empty bowels as soon as possible after the urge occurs. Frequent exercise, sport, weight reduction, sufficient fluid intake and a diet rich in fibre will help. Uncontrolled pressing during bowel movement and sitting too long on the toilet should be avoided.