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Piles or Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal which help with stool control. They become pathological or piles when swollen or inflamed. In their physiological state they act as a cushion composed of arterio-venous channels and connective tissue that aid the passage of stool. The symptoms of pathological hemorrhoids depend on the type present. Internal hemorrhoids usually present with painless rectal bleeding while external hemorrhoids present with pain in the area of the anus.

Hemorrhoids usually are present with itching, rectal pain, or rectal bleeding. In most cases, symptoms will resolve within a few days. External hemorrhoids are painful, while internal hemorrhoids usually are not unless they become thrombosed or necrotic.

The most common symptom of internal hemorrhoids is bright red blood covering the stool, a condition known as hematochezia, on toilet paper, or in the toilet bowl. They may protrude through the anus. Symptoms of external hemorrhoids include painful swelling or lump around the anus.

A number of factors may lead to the formations of hemorrhoids including irregular bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea), exercise, nutrition (low-fiber diet), increased intra-abdominal pressure (prolonged straining), pregnancy, genetics, absence of valves within the hemorrhoidal veins, and aging.

Many anorectal problems, including fissures, fistulae, abscesses, colorectal cancer, rectal varices and itching have similar symptoms and may be incorrectly referred to as hemorrhoids.

TREATMENT OF PILES:
Recommended treatment consists of increasing fiber intake, oral fluids to maintain hydration.

The best way to prevent hemorrhoids 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. Exercise, including walking, and increased fiber in the diet help reduce constipation and straining by producing stools that are softer and easier to pass. Spending less time attempting to defecate and avoiding reading while on the toilet have been recommended. Adopting a 'squatting' position to defecate, rather than sitting on a Western-style commode, may also reduce the incidence of piles.


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