If you notice any swelling around your anus which may be painful or sensitive, or you notice small amounts of blood in the toilet or on your tissue when you empty your bowels, then you may have piles.
Piles, also known as hemorrhoids are a common problem that a lot of adults experience from time to time. Other symptoms of this condition are itching or irritation in or around the anus and painful bowel movements.
What are the causes of piles?
Most of the time, the causes of piles are not known. When a cause can be identified, it may be one of the following:
- Sitting for long periods on the toilet
- Straining too hard during bowel movements, usually due to constipation
- Anal intercourse
- Eating a diet low in fibre
Are piles a serious problem?
Although piles can be very uncomfortable and distressing, they are not dangerous or life-threatening and many people get relief from their symptoms from simple home remedies and lifestyle modifications
How can piles be treated at home?
Piles usually go on their own even without treatment, however, to provide quick relief from your symptoms, you should try out the following:
- Soak in a warm tub of water for at least 10 minutes every day
- Clean your anus with warm water every day. This can be done while you have your bath but ensure you do not use soap as soap can make the pain worse
- Apply a cold compress on your anus to reduce swelling
- If you are constipated, drink plenty of fluids and eat fiber-rich foods to help soften your stools
What should be done to prevent piles?
Some people tend to have piles more than others but even for such people, doing the following can lower their risk:
- Exercising regularly to prevent constipation
- Eating a diet rich in fiber
- Drinking plenty of fluids
- Visiting the toilet as soon as the urge is there