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Understanding the Anatomy of Haemorrhoids (Piles)

Home > Blogs > Understanding the Anatomy of Haemorrhoids (Piles)

Understanding the Anatomy of Haemorrhoids (Piles)

Gastro Science | Posted on 03/06/2023 by Dr. B D Soni



Did you know that haemorrhoids (piles) are one of the most common gastrointestinal health conditions? Let's face it, no one actually wants to talk about it, because every person having this feels embarrassed talking about it. You would be surprised to know that we are born with haemorrhoidal tissue which is also known as blood vessels. These blood vessels lining the anus have a useful job to do. They help us in sensing what’s there in the rectum. It is because of these blood vessels that we can tell whether the pressure we feel down there is a gas or diarrhoea, or a regular movement of the bowel.

When haemorrhoids become inflamed or engorged, they cause unpleasant symptoms. So, next time, you feel weird down there, you know the reason. It is important to gain information about this condition and learn about the symptoms, causes, etc. so that timely treatment is considered.

This blog contains all the necessary information which will make you mindful of the haemorrhoids and you become aware of when to seek the treatment.

 

What are haemorrhoids?

Haemorrhoids are swollen veins placed around the anus or in the lower rectum. As per one study, more than 50% of adults come across the symptoms of haemorrhoids by the age they are 50. The walls of these blood vessels stretch so thin that sometimes the veins get irritated and bulge, mainly when you are pooping. They are also called piles and are among the most common causes of rectal bleeding. Usually, they disappear on their own, but treatment options are also available.

 

What are the types of haemorrhoids?

There are three types of haemorrhoids which include:

  • Internal haemorrhoids- Are located on the rectum’s inside and aren’t visible from the outside. They don’t cause pain usually and rectal bleeding is the first sign.
  • External haemorrhoids- They occur in the skin around the anus and are visible. More sensitive nerves are in this part of the body, so they can be painful.
  • Thrombosis haemorrhoids- A blood clot can transform external haemorrhoids into blue or purple colour. It is referred to as a thrombosis. You might experience symptoms like bleeding, itching, and severe pain of this type.

 

What are the symptoms of haemorrhoids?

The symptoms of haemorrhoids often depend on the type of haemorrhoid:

External haemorrhoids

The symptom of external haemorrhoids are:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Bleeding
  • Swelling around the anus
  • Itching or irritation in the anal area

Internal haemorrhoids

Here are the symptoms of internal haemorrhoids:

  • Painless bleeding during bowel movements
  • Pain and irritation

Thrombosis haemorrhoids

The symptoms of thrombosis haemorrhoids are:

  • Inflammation
  • Swelling
  • Severe pain
  • Hard lump near the anus

What are the causes of haemorrhoids?

The causes of haemorrhoids involve increased pressure in the lower rectum which is because of:

How are haemorrhoids diagnosed?

A healthcare expert will diagnose haemorrhoids depending on the symptoms and through physical evaluation. Your doctor might also order the following tests:

  • Digital rectal exam- It will help the doctor to identify the swollen veins

 

  • Anoscopy- The doctor will involve using an anoscope to view the anus lining and rectum.

 

  • Sigmoidoscopy- The provide with use of a sigmoidoscope will view the colon and rectum part

These tests might seem uncomfortable but are not excruciating. You will be given anaesthesia and you can go home the same day.

How are haemorrhoids treated?

You must consult your healthcare expert for haemorrhoid treatment when symptoms get worse or interfere with your regular life or sleep. Make sure to seek assistance if signs aren’t improving after a week of at-home treatments. Your healthcare might follow the below-mentioned treatment options:

  • Rubber band ligation- The doctor will place a rubber band across the haemorrhoid base cutting off the blood supply to the vein.

 

  • Electrocoagulation- It involves the use of electric current as it helps in preventing the blood flow to a haemorrhoid.

 

  • Infrared coagulation- The doctor will insert a small probe into the rectum transmitting heat to get rid of the haemorrhoid.

 

  • Sclerotherapy- This treatment option involves the use of chemical injection into the swollen veins which put an end to haemorrhoids.

 

Surgical treatments

The doctor might involve surgical treatments in rare cases. Here are the options:

  • Haemorrhoidectomy- It ensures the removal of large external hemorrhoids and prolapsed internal haemorrhoids.

 

  • Haemorrhoid stapling- It comprises the use of a stapling instrument to eliminate an internal haemorrhoid.

 

Other treatment options

There are other treatment options recommended by the doctor and you can follow them on your own:

  • Applying over-the-counter medications that contain witch hazel, or lidocaine
  • Make sure to drink plenty of water
  • Intake of fibre as much as you can through supplements or diet
  • Take a warm bath
  • Take laxatives for softening the stool

Conclusion

Haemorrhoids are a common condition and affect more than 50% of adults over the age of 50 years. Symptoms can be painful, but usually, improve themselves after a few days of home treatments. With lifestyle changes, you can avert haemorrhoids.

If the condition continues after one week or complications are there, then you must seek medical treatment. You must consult your doctor right away if you notice heavy bleeding, fever, or severe pain. It can indicate other health problems.

FAQs

How to prevent piles naturally?

Some of the best ways to prevent piles naturally are:

  • Drinking enough water
  • Exercising regularly
  • Avoid straining
  • Filling up on fibre
  • Be cautious when it comes to laxatives

Can haemorrhoids cause anaemia?

No, haemorrhoids don’t cause anaemia or don’t need any form of transfusion.

Are haemorrhoids dangerous?

Usually, haemorrhoids aren’t dangerous as they disappear on their own. But, if in extreme cases, it is not treated, then it can cause burning, itching, clots, anal bleeding, and more. If it is overlooked for a long time, it causes infection and blood loss.