Symptoms Of Piles

Signs and Symptoms of Piles

Although many people view the topic of piles (more commonly known as hemorrhoids) as embarrassing and unpleasant, you should be able to identify the symptoms of piles in order to seek appropriate treatment. Piles, or hemorrhoids, is a term used for a condition in which the veins around the anus become swollen, enlarged and inflamed as a result of many different causal factors which include anal sex, constipation, pregnancy, and sitting in one place or on hard surfaces for prolonged times.  These are only a few of many reasons that may lead to your encounter with piles, and many individuals will experience them at some point in their lifetime.  In fact, approximately half of adults will have had piles at some point before age 50.

Medical personnel refer to three degrees of hemorrhoids, each degree having increasing degrees of discomfort or pain.

The first degree of piles occurs when the cushions swell inside the anus.  However, the swollen cushions remain inside.  Normally, the first degree of piles is painless.

The second degree of piles occurs when the swollen cushions are pushed down the anal canal during a bowel movement.  In the second degree of piles, the swollen cushions will return to the original position once the bowel movement is complete.  Some pain and discomfort will be evident in individuals with the second degree of piles.

The third degree of piles occurs when the swollen cushions move down the anus during the bowel movement and fail to return to original starting location.  This condition is the most painful of the three degrees of piles.

Even though people of any age, gender, or race can experience piles, older men and women are prone to suffer from this affliction.  Pregnant females, obese individuals, sedentary office workers and people who drive a vehicle or heavy machinery for long periods of time are also in danger of developing piles.  Piles will affect many at some point but most of the time is a temporary situation.

There are five major symptoms of piles that can sometimes disappear and return, but all symptoms are easily identifiable.  Itching and irritation are the most common indicator of piles.  Pain and discomfort (especially during bowel movement) can occur.  A lump may sometimes be found near the anus and/or bleeding may also occur.  Blood may sometimes be observed on the stool, and a mucus-like discharge is also common.

Piles (hemorrhoids) will usually dissipate within a few days or a week and will not require any medical treatment.  If symptoms persist, you may want to contact your family doctor.  If you are encountering first or second degree piles, your family doctor will probably advise you to eat a high fiber diet that will soften your stool to speed healing and ease discomfort.  First and second degree piles usually go away without further medical intervention within a week or so provided the stool remains soft.  Third degree piles can dissipate as well, but sometimes they may need to be removed by a medical professional.  If not removed surgically, common practices include banding, which entails installing a small rubber band on the pile to “choke” the pile so it will become dead and fall from the body.  Phenol injections and freezing are some of the other common practices used to battle piles.

Because blood on the stool can be symptoms of other, more serious afflictions such as colorectal cancer and anal cancer, you should consult a doctor if you observe this.  You should also consult a doctor if you observe black, maroon, or tarry-looking stools as well as stools in which blood is mixed throughout.  This could indicate that there is more bleeding somewhere else along the digestive tract.