Hemorrhoids or haemorrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal. In their normal state, they are cushions that help with stool control. They become pathological or piles when swollen or inflamed.
An individual with piles may experience the following symptoms:
- A hard lump may be felt around the anus. It consists of coagulated blood, called a thrombosed external hemorrhoid. This can be painful.
- After going to the toilet, a feeling that the bowels are still full.
- Bright red blood after a bowel movement.
- Itchiness around the anus.
- Mucus discharge when emptying the bowels.
- Pain while defecating.
- The area around the anus may be red and sore.
A number of factors are believed to play a role, including irregular bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea) , lack of exercise, nutritional factors (low-fiber diets) , genetics , an absence of valves within the hemorrhoidal veins and aging . Other factors believed to increase risk include obesity , prolonged sitting , a chronic cough , and pelvic floor dysfunction . During pregnancy, pressure from the fetus on the abdomen and hormonal changes cause the hemorrhoidal vessels to enlarge. .
A number of preventative measures are recommended, including avoiding straining while attempting to defecate , avoiding constipation and diarrhea either by eating a high-fiber diet and drinking plenty of fluid or by taking fiber supplements , and getting sufficient exercise. Spending less time attempting to defecate , avoiding reading while on the toilet , and losing weight for overweight persons and avoiding heavy lifting are also recommended.
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