WHAT ARE PILES?
Piles, which can also be called hemorrhoids, are collections of inflamed tissue in the anal canal.
Mist individuals have piles, but the symptoms are not always obvious. The size of hemorrhoids vary and can be positioned inside or outside the anus. Piles are collections of tissue and vain become inflamed and swollen. They consist of blood cells, muscles, elastic fibers, and support tissues.
The consequences of chronic diarrhea, chronic constipation, lifting heavy weights, pregnancy, or straining when defecating. Piles are graded on a scale of I to IV, depending on their severity.
Hemorrhoids I are mild, with hemorrhoids IV being the most severe. Grade I and II are internal piles because they are located inside and above the opening of the anus. Grade III and IV are called external piles and occur on the outside edge of the anus.
Piles carry a lot of discomfort such as pains, itchiness, sores, a feeling of fullness, and defecating blood. Piles escalate into a more severe condition if left untreated. They may include anemia, infections, anal fistula, fecal inconsistency, and blood clots.
Piles are classified into four grades, as mentioned earlier. A treatment approach towards hemorrhoids is determined by its grading. These grades include:
- Grade I
There are small inflammations inside the lining of the anus. They are not visible.
- Grade II
Larger than the former. Although they remain inside the anus, they may get pushed out during bowel movement, but return on their own.
- Grade III
They are known as prolapsed hemorrhoids and they appear outside the anus and can be felt hanging from the rectum. This grade of piles can be easily unseated into the anus.
- Grade IV
They hang outside the anus and cannot be pushed back inside the rectum. They also need urgent treatment.
External piles are very itchy and painful, especially when blood clots develop. They form small lumps on the periphery of the anus. Thrombosed (piles that form blood clots) hemorrhoids require immediate medical treatment.
The first step of tackling the problem is addressing its cause. As earlier stated, the causes of hemorrhoids include:
- Chronic constipation in which a dried feces makes bowel evacuation difficult and forcible.
- Chronic diarrhea which is a gastrointestinal disorder with frequent and a very watery bowel movement.
- Carrying heavy weights which exert pressure on the muscles of the gastrointestinal walls.
- Pregnancy in which as the fetus is growing and pressurizes the abdomen, the veins in the rectum and anus become enlarged.
- Strenuous bowel evacuation, as the strains on the veins in the rectum, cause the anus to be enlarged.
- Obesity where a person’s overweight mounts pressure on the hemorrhoidal tissues.
- Malnutrition in which lack of enough fiber in our meals may hinder free bowel movement.
- Aging weakens the connective tissues in the rectum and anus.
Treating a disorder without a diagnosis can be likened to a driver carrying luggage without knowing its content. He may become a victim in the hands of law enforcement officers. In that manner, getting a diagnosis is a requirement before treating piles or any other medical health condition.
The diagnosis of hemorrhoids is a very simple one. It includes:
- Doctor’s Investigation
The physician will ask for your:
- Medical history
- Physical exams for:
- Skin irritation
- External hemorrhoids
- Anal fissures
- Blood in excretion
He will go ahead to perform rectal exams.
- Other necessary tests at the doctor’s request.
TREATMENT FOR PILES
This brings us back to the point: what is the best treatment for piles? The best treatment, however, depends on the patient or severity.
Treatments of piles differ and are of different kinds. These include the below:
- Home treatment or remedies
- Natural remedies
- Surgical procedures (if too severe).
Home Remedies And Treatment
- Take a sitz bath. A warm bath targets the area of the hemorrhoid condition. Purchase a plastic kit that fits over your toilet.
- Sit on a soft surface, rather than the hard one, to reduce swelling.
- Use an ice pack wrapped in a towel to ease discomfort.
- Properly clean your anus as well as after each bowel movement with damp toilet paper.
- Take pain relievers like Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or paracetamol.
- Try creams, ointments, or pads containing witch hazel or hydrocortisone.
- With washed hands, gently push a pile back inside.
- Do regular exercises.
- Cut down on alcohol and caffeine intake.
- Avoid laxatives.
- Avoid straining when paving.
- Avoid constipation through dieting.
- Consume more fiber.
- Take fiber supplements such as Metamucil (psyllium).
- Take stool softeners like Citrucel (methylcellulose).
- Drink lots of fluids, including (most especially) water.
The ‘Do Nots’ include:
- Never wipe your anus too hard after excreting.
- Never push too hard during defecation.
- Never ignore an urge to excrete feces.
- Never overstay in the toilet when defecating.
- Never take Ibuprofen if you have a bleeding pile.
- Do not take pain relievers that contain codeine, since they cause constipation.
- Avoid too much pepper in your food.
Natural Or Herbal Remedies
Natural medicine is one branch of medicine that had been sidelined over the years. This is probably because of its unreliable unit of measurement. Be it may, herbal medicine has continued to wax strong over the years with proof of intervention in some hopeless health situations.
Recent researches and scientific approaches in herbal medicine have given rise to herbal supplements from Switzerland, China, India, and Africa, as well as other parts of the globe. Today, stem cell has been used in finding solutions to multi disorders including hemorrhoids.
Food supplements have played a great role in nutrition, hence, overall human health. A great percentage of health disorders are a result of one deficiency or the other.
Stem cells have been reported to render a cure to piles. This may be due to its ability to replace dead cells, rejuvenate old cells, repair damaged cells, restore sick cells and replicate good cells.
The ability of a stem cell to take up the form of any cell in the body offers a great advantage in the body’s metabolic processes. Stem cells provide new cells for the body as it grows, and it replaces specialized cells that are damaged or lost. Two unique properties enable them to do this:
- Stem cells can divide over and over again to produce new cells.
- As they divide, they can change into the other types of cells that make up the body.
Some cells have the potential to develop into many different types of cells in the body. They serve as a repair system for the body. There are two types of stem cells: adult and embryonic.
The primary function of adult stem cells are:
- To maintain the steady-state functioning of a cell (homeostasis).
- To replace cells that die because of injury and disease.
Embryonic stem cells are the type of stem cells derived from embryos (4–5 days old). They have the ability for self-renewal and they differentiate into every type of cell in the body.
Stem cells are mystery cells of the body. They can give a lasting solution to hemorrhoids and their various discomforts.
Some effective medications which may be used to tackle piles include all of the below:
- Steroids modify and stimulate hormone effects, always to reduce inflammation or for tissue growth and repair. They include hydrocortisone, prednisolone, and fluocortolone.
- Local anesthetic blocks pain at and near the site of application, or along the nerve that is blocked. Fiber supplements containing psyllium, Estrella, or unprocessed bran, which can be effective in reducing bleeding, itching, pain, and prolapse.
- Warm water in a tub or sitz bath may be useful in reducing itching or pain.
- Dietary supplements are substances used to add nutrients to your diet or lower your health risk problems. They come in form of pills, capsules, powder, extracts, gel tablets, or liquids.
4) Medical Procedures
This is a non-surgical procedure and a hospital treatment. Your doctor will advise you on the best option. Such options may include all or some of the below:
- Rubber band ligation, in which an elastic is placed around your piles to make them drop off.
- Electrotherapy, where an electric current is gently applied to your piles to make them shrink.
- Sclerotherapy, in which a liquid is injected into the piles to make them shrink.
- Infra-red coagulation, where infrared light is used to cut the blood supply to your piles, making them shrink.
5) Surgical Method
The best procedure for the treatment of piles, so far, has been proven to be the surgical method of treatment, bringing us to the main point of this article.
Your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure to remove your hemorrhoids. This procedure may include one of the following options:
- Stapled hemorrhoidopexy, which involves stapling your piles back into your anus.
- Hemorrhoidal artery ligation, which involves cutting the blood supply to your piles with stitches, to make them shrink.
- Hemorrhoidectomy, which involves cutting and removing your piles.
Although surgery is the most preferred option, it is cost-intensive and involves higher risk. You may also need to stay in a hospital bed for more than a day.
Operation is usually done in a surgery center. Surgery can be done with a knife (medically known as scalpel), a tool that uses electricity (known by surgeons as cemetery pencil), or a laser.
- You are given general or spinal anesthesia so you don’t feel pain.
- The incision is made in the tissue around your piles.
- Swollen vein inside the piles is tied off to prevent bleeding.
- Piles are removed.
- The operation site is stitched up or left open.
- Medical gauze covers the wound.
Typical recovery takes about 2–3 weeks. After the surgery, when you are still under anesthesia, you will be given a long and active local anesthetic that will last 6–12 hours to provide pain relief after surgery.
You will be kept on the hospital bed until the following day until the effect of the anesthetic is over and you have urinated. Someone should drive you home.
Pain is likely after surgery, and you’ll be given some pain relief drugs to be taken as prescribed. Some bleeding is normal, especially with the first bowel movement after surgery.
Drink liquids and eat a blank diet (plain rice, dry toast or crackers, bananas, as well as applesauce) for a few days after surgery. Apply for numbing medicine before and after defecating, to relieve pain. Relieve pain and muscle spasms by frequent soaks in warm water or sitz bath.
Take antibiotics (such as metronidazole) after surgery, to prevent infection and reduce pain. You may take poop softeners to avoid straining during a bowel movement. Go for follow-up examinations, at least 2–3 weeks after surgery.
Long-term success depends on how well you can change your daily bowel habits to avoid constipation and straining. About five out of a hundred (5:100) people have hemorrhoids return after surgery.
Pain, bleeding and urinary retention are common side effects. Other related risks include the below:
- Anal bleeding.
- Infection of the surgical site.
- Blood collection in the surgical site.
- Inconsistency and lack of urine control.
- Fecal impaction or feces trapped in the anal canal.
- Stenosis of the anal canal.
- Rectal prolapse.
- Recurrence of piles.
- A fistula between the anal canal and another area.
Note that surgery is not recommended for small internal piles.
Hemorrhoids may reoccur after nonsurgical treatments take place, about 50% of the time, while there is only a 5% chance of piles reoccurring after surgery. So far, the death toll has not been associated with pikes, except linked with other medical complications.
However, two patients have sure after the operation (a rare case). The most frequent complications after the surgical procedures were pain (71%) and urinary retention (16.4%). Hemorrhages (heavy release of blood within or from the body) resulting in a re-operation occurred in only 1% of the cases.
COST OF PILE TREATMENT
The cost of this treatment ranges from $3000 to $6000. One may shop and compare prices to save costs or expenditures. But competent and reputable clinic should be able to be a guide. This cost includes an external and/or internal piles removal surgery for single or more columns/groups.