What Are Piles? Everything You Need To Know About Hemorrhoids


Contributed by: Priyaish Srivastava


Hemorrhoids, commonly known as piles, is a condition in which the tissues of your anal region swell and form lumps surrounding it. These lumps can appear on either the interior or exterior surface of the anus.


What are the types of hemorrhoids?

It may be essential to ascertain the type of hemorrhoids to implement the correct treatment. 

There are four types of hemorrhoids:


  • Internal hemorrhoids
  • External hemorrhoids
  • Prolapsed hemorrhoids
  • Thrombosed hemorrhoids


Internal hemorrhoids

Also known as first-grade hemorrhoids, internal hemorrhoids are the most common type of hemorrhoids and can develop anywhere in the anal canal between 2 and 4 cm. These hemorrhoids aren’t particularly dangerous and can go away on their own without medical help. Because the rectum lacks a pain-detecting nerve, internal hemorrhoids go unnoticed, however, the symptoms are sufficient to confirm the presence of internal hemorrhoids

Symptoms of internal hemorrhoids


  • Internal hemorrhoids can cause pain or discomfort when you poop
  • Itching or burning in the anus area


External hemorrhoids

The external hemorrhoids occur as a lump on the surface of the anus from where the bowel movement takes place. Also termed as second-grade hemorrhoids, they can be felt when touched as they swell and can even cause a blood clot. Similar to internal hemorrhoids, external hemorrhoids may also not cause any serious problem but can be painful.

Symptoms of external hemorrhoids


  • Discomfort in doing physical activities
  • Itching around the anus area
  • Lumps near the anus area
  • Blood when using a toilet paper


Prolapsed hemorrhoids

Prolapsed hemorrhoids are an extension of internal hemorrhoids. They’re also known as third-grade hemorrhoids, and they appear as bloated red lumps on the outside of the anus.

Symptoms of prolapsed hemorrhoids


  • You may feel a lump near your anus due to the swollen vein and it can be tender to the touch
  • It may cause bright red or watery bleeding during bowel movements
  • You may feel extreme itchiness
  • May cause discomfort while sitting or doing any other physical activity


Thrombosed hemorrhoids

A thrombosed hemorrhoid is a blood clot that occurs near the anus region. Also termed fourth-grade hemorrhoids, it originates from the word thrombosis which means a blood clot. Thrombosed hemorrhoids are not considered a non-serious condition and may require medical attention at the earliest. If not treated properly, they may cause abscesses (a painful collection of pus caused due to bacterial infection) and additional symptoms like fever.

Symptoms of thrombosed hemorrhoids


  • Pain in passing stool, sitting, or walking
  • Itching and swelling around the anus
  • Bleeding when passing stool


What causes piles?

Piles may mainly occur due to pressure or strain exerted on the anus during bowel movement which causes the veins to swell and make lumps around the area. It can also occur if you have complaints regarding diarrhea or constipation. Although it is not a genetic disorder, there is a risk that you will develop it if someone in your family has had a history of piles.

Some other causes of piles are:

Practicing a low fiber diet: It causes pressure during bowel movement and may swell the blood vessels causing lumps. 

  • The right way: Consume high-fiber foods, such as broccoli, beans, avocados, whole grains, apples, and dry fruits.


An overweight body may also prompt the condition.

  • The right way: Regular exercise and healthy eating habits may eliminate the chances of obesity, thus greatly reducing the risks of piles


Sitting on the toilet for prolonged periods may also increase the pressure on your anus blood vessels and may cause prolapsed hemorrhoids.


Both acute and chronic diarrhea (watery and loose stools) may also cause the condition.


Pregnancy: The growing uterus may exert pressure on the veins.


Treatment of piles

The Indian Journal of Surgeries published research in 2017 that half the men and women in India above the age of 50 may develop symptoms of hemorrhoids. If left untreated, the symptoms will worsen and may lead to serious problems. A balanced diet and over-the-counter (OTC) medications may not be enough in some situations, necessitating prompt diagnosis and treatment.  In maximum cases, the surgeries are effective and safe but you still need to consult with your doctor about which surgery you should go for.


Hemorrhoidectomy is the surgical procedure for eliminating hemorrhoids. It’s a minor procedure in which your doctor administers local or general anesthetic before removing hemorrhoids. This operation is usually a same-day procedure without the need for overnight hospitalization.


Stapled hemorrhoidectomy

This technique, also known as PPH (Prolapse and Hemorrhoidectomy), entails relocating hemorrhoids and cutting off their blood supply to guarantee that they die.


Hemorrhoidal Artery Ligation & Recto Anal Repair (HAL – RAL)

This is a painless procedure in which the doctor implants a tiny Doppler sensor in the anus to locate and shut off the blood flow to the hemorrhoids by tying the artery. 


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