Dos & Don'ts for Piles
About Piles or Hemorrhoids:
Piles or hemorrhoids are basically collections of inflamed tissues in the anal canal. They contain muscles, blood vessels, elastic fibers, and support tissue. Piles can either be internal or external, and can be further classified into 4 grades. Internal piles, which are very common, are normally located 2 to 4 cms. above the opening of the anus, while external piles are placed on the outer edge of the anus. Knowing the dos and don’ts for piles can help in better management, which then helps in faster recovery.
Dos & Don'ts for Piles
Before we move to the dos and don’ts for piles, it is important to understand the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment for piles. Generally, the symptoms of piles are not serious and normally resolve on their own in a few days. Some of these symptoms are redness, itchiness and soreness around the anus, painful defecation, bloody stool, a feeling of fullness of the bowels even after passing stool, and presence of a hard and painful lump around the anus. When the problem of piles escalates, more severe symptoms like fecal incontinence, infections, anal fistula, excessive anal bleeding, and a strangulated hemorrhoid, appear.
For diagnosing piles, the doctor may physically examine the patient’s anus and also ask them about their symptoms and family history of piles. The doctor may use a proctoscope or order for a digital rectal examination (DRE) to diagnose internal piles. In cases where the symptoms indicate the presence of another digestive system disorder, the doctor may also decide to conduct a colonoscopy.
Piles mostly resolve without any treatment. However, certain treatments can help to reduce the itching and discomfort experienced by piles patients, to a great extent. Doctors too advise certain dos and don’ts for piles, which help prevent complications. For managing piles, the doctor initially recommends the patient to make certain lifestyle changes like exercising regularly and eating a fiber centric diet. They may then prescribe certain laxatives, corticosteroids, or over-the-counter medications, like painkillers, creams, ointments and pads, which could help to ease the symptoms and control piles.
Other treatments for managing piles are banding, sclerotherapy, infrared coagulation, hemorrhoidectomy, and hemorrhoid stapling. Piles can become serious when complications like fistula, develop. Advanced piles are normally treated surgically through outpatient procedures. Surgical intervention becomes necessary for 1 in 10 people with piles. Along with these treatments, the piles patients can also follow certain dos and don’ts to relieve the symptoms and manage their conditions better.
Dos for Piles
As the type and grade may vary it is important to follow medical advice and any treatment given. Nevertheless, these dos for piles do help in better management.
Piles patients should:
- Consume a roughage-rich, high-fiber diet containing loads of green leafy vegetable, fruits and bran based breakfast cereals. Chew food properly
- Dietary factors play an important role in the dos for piles.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids to prevent constipation.
- Lose extra weight. Being overweight can increase the severity of piles.
- Work out regularly as regular exercises help in better digestion and can prevent constipation. This is one of the most important dos for piles. During pregnancy, piles patients should exercise under medical guidance and supervision.
- Take hot baths to relieve the pain and itchiness.
- Replace rough toilet paper with moist wipes.
- Take proper medications to control chronic cough. Another important dos for piles include preventing and treating such conditions that can cause pressure or strain on the abdomen and rectum.
- Always consult a doctor and follow their advice.
Don’ts for Piles
Some of the most important don’ts for piles are as follows,
Piles patients should not:
- Sit on the toilet seat for long durations. This can increase strain on piles and worsen them. Hence, as one of the essential don’ts for piles, it is best to avoid any activity that exerts pressure on the rectum.
- Strain at stool or while urination. This is one of the most important don’ts for piles.
- Sit for long periods at work. They should get up and move around, frequently.
- Lift or hold heavy objects. Whenever lifting heavy weights, piles patients should not hold their breath and should exhale normally. It increases pressure on the abdomen and can worsen piles, hence one of the don’s for piles.
- Overuse enemas or laxatives.
- Ignore the urge for bowel movements.
- Gulp and swallow their food. This is included in the don’ts for piles, as it can affect digestion and worsen constipation or straining when passing stool.
- Eat spicy and hot curries, nor consume excess coffee and alcohol
- Eat very salty foods and red meats like mutton.
- Sit on the floor. Some people may be sensitive to damp and cold floors, which must be avoided as one of the important don’ts for piles.
While they can be painful and debilitating, mild to moderate cases of piles can be managed well with medical treatment while severe ones may need surgery. The dos and don’ts for piles are useful with any type of treatment as they can help prevent complications to a great extent. By practicing the above mentioned dos and don’ts, piles patients can manage their condition, more effectively.