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1. What are haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids, commonly referred to as piles, are the enlarged and bulging blood vessels in the anal region or lower rectum.
2. What are the commonly experienced symptoms of haemorrhoids?
The symptoms are based on the type.
- External haemorrhoids: Itching, pain, discomfort, swelling and bleeding in the anus.
- Internal haemorrhoids: It lies inside the rectum and does not cause any discomfort. Blood in the stools may be observed.
- Thrombosed haemorrhoids: Blood pools and clots in the anus, causing swelling, pain, inflammation and lumps in the anus.
3. What are the factors that may cause haemorrhoids?
The leading causes include constipation, straining while passing stool and sitting in toilet for a prolonged time. These factors interfere with the blood flow to and from the anus and blood pools causing enlarged blood vessels. It has been found that smooth muscles of the anus are tighter in certain individuals causing haemorrhoids. Pregnancy, heredity and ageing may also cause haemorrhoids.
4. Is it necessary to consult a doctor for haemorrhoids?
Piles often get better on its own after a few days and do not need any treatment. However, if it does not improve after a week of home care and if you observe blood in stools, it is time to consult your doctor. The doctor may prescribe medicines and other measures to treat piles.
5. How are haemorrhoids diagnosed?
The diagnosis involves a physical examination and medical history. External haemorrhoids may be identified easily due to the presence of clots. The doctor may perform a digital rectal examination to check for the presence of blood in the stool. The anal canal may be examined using an instrument called anoscope. Colonoscopy is performed to rule out any other cause of bleeding in the rectum.