Piles – symptoms, causes and treatment
Piles or haemorrhoids are among the most common ailments today, especially in the Western world. They are a varicose and often inflammed condition of the veins inside or just outside the rectum. In external piles there is a lot of pain, but not much bleeding. In case of internal piles there is discharge of dark blood. In some cases the veins burst and this results in what is known as bleeding piles.
Pain at passing stools, slight bleeding in the case of internal trouble and a feeling of soreness and irritation after passing a stool are the usual symptoms of piles. The patient cannot sit comfortably due to itching, discomfort and pain in the rectal region.
The primary cause of piles is chronic constipation and other bowel disorders. The pressure applied to pass a stool to evacuate constipated bowls and the congestion caused by constipation ultimately lead to piles. The use of purgatives to relieve constipation, by their irritating and weakening effect on the lining of the rectum, also result in enlargement and inflammation of veins and bleeding of the mucus lining. Piles are more common during pregnancy and in conditions affecting the liver and upper bowel. Prolonged periods of standing or sitting, strenuous work, obesity and general weakness of the tissues of the body are the other contributory causes of piles.
Mental tension is also one of the main causes of harmorrioids. Persons who are always in a hurry often strain while passing stools. They rush through defecation instead of making it a relaxed affair. The pressure thus exerted by the anal muscles affect the surrounding tissues. The extra rectal pressure and the resultant congestion of veins ultimately leads to haemorrhoids. There is probably a hereditary factor also involved in the development of piles.
The treatment of the basic cause, namely, chronic constipation, is the only way to get rid of the trouble. To begin with, the whole digestive tract must be given a complete rest for a few days and the intestines thoroughly cleansed. For this purpose the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for at least seven days. After the all-fruit diet, the patient may adopt a diet of natural foods aimed at securing soft stools.
The most important food remedy for piles is dry figs. Three or four figs should be soaked overnight in water after cleansing them thoroughly in hot water. They should be taken the first thing in the morning along with water in which they were soaked. They should also be taken in the evening in a similar manner. This treatment should be continued for three or four weeks. The tiny seeds of the fruit possess an excellent quality of stimulating peristalic movements of intestines. This facilitates easy evacuation of faeces and keeps the alimentary canal clean.
The pressure on the anus having thus been relieved, the haemorrhoids also get contracted. Mango seeds are regarded as an effective remedy for bleeding piles. The seeds should be collected during the mango season, dried in the shade and powdered and kept stored for use as medicine. It should be given in doses of about one and a half gram to two grams with or without honey.
The jambul fruit is another effective food remedy for bleeding piles. The fruit should be taken with salt every morning for two or three months in its season. The use of the fruit in this manner in every season will effect a radical cure and save the user from bleeding piles during his / her entire life.
White radish is considered highly valuable in the treatment of piles. Grated radish mixed with honey may be taken in this condition. This vegetable can also be taken in the form of juice mixed with a pinch of salt. It should be given in doses of 60 to 90 ml. in the morning and evening. White radish well ground into a paste in milk can also be beneficial applied over inflammed pile masses to relieve pain and swelling.
The patient should drink atleast six to eight glasses of water a day. He should avoid straining to pass a stool. Cold water treatment helps the veins to shrink and tones up their walls. The treatment is done by sitting in a tub filled with cold water for two minutes with knees drawn up to your chin. The water level should cover the hips. This should be done twice a day. Other water treatments beneficial in curing piles include cold perennial douche and cold compress applied to the rectal area for an hour before bed time.
A patient with piles must make an all out effort to tone up the entire system. Exercise plays an important corrective role in this condition. Movements which exercise the abdominal muscles will improve circulation in the rectal region and relieve congestion. Outdoor exercises such as walking and swimming are excellent methods of building up general health. Yogic kriyas like jalneti and vamandhouti and asanas such as sarvangasana,viparit karani, halasana,
gomukhasana are also useful. Sarvangasana is especially beneficial as it drains stagnant blood from the anus.