Piles or more commonly called hemorrhoids are swollen tissues that contain veins and usually appear in the wall of the rectum and anus. They may bleed albeit minor or even develop blood clots. Hemorrhoids would develop when tissues enlarge, weaken and come free of their supporting structure. They appear as a sac like bulge extending in to the anal area. Piles are very common with approximately 86% of people would develop them during their lifetime. Piles may occur at any age, although more common in older people and pregnant women.
What Causes Bleeding Piles?
Internal piles are covered by a mucus membrane; while external piles are covered by a very thin layer of skin. Either of these coverings is easily damaged by any sort of trauma. This includes twisting, rough handling (passing a hard stool, bike riding, and hard wiping), and excessive pressure. When this happens, it will cause a tear in the membrane that causes bleeding, resulting bleeding piles.
Bleeding piles normally will amount to no more than a teaspoon of blood, although in the toilet this will appear to much more. Excessive blood loss from bleeding piles is not common; however, if it happens it can lead to anemia, or could become life threatening.
When to See a Doctor
A small emission of bright red blood, without pain, after a bowel movement where the blood is not mixed with the stool is a sign of an internal hemorrhoid. This is not considered a serious issue; however, if this is the first time it has happened, you should contact your doctor to confirm it is indeed a hemorrhoid. If bleeding continues, visit your doctor as continued blood loss could lead to anemia.
Also if blood loss causes weakness or dizziness, infection, pain continues for more than a week, bleeding not brought on by bowel movement, blood that is dark in color, or bleeding that is recurrent should all be brought to your doctor’s attention. These situations could indicate another issue higher in the colon. Also contact your doctor for symptoms of hemorrhoids in children under 12 years.
How to Deal With Bleeding Piles?
Bleeding piles can be extremely painful, so it is important that you pay special attention to and take some measures to stop the bleeding so that the piles can begin to heal.
Home Remedies for Bleeding Piles
1. Do not scratch: Although the urge to stop the itch may seem overwhelming, scratching the area will only lead to more bleeding, possible infection, and will only provide very temporary relief followed by greater pain later.
2. Soak in a warm bath: Fill the tub with lukewarm water and soak for about 15 minutes. The warm soak will sooth and calm some of the inflammation of the piles. This will also reduce bleeding incidents and keep the area clean to avoid infections.
3. Try sitz baths: A sitz bath is a device that fits over your toilet. This will provide a stream of water to the inflamed area providing relief. This is just the same as a warm tub and will reduce bleeding incidents and keep the area clean.
4. Apply hemorrhoid topical creams: Use of creams and ointments for hemorrhoids not only reduce pain but also treat inflammation. Make sure you use products that can be used while bleeding and follow the instructions carefully and do not deviate.
5. Try a cold compress: Cold compresses applied to the anus will help reduce irritation as well as allowing the body to start healing the area. This will also assist in reducing lesions, tissue inflammation, and minimize bleeding.
6. Use moistened towelettes: Use towelettes that contain aloe or other cooling substances. Even the softest s toilet paper can cause abrasions leading to bleeding. If a moist towelette is not available, use a cloth (with tepid not hot water) and blot the area. Do not rub!
Here are some more home remedies for bleeding piles:
Medical Treatments for Bleeding Piles
Surgery called hemorrhoidectomy is reserved for only the most severe cases. It is the complete removal of internal hemorrhoids and is done under a general anesthesia. Forthrombosed external hemorrhoids, a local anesthetic is used. These options can only be done with thrombosed (clotted) hemorrhoids in the prior 72 hours.
Other options such as rubber band ligation, lasers, infrared light, cold and heat may also be used to kill off the hemorrhoid. These options are less invasive than a hemorrhoidectomy although they do involve some discomfort.
How to Prevent Piles
The easiest way to prevent hemorrhoids is to avoid hard stool. To avoid hemorrhoids and their symptoms follow these steps:
- Eat foods high in fiber: Increase your intake of whole grains, vegetables, and fruits. This will increase bulk and keep your stool soft, helping to prevent straining that can cause or worsen hemorrhoids. However, increase your fiber slowly to avoid excessive gas.
- Drink adequate fluids: Drinking the proper amount of water and other non-alcoholic fluids each day will assist in keeping stool soft. It is recommended to drink six to eight glasses of liquid each day.
- Just let it go: If you are holding your breath and straining to pass a stool, it causes greater amounts of pressure in the veins in your lower rectum. If you feel the need to have a bowel movement, go then. By holding it in and waiting, it could become harder to pass.
- Stay active: Staying active and exercising helps to prevent constipation. Also this will help you to maintain or lose weight and will reduce pressure on veins.
- Keep the anal area clean: Bathing (best method) or showering daily to keep the anus area clean. Wash gently with warm water as soaps or alcohol based products may aggravate the issue. It is best to dry the area with a hair dryer after bathing and toweling the rest of your body.