Thursday, April 16, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

All that bleeds is not piles!

In the recent years, there is a rise in the number of people suffering from piles, a condition medically termed as hemorrhoids. Proportionately, there is a hike in the advertisements in different media on various patent products that are supposed to cure piles. But the fact is, majority of the piles patients we come across are self diagnosed cases. Most of them suffer from occasional burning pains or soreness in the anal region and diagnose themselves as piles without a medical consultation. Thereafter, they go on taking patent preparations over the counter without a doctor’s prescription.

Piles is actually a dilated & tortuous hemorrhoidal plexus, i.e. veins in the anal region that drain impure blood to rectal veins. Piles can be either external piles or internal piles. External piles is painful and seen outside the anal orifice, whereas internal one is painless and not visible outside initially. But when the condition progresses, the internal piles comes out while defecating and goes back automatically after; later on it is protruded permanently. Depending upon bleeding, piles can be either bleeding piles or non-bleeding piles. Non-bleeding piles is also called as blind piles. In case of bleeding piles the blood comes in splashes just before defecation.

Many of the cases that are self diagnosed as piles are actually anal fissure or erosion in anal orifice due to various causes. In case of anal fissure, the patient get bleeding while defecation and the blood comes in strings along with the stool. Here, the pain will be more if the stools are very dry due to constipation and fewer intakes of water and fibrous diet.

Rectal bleeding should not be ignored as few cases of bleeding associated with altered bowel habit may be due to some life threatening conditions such as rectal cancer. Hence it is mandatory to go for a consultation before self-diagnosing all bleeding cases as piles.

Food items like prawns, crabs, lobsters, oysters, chicken, hens egg etc should be refrained in all rectal diseases. Avoid sitting in toilet for a long time as it can predispose weakness of muscles and stagnation of blood in rectal vessels. Drink plenty of water and take vegetables, fruits and fibrous diet in adequate quantity to make bowel movement easy and regular. Finally, whenever you suffer from any sort of symptoms such as pain, soreness, bleeding or swelling in the anal region, consult your doctor for correct diagnosis and suitable management.

Dr Muhammed Rafeeque