Piles: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, are swollen and inflamed veins located in the lower part of the rectum and anus. They can be internal, external, or both and can cause discomfort, pain, and bleeding during bowel movements. While piles are common, they can be embarrassing and difficult to discuss. However, understanding the causes, symptoms, and treatment options can help individuals manage this condition and reduce its impact on their daily lives.

Causes of Piles

Piles can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
  • Sitting for prolonged periods of time
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Obesity or being overweight
  • A family history of piles
  • Aging, as the tissues in the rectum and anus, weaken over time

Symptoms of Piles

The symptoms of piles can vary depending on the location and severity of the condition. Internal piles may not cause any symptoms at first, but as they grow larger, they can cause:

  • Bleeding during bowel movements
  • A feeling of fullness or discomfort in the rectum
  • A protrusion or lump that can be felt inside the anus
  • External piles can be more painful and uncomfortable and can cause:
  • Swelling and inflammation around the anus
  • Itching and irritation
  • Pain or discomfort during bowel movements
  • A lump or protrusion that can be felt outside the anus

In some cases, piles can also lead to complications such as blood clots or strangulated piles, which occur when the blood supply is cut off.

Treatment Options for Piles

There are various treatment options for piles, depending on the severity and location of the condition. Mild cases of piles can often be managed with lifestyle changes, such as:

  • Eating a high-fibre diet to prevent constipation
  • Drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Exercising regularly to improve bowel function
  • Avoiding straining during bowel movements
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers or topical creams to reduce inflammation and discomfort

For more severe cases of piles, medical interventions may be necessary. These can include:

  • Rubber band ligation, in which a small rubber band is placed around the base of the pile to cut off its blood supply
  • Sclerotherapy, in which a chemical is injected into the pile to shrink it
  • Infrared coagulation, in which a heat source is used to shrink the pile
  • Hemorrhoidectomy, in which the pile is surgically removed

In addition to these treatments, individuals can prevent piles from recurring, such as practising good hygiene, avoiding prolonged sitting or standing, and maintaining a healthy weight.


Piles can be a difficult and uncomfortable condition to manage, but with the right treatment options and lifestyle changes, individuals can reduce their symptoms and improve their quality of life. If you are experiencing symptoms of piles, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider to determine the best course of action. Individuals can regain control of their health and wellbeing by taking proactive steps to manage this condition.