Piles are a common condition among adults that can cause a great deal of pain and discomfort. You cannot sit, you are itchy in embarrassing places, and going to the bathroom is unbearable.
So what are Piles?
Piles, also known as Hemorrhoids, are swollen veins in the lowest part of the rectum and anus. They can result in itchiness, irritation, bleeding, and severe pain while passing stools.
Swollen veins can develop from increased pressure in the lower rectum, usually due to chronic diarrhoea or constipation, straining when passing stools, straining when lifting heavy weights, and obesity.
There are several lifestyle changes that may be adopted to reduce the risk of piles returning or even developing in the first place. These include:
Add more fibre to your diet
Piles are more likely to occur in people who have irregular bowel movements (passing of stools). One of the easiest, most natural ways to have regular bowel movements is by adding fibre to your diet.
Eating more fibre softens the stool and increases its bulk, making it easier to pass. This helps prevent constipation and straining and reduces your risk of piles. Great food sources of fibre include fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
Drink enough water
Healthy stools are primarily made up of water. Drinking enough water helps your stool stay soft, prevents constipation and therefore decreases straining, reducing your risk of piles.
Alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks (tea, coffee, and colas) should be avoided as these may cause constipation.
Don’t delay going to the toilet
If you need to use the toilet, do so right away. This is one of the simplest ways to prevent piles.
If you delay using the bathroom, your stool may become hard and dry. This is because your intestines extract water from stool, and if it sits there long enough, it dries and is harder to push out. If you strain to pass stools, your risk of piles increases.
Don’t force a bowel movement when you don’t need to go. Relax and give yourself time to let things happen naturally. Straining and pushing too hard when trying to pass a stool creates extra pressure in the veins in the lower rectum, and is one of the most common causes of painful or bleeding piles.
Excessive straining is usually the result of constipation. But other situations can cause straining too, such as lifting heavy objects, a chronic cough, or even pregnancy.
Don’t take too long in the bathroom
Avoid reading while sitting on the toilet. Keep magazines and mobiles out of your bathroom. These can cause you to stay on the toilet longer than you normally would.
The more time you spend on the toilet, the more likely you will strain for passing stools. Moreover, the seated position puts more pressure on the veins in your lower rectum. Both these factors can increase your risk of piles. Therefore, get off the toilet as soon as you have finished.
Being overweight can increase your chance of developing piles. Exercise helps you lose excess weight. It also helps keep your bowel movements more regular and prevents constipation, thereby reducing the risk of piles.
However, you need to be careful about doing physically hard activities, like weightlifting, which increase abdominal pressure or straining and may lead to the formation of piles. If you have a history of piles, choose more moderate exercises such as yoga, swimming, or walking.
In addition to exercising regularly, try to spend less time sitting, especially in the workplace, and be more active. This can reduce pressure on the veins in your lower rectum and lessen the chance of piles.
Disclaimer: All material on Hidoc.co is provided for informational purposes only and should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical or health advice. Always seek the advice of your physician for any questions regarding your symptoms or medical condition and before taking any home remedies or supplements.