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.
What are Piles?
Piles, also known as Haemorrhoids, are swollen veins in and around the anus and in the lower rectum. They may result in itching, 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, sitting or standing for long periods, obesity, and pregnancy.
One of the best ways to prevent piles is to keep your stools soft, so they pass easily without any straining. Here are some simple lifestyle changes that you can make to prevent piles from developing:
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, beans, lentils, seeds, nuts, and whole grains (brown rice, oatmeal etc.).
Drink enough water
Healthy stools are primarily made up of water. Drinking enough water helps your stool stay soft and prevents constipation, and therefore decreases straining, reducing your risk of piles.
Also, limit your intake of alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks (tea, coffee, and colas), 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 yourself to pass stools. 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 also cause straining and may result in piles, 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 and around your anus. Both of these factors can increase your risk of piles.
Therefore, get off the toilet as soon as you have finished.
Avoid sitting for long periods
Constantly sitting for long periods of time puts a lot of pressure on the veins of your anus, which can cause piles to form.
Therefore, whether you are sitting all day at work or in front of your TV, take breaks, move about, and be more active.
Being overweight can increase your chances 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 some weightlifting exercises, 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.
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.