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Bleeding Haemorrhoids (Piles): Symptoms, Prevention And Ways To Manage It

Every year, 20 November is observed as World Piles Day, with the aim of spreading awareness about haemorrhoids (piles). There is not much information regarding the origin and creation of the day, but healthcare organisations and hospitals observe the day to spread awareness on one of the most common conditions affecting both men and women.

Also termed as piles, haemorrhoids is the thickening of the blood vessels in the anus which leads to swelling or itchiness in the rectum or anus. This can lead to severe pain while passing stools. Haemorrhoids can be of two types, namely, internal haemorrhoid and external haemorrhoid. Most people suffer from a single type of piles at a given time, while some can suffer from both [1] .

According to a survey, an estimated 40,723,288 patients are suffering from piles or haemorrhoids in India and each year, more than a million new cases are reported. 3 out of 4 adults will develop haemorrhoids at some point in their lives. However, that does not state that one will develop haemorrhoids only once in their lifetime.

Both internal and external haemorrhoids can become thrombosed haemorrhoids and although are not serious, can cause severe pain and inflammation. And also, internal, external, and thrombosed haemorrhoids can all bleed [2] [3] .

In the current article, we will take a look at bleeding haemorrhoids and the ways to manage it.

What Are Bleeding Haemorrhoids?

Bleeding haemorrhoids usually occur after a bowel movement. That is, straining to pass a hard stool can damage the surface of the haemorrhoid and cause bleeding. Both internal and external haemorrhoids can become bleeding haemorrhoids [4] .

Symptoms Of Bleeding Haemorrhoids

When the haemorrhoid breaks, you are likely to see traces or streaks of blood on the tissue after wiping. These small amounts of blood may be visible in the toilet bowl, or in the stool itself.

The blood from bleeding haemorrhoids is bright red in colour. If the blood is deep dark in colour, you must go to a doctor immediately because it might be an indication of gastrointestinal tract-related problems [5] . Or it could be from a thrombosed haemorrhoid.

How To Manage Bleeding Haemorrhoids?

Medical treatments for bleeding haemorrhoids depend on symptom severity and whether the haemorrhoid is internal or external. Treatment options for internal haemorrhoids are as follows [6] :

  • Infrared photocoagulation, where a laser is used to shrink and remove the damaged haemorrhoid
  • Rubber band ligation, which includes placing a small band at the base of the internal haemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply. The haemorrhoid usually falls off around 5-7 days later
  • Sclerotherapy where chemicals are injected into the haemorrhoids

Treatment options for external haemorrhoids are as follows [7] :

  • In-office removal, where a doctor can remove haemorrhoid by numbing the area with a local anaesthetic, then cutting the haemorrhoid away
  • Haemorrhoidectomy, which is an extensive surgical procedure

For minor bleeding, you can do the following to manage the inflammation [8] :

  • Use moist wipes
  • Take a sitz bath with Epsom salts
  • Use a cold pack
  • Avoid straining or sitting on the toilet for long periods of time

Prevention Of Bleeding Haemorrhoids

Limiting the onset of haemorrhoids can help prevent bleeding haemorrhoids from developing. Healthcare experts recommend the following tips to promote bowel movement and thereby prevent piles [9] [10] .

  • Take a fibre supplement once or twice daily.
  • Drink between eight and 10 glasses of water daily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects.
  • Gradually increase intake of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and other sources of dietary fibre.
  • Take a stool softener.

Note: Before making any changes in your daily diet, you may discuss with a dietician or your doctor.

View Article References
  1. [1] Lohsiriwat, V. (2015). Treatment of hemorrhoids: A coloproctologist’s view. World Journal of Gastroenterology: WJG, 21(31), 9245.
  2. [2] Luchtefeld, M., & Hoedema, R. E. (2016). Hemorrhoids. In The ASCRS Textbook of Colon and Rectal Surgery (pp. 183-203). Springer, Cham.
  3. [3] Ratto, C., Parello, A., & Litta, F. (Eds.). (2018). Hemorrhoids. Springer.
  4. [4] Higuero, T., Abramowitz, L., Castinel, A., Fathallah, N., Hemery, P., Duhoux, C. L., ... & Staumont, G. (2016). Guidelines for the treatment of hemorrhoids. Journal of visceral surgery, 153(3), 213-218.
  5. [5] Cintron, J., Abcarian, A. M., Abcarian, H., Makiewicz, K., & Brand, M. I. (2017). Hemorrhoids. In Complications of Anorectal Surgery (pp. 61-108). Springer, Cham.
  6. [6] Mott, T., Latimer, K., & Edwards, C. (2018). Hemorrhoids: Diagnosis and Treatment Options. American family physician, 97(3).
  7. [7] Wilson, M. Z., & Notaro, J. R. (2019). Management of Hemorrhoids. In Clinical Algorithms in General Surgery (pp. 289-291). Springer, Cham.
  8. [8] Piskun, G., Gutelius, P., & Shikhman, O. (2018). U.S. Patent No. 9,883,879. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
  9. [9] Pillant-Le Moult, H., Aubert, M., & De Parades, V. (2015). Classical treatment of hemorrhoids. Journal of visceral surgery, 152(2), S3-S9.
  10. [10] Jacobs, D. O. (2018). Hemorrhoids: what are the options in 2018?. Current opinion in gastroenterology, 34(1), 46-49.

Story first published: Wednesday, November 20, 2019, 10:29 [IST]
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