Hemorrhoids often called Piles, are swollen, enlarged veins that form internally inside the rectum or outside around the anus. They can be painful, uncomfortable and cause rectal bleeding, itching, pain, and serious discomfort. Hemorrhoids or Piles are more common as you age, affecting more than half of people over age 50.
Factors that make piles more likely include chronic constipation, pushing too hard while pooing, being overweight, and heavy lifting.
Hemorrhoids may be painful and particularly bothersome if they are recurrent, but they are not dangerous or life-threatening, and symptoms usually go away within a few days.
Rarely, people with hemorrhoids can develop anemia, infection, blood clots in external hemorrhoids, or skin tags.
Hemorrhoids often go away on their own without treatment. Symptoms like pain and bleeding may last one week or slightly longer. In the meantime, you can take these steps to ease symptoms:
- Apply over-the-counter medications containing lidocaine or hydrocortisone to the affected area
- Drink more water
- Increase fiber intake through diet and supplements
- Soak in a warm bath for 10 to 20 minutes a day