Suffering from symptoms of piles? It is nothing to be ashamed of

Dr Murtaza Pithawala/Dubai
Filed on April 17, 2017

5 per cent of the general population suffers from hemorrhoids but less than one-third see a doctor for evaluation.

Hemorrhoids, also known as piles, affect a sizeable number of the general population. But most of them choose to suffer the symptoms in silence so as to avoid the so-called 'embarrassment' they would face on visiting a doctor or for the fear of a surgery. Postponing treatment for symptomatic hemorrhoids not only helps them grow but timely intervention may help reduce or regress them, usually without a surgery.

Approximately 5 per cent of the general population suffers from hemorrhoids but less than one-third see a doctor for evaluation.

Hemorrhoids can be of two types, internal and external. They present with different set of symptoms. Internal hemorrhoids usually present with discomfort, itching, pain or bleeding. External present with a lump around the anal margin which may be painful. Internal hemorrhoids are graded according to their size, which decide their treatment.

Most people suffering from hemorrhoids early on have minimal symptoms, such as mild discomfort or itching, to begin with. This usually lasts for a short time but has a knack of appearing at the most inopportune time, like in the middle of a meeting. It is at this stage that hemorrhoids can be best treated with simple measures and medicines, but is ignored by the patient. Others may pass fresh blood during passage of stools, which hastens an early visit to the doctor. As the stage progresses, the symptoms worsen, and this is when most would seek a consultation but it may be a too late for medical therapy alone.

The commonest reasons for hemorrhoids are constipation and excessive straining while passing stools. Some patients may present in an acute stage with painful,

prolapsed hemorrhoids which more often than not mandates a surgical treatment.

High fibre diet which would include vegetables, fruits, salads in your meals regularly with a generous intake of water work very well in preventing constipation and, in turn, hemorrhoids. Regular exercise helps regulate ones bowel movements and in turn prevents hemorrhoids.

There are a myriad of treatments available for hemorrhoids depending on the severity of symptoms and the grade of disease. The number of surgeries for hemorrhoids has seen a gradual fall over the years due to effectiveness of newer treatments, such as laser. The more debilitating, painful and scarier option of open surgery has given way to less painful, minimally invasive surgeries such as the THD (transanal hemorrhoidal dearterializsation) which ensures a quick recovery with an early return to normal life and work, sometimes even within a few days.

Here at Zulekha hospital, we have a systematic, grade-related approach to treating hemorrhoids. We also have the whole gamut of treatment options available at our disposal to best suit each and every individual patient according to their condition.

Following a healthy balanced diet, having plenty of fluids in a day and regular exercise helps best in preventing and managing early hemorrhoids. And for those that still suffer, an early visit may help in preventing an unwanted and avoidable surgery.

Dr Murtaza Pithawala; MS, DNB, MRCS (UK), FNB specialist general surgeon, advanced laparoscopy & bariatric (Obesity) surgery Zulekha Hospital, Dubai

(This article is sponsored by the advertiser)

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