Bleeding piles, medically known as haemorrhoids, are a prevalent ailment and can be caused by many factors. Piles is a highly uncomfortable condition caused by various factors ranging from hereditary to severe constipation. The vein lining of the anal canal and lower rectum swell up, making it difficult for the bowel movement and eventually bleeding.

Piles are not troublesome and fade away on their own after a few days. But, we should not ignore them as they increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This can occur in any age group, but Piles can affect anyone, mainly oldsters and pregnant ladies. Bleeding piles in their initial stage can be treated at home by maintaining a proper diet and minimal medical interventions.

Ayurvedic treatment for piles

  • Medical supervision (Bheshaja Chikitsa)

This method of treatment is effective for treating first-degree haemorrhoids. In higher levels of piles, it may be used in conjunction with other procedures. After determining the dosha predominance, this treatment is administered. One of the best ayurvedic medicines for piles and fissure is the application of jathyadi taila. The oil has an excellent wound healing property.

  • Operative management (Sastra Chikitsa) – Kshara-sutra therapy application.

In this procedure, haemorrhoids are tied off at the base (pedicle) with Kshara-sutra (a specially processed thread laced with medicines). It immediately cuts off blood supply to the respective pile mass using the principle of pressure necrosis. As a result, the haemorrhoids eventually shrink, shrivel up, die, and fall off within ten days, leaving some scar tissue that supports the corresponding veins in that area and prevents them from bulging further.

  • Ayurvedic Kshara application (caustics made of Ayurvedic herbs)

It is an Ayurvedic non-surgical procedure for the treatment of haemorrhoids. Using a special slit proctoscope, a medicine (alkaline in nature) derived from various herbs is applied to the pile mass. It’s a form of chemical cauterization. The use of kshara is thought to be superior to other methods of treating haemorrhoids or piles.

  • Agnikarma or Cauterisation

Agnikarma is shastra karma (surgical procedure) explained in Ayurveda. Also known as thermal cautery, it is suitable for excising sentinel piles and anal warts.

Piles are classified into four grades:

Grade I: In the grade 1 stage, the inflammation is present inside the linings of the anus, which is not visible. Therefore, the condition is easily treatable.

Grade II: Even though the condition is worse than grade 1, the pile mass remains inside the anus. While passing the stools, these get pushed out, but they return unaided.

Grade III: They appear outside the anus and are commonly known as prolapsed haemorrhoids. The patient might feel them hanging from the rectum, but they can be easily re-inserted after evacuation.

Grade IV: These permanently remains outside the rectum. The pile mass cannot be pushed back in and need immediate medical intervention.  External piles form small lumps outside the anus and are extremely itchy with severe pain and bleeding. These thrombosed external piles need to be immediately treated.

What are the causes of haemorrhoids?

In most significant cases, piles occur due to increased pressure in the anal region. Additionally, the blood vessels around the anus and in the rectum will stretch under pressure, resulting in swelling, which leads to piles.

The leading causes that contribute to this condition are:

– Chronic constipation
– Chronic diarrhoea
– Lifting heavyweights
– Pregnancy
– Straining during the evacuation of stool

What are the symptoms of haemorrhoids?

Most of the time, the symptoms of bleeding piles may not be severe. They usually resolve on their own in a few days without any treatment.

Common symptoms include –

-A stiff, possibly painful lump may be felt around the anus.
-It might contain coagulated blood. These are called thrombosed external haemorrhoids.
-After clearing the bowels, an individual feels the urge to evacuate or heaviness in the abdomen
-Bright red blood is visible after passing stools or along with the stools
-Itchiness in the anal region
-The anal region becomes red in colour and sore in texture
-Difficulty and pain during the passing of a stool

In extremely severe conditions, symptoms are –

-Excessive anal bleeding, possibly leading to anaemia
-Faecal incontinence, or an inability to control bowel movements
-Anal fistula

Lifestyle changes for the management of piles

Erratic dietary habits and uncontrolled body weight adds to the risk of developing piles. Consumption of fibre rich foods helps easy evacuation of bowel movements, prevents constipation and helps to keep the stools regular and soft. Maintaining an optimum weight reduce the incidence and severity of the disease.

Do’s and Don’ts for Hemorrhoids or Piles

-Hydrate well with fluids and add adequate fibres to the diet
-Exercise regularly without fail. Walking is one of the best choices
-Follow regular timing for the diet
-Maintain an optimum weight
-Chew the food properly, which enable better digestion
-Try to have light meals which are easy to digest
-You should cut foods that are spicy and oily
-Include good sources of fibre ; whole-grain or bran, cereals, fresh leafy vegetables and fruits.
-Take warm sitz baths at home and always keep the anal region clean

-Avoid sitting too much on a hard surface as it can restrict blood flow around the anal area
-Do not strain or sit in the toilet for long periods. Sitting in the same position can cause extra pressure on the anal area
-Avoid taking excess caffeine, tea and other beverages.
-Don’t lift heavy objects, or even if you lift, please be aware of the body
-Don’t take laxatives regularly