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WHAT ARE PILES?
Also called haemorrhoids, piles are swollen, inflamed veins in your anus and lower rectum.2
ARE THERE DIFFERENT KINDS OF PILES?
Yes. They may be located inside the rectum (internal haemorrhoids) or they may develop under the skin around the anus (external haemorrhoids).2
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PILES?
Symptoms may include:2
- Itching, irritation or swelling around the anus.
- Pain or discomfort.
- A lump near the anus. (May be sensitive or painful).
- The presence of small amounts of bright red blood during bowel movements, or on the toilet paper you’ve used.
- Leaking of faeces.
WHAT CAUSES PILES?
Veins around the anus tend to stretch or swell under pressure. Increased pressure could be due to:
- Straining during bowel movements
- Sitting on the toilet for long periods of time
- Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
- Anal intercourse
- A diet low in fibre
HOW ARE PILES TREATED?
Over-the counter creams, ointments or suppositories may be prescribed. Over-use of certain products for more than a week may cause inflammation and skin thinning.
Blood clots may need to be removed with a simple incision. Other procedures include rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy or coagulation techniques. Surgery may be required.
THERE ARE NATURAL NON-SURGICAL TREATMENTS AVAILABLE
WHAT ARE VARICOSE VEINS?
Varicose veins are veins under the skin that have become enlarged, bulging and twisted.1 While any vein can become varicose, this condition is commonly found in the legs and feet.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT KINDS OF VARICOSE VEINS?
No, however spider veins are similar to varicose veins, but smaller. They are found closer to the surface of the skin and are often red or blue.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF VARICOSE VEINS?
Symptoms may include:1
- Veins that are dark purple or blue in colour
- Veins that look twisted or bulging
- An aching or heavy feeling in the legs
- Burning, throbbing or cramping muscles in the lower legs, with pain worsening after you’ve sat or stood for a long time
- Itching around one or more of the veins
- Bleeding from these veins
- A painful ‘cord’ present in the pain, with red discolouration of the skin
- Colour changes, hardening of the vein, inflammation of the skin or skin ulcers near the ankle could indicate a more serious vascular disease that requires medical attention.
WHAT CAUSES VARICOSE VEINS?
Age: as you get older, your veins lose their elasticity. They stretch. Valves in your veins could weaken, allowing blood that should be moving towards your heart, to flow backwards. This blood pools in your veins, the veins stretch and become varicose. The blue colour is due to the fact that those veins contain blood without oxygen.
Pregnancy: when you’re pregnant, the volume of blood in your body is increased, but the blood flow from your legs to your pelvis is decreased. The side effect of this process may be enlarged veins in your legs. Varicose veins developing during pregnancy generally resolve on their own, without treatment.
Hormonal changes: women are more prone to varicose veins. Hormonal changes may play a role, and taking hormone replacement therapy or birth control pills could increase your risk.
HOW ARE VARICOSE VEINS TREATED?
Treatment options include sclerotherapy, laser surgery, endovenous thermal ablation, vein stripping and endoscopic vein surgery.
Compression stockings may be prescribed. These stockings squeeze your legs, helping blood to move more efficiently.
References – Further Reading: 1. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/varicose-veins/home/ovc-20178078 2. http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hemorrhoids/basics/definition/con-20029852 3. http://www.herbcyclopedia.com/item/health-benefits-of-indian-gooseberry-emblica-officinalis-2 4. http://www.herbcyclopedia.com/item/health-benefits-of-neem-azadirachta-indica-2 5. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbalmonograph/buddhist-bauhinia.htm 6. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbalmonograph/tree-turmeric.htm 7. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbfinder/minerals/shilajeet.htm 8. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbalmonograph/ironwood-tree.htm 9. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbalmonograph/sensitive-plant.htm 10. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbfinder/bhringaraja.htm 11. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbfinder/minerals/tankana.htm 12. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbalmonograph/chaste-tree.htm 13. http://www.himalayawellness.com/herbalmonograph/calendula.htm
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