Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, are enlarged, painful veins found in the rectum. It is actually a condition in which the veins near the anus or lower rectum become swollen and inflamed. Piles is a result of the continuous pressure of either internal or external veins just around the anal canal. It can be both internal and external.
Hemorrhoids which are internal cannot be seen or felt unless they become really severe. External hemorrhoids, however, can be noticed on the outside of the anus. Although most people find it uncomfortable and embarrassing to speak about it, it is not regarded as a really serious disorder. Sometimes, the walls of the blood vessels stretch really thin and the veins bulge and become swollen, and this condition is called piles.
Symptoms of Piles
A person affected by piles may experience a number of symptoms:
- You may experience a hard lump around the anus. The hard lump comprises of coagulated blood, and is called a thrombosis external hemorrhoid. This can be really painful.
- Even after defecation, you might still have the feeling that your bowels are full.
- You might notice bright red blood after defecation.
- You might experience itchiness around your anus area.
- You may experience discharge of mucus after defecating.
- You may experience searing pain at the time of defecation.
- The area around the anus may be inflamed, and turn red and sore.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
It is unclear why one suffers from hemorrhoids, but they are closely linked with increasing pressure in the blood vessels. The continuous pressure in the back passage can result in the area becoming swollen and inflamed.
- Straining on the toilet- Prolonged constipation or too much straining on the toilet can result in hemorrhoids. This may also be a consequence of having an inadequate amount of fiber in the diet.
- Chronic diarrhea- Apart from constipation, chronic diarrhea can also be a cause of piles.
Other reasons that might raise your risk of hemorrhoids are as follows:
- Being obese or overweight- When you become obese or overweight, you might increase your chances of getting hemorrhoids.
- Age- Advancing age is also another reason which increases your risk of hemorrhoids. As your body’s supporting tissues grow weaker, there are greater chances of you getting hemorrhoids.
- Being pregnant- When you are pregnant, you put greater pressure on your pelvic blood vessels, and as a result, they become more enlarged.
- Genetic reason- If you have a family history of hemorrhoids, you might have greater chances of getting hemorrhoids.
- Lifting heavy- If you regularly lift heavy objects, you might have to endure the pain of hemorrhoids.
- Persistent coughing- If you are down with a non-stop cough or suffering from vomiting, you might also suffer from piles.
- Sitting down for prolonged periods- Sitting down for long periods can also be a reason for developing hemorrhoids.
Home Remedies for Piles
Before you seek over the counter medicines to get relief from piles, make sure you take help of these effective home remedies, which don’t have any side-effects and will help alleviate the symptoms with natural, readily available ingredients.
1. Black Cumin Seeds
Cumin is extremely beneficial for digestion and other related problems. The aroma of cumin comes from an organic compound called Cuminaldehyde, which is the main part of its essential oil; it incites our salivary glands, which then helps in digestion. Another chief compound is thymol, which activates the glands that ooze acids like bile, and enzymes primarily responsible for digestion. Cumin helps provide you relief from flatulence and thereby helps with digestion and appetite.
Dry roast 1 tbsp. of black cumin seeds, and mix with 1 tbsp. of unroasted black cumin seeds, then powder both together. Have about 1/2 tsp. of the powder with a glass of water at least once a day.
The easiest home remedy that provides ample relief is ice. Ice helps shrink the blood vessels, reduce the swelling and provides instant pain relief.
Apply an ice pack or a partially melted piece of ice wrapped carefully in a cloth, directly on the affected area for a good 10 minutes. Repeat this procedure several times a day till you get relief.
3. Radish Juice
Radish juice is potassium less diuretic, and can be used as a completely natural laxative. This equips the body to detoxify and eliminate wastes through the kidneys as well as the colon.
Radish juice can be taken in the morning and night, and is one of the best natural remedies for piles. You can start sipping on 1/4 cup of this juice and gradually increase to 1/2 a cup within a period of one month. Another remedy you can try is applying the radish paste locally on the area by mixing it with honey. It provides relief from the pain associated with piles.
4. Olive Oil
Olive oil contains potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that help in treating external hemorrhoids. It helps increase the elasticity of blood vessels, which helps in reducing inflammation and constricts the size of the swollen blood vessels inside the anal canal.
Take one teaspoon of olive oil every day. It helps reduce inflammation, and the monounsaturated fats improve the functioning of the digestive system.
Figs have anti-inflammatory, restorative, aphrodisiac, emollient, and laxative properties. They are high in potassium and magnesium, and low in sodium. Figs help in controlling chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure levels, and heart ailments. They are also rich in fiber, which helps fight digestive issues.
Wash 3 to 4 figs. Keep them soaked in a glass of water overnight. Eat the soaked figs the first thing in the morning, and again at night. Figs are great to alleviate the symptoms of piles.
6. Black Tea
The tannic acid present in tea is a kind of natural astringent that helps reduce the swelling and pain associated with piles.
Dip a black tea bag in piping hot water. Remove it from the water and cool it. Take the warm, wet tea bag and apply it to the swollen veins for about 10 minutes. Keep repeating this at least 2 to 3 times a day.
You can also use cold, used tea bags to apply to the hemorrhoids for about 5 to 10 minutes.
7. Ripe Bananas
The slippery components of a banana contain sugars that, when consumed, soothe hemorrhoids. It is done by a process called osmosis, in which water is sucked out of the cells, which allows them to draw back inside. The sugar present has several antibiotic properties which help protect the severely infected area.
8. Tea Tree Oil
Latest studies have substantiated that tea tree oil helps in reducing inflammation and cures hemorrhoids naturally. Since it is really potent, it must always be diluted with a carrier oil.
Blend one or two drops of tea tree oil along with a carrier oil like castor oil or sweet almond oil and use a cotton swab to apply the concoction on the infected area. Do this regularly to shrink the hemorrhoids and only stop when it is completely cured.
9. Bitter Gourd Juice
Bitter gourd juice helps reduce piles to a great extent. It regulates blood sugar levels and helps in maintaining bodily functions. The fiber content in the bitter gourd helps cure piles.
It is very easy to digest, has astringent properties and a sour taste. It helps improve digestion and also helps in reducing the feeling of puffiness. Buttermilk is considered one of the most effective treatments for swelling, irritation, other digestive problems, and gastrointestinal disorders.
Drink a glass of buttermilk blended with 1/4 tsp. carom seed powder (ajwain) and a pinch of salt. This should be a part of your regular diet to get rid of piles permanently.
11. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective natural treatments for hemorrhoids. It also helps combat constipation, since the vinegar stimulates digestive juices that help the body break down the food.
Take a cotton ball or toilet paper, soak it in ACV and apply it to the hemorrhoid area. Keep doing this until the inflammation subsides and the symptoms get resolved. You will see an improvement almost instantly. The other remedy you can try is adding half a cup of ACV to a bath.
Piles are an extremely painful condition and the best way to get relief is prevent it in the first place. Preventing piles is always better than finding a piles cure. So make sure to follow the tips mentioned below and keep painful piles at bay.
- Have more fiber- If you have infrequent bowel movement, one of the best ways you can avoid piles is by adding bulk to your food by adding more fiber. Getting more than 25 to 30 grams of fiber helps solve most such problems. Legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits all help in adding fiber, so make sure you add more of these food groups to your diet.
- Drink more water- It is the most simple and natural treatment for piles but we so often ignore it. Just have more water; more as in about six –eight glasses of water every day, at least. It prevents constipation and straining during defecation. Also, drinking more water does not just help with your digestion, but with pretty much every bodily function. More reasons to reach out for your glass of elixir.
- Get plenty of exercise- There is no getting away from exercise. Exercise helps combat piles too, though you need to be careful if you have a history of hemorrhoids. If that is the case, then bank on more gentle exercises like yoga, swimming or walking and steer clear of lifting.
- Don’t combat the urge- If you ignore your urge to defecate, chances are you might end up with piles. Listen to your body and pay heed to it, and there will be less chances of spending hours together in the bathroom. When you have to go, just go.
- Avoid straining- Just as listening to your body is important, forcing yourself to defecate can have a negative impact as well. If you put too much pressure on your body while carrying heavy objects or during pregnancy, you can end up with painful hemorrhoids. Avoid straining at any cost.
- Squat, don’t sit- Conventional toilets are very unnatural and may be one of the chief reasons for hemorrhoids. It is said that in less developed countries where squatting is the norm, there are lesser chances of contracting piles. Sitting down to defecate puts enormous strain on the rectum; but if you squat, you straighten the rectum and relax the puborectalis muscle.
You must be careful if you have been suffering from piles for too long. If it is left unchecked and untreated for a long time, it may also lead to further complications like chronic blood loss, tissue death, strangulated piles or even rectal or colorectal cancer. So if you have a recurring problem with hemorrhoids, try the above remedies, they are natural and completely safe. Also, you need to be wary of laxatives; if they are recommended by your doctor then they are perfectly fine, otherwise don’t take any laxative suggested by just about anyone, it might do you more harm than good.
Home remedies which are readily available can help you fix the problem right at the onset. But if problems are persistent and start veering towards chronic, it is advisable that you consult a doctor!