External hemorrhoids are bulging and swollen veins that protrude outside of the rectum and are usually as a result of increased pressure in the anal area. Unlike internal piles, these can be felt and are very painful. The condition is usually not severe, and most people recover fast when proper treatment is administered.
Here is brief information on the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment options and preventative measures of external piles.
Recognizing the Symptoms of External Piles
There are many symptoms associated with external piles, but they tend to vary depending on the severity of your condition. Some of the symptoms that one may have include:
- Tremendous pain and discomfort when the somatic nerves are agitated
- Swelling- this can be soft or hard but may not be present all the time and is only felt after a bowel movement
- Irritation around the inflamed area
- Other symptoms include lumps of tissue around the anus that are frequent spongy in texture, inability to finish bowel movement and stool with traces of blood. These symptoms may also occur because of other illnesses so if you think you may have piles; it is always advisable to schedule a test with your doctor just to be certain it is hemorrhoids and not something else serious.
So, what causes external Piles?
External Hemorrhoids may be caused by a few different factors. The most common cause is the repeated straining while having your bowel movement. When this straining gets in the way of blood flow into and out of the area, it brings about pooling of blood and enlargement of the vessels in the area thereby causing external piles.
On the other hand, pregnant women may also be at the risk of external piles because of the pressure that the uterus places on the hemorrhoidal veins. In addition, a severe case of chronic diarrhea or constipation can also cause this condition.
How are External Hemorrhoids Diagnosed?
Since most of external hemorrhoid symptoms can also be as a result of other illnesses, it is necessary to have an in-depth exam just to find out if the symptoms are from this condition. The doctor can use a variety of tests to confirm the presence of external piles near or around the anus such as anoscopy (examines the inside of the anus), colonoscopy, proctoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or digital rectum exam.
However, the doctor normally starts with a physical exam test to confirm if you have swollen veins that may be causing the piles externally. The doctor may also use other procedures like proctoscopy, colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy to examine any possible abnormalities.
Depending on how severe or bothersome your external piles may be, there are several ways to treat this condition.
Some general treatments that your doctor might suggest include dietary control (like increasing the quantity of fluids and eating foods with lots of fiber), hemorrhoid creams, ice packs to reduce the swelling, lukewarm bath procedure or suppositories. These options can offer relief to patients with minimal piles.
Additionally, you can use herbal medicines as well as allopathic medicines to get relief. And if your piles become larger in shape (known as thromboses external hemorrhoid) and more painful to bear, the best treatment is surgery. The recommended surgical treatments include reduction of the pile, removal of hemorrhoids also known as hemorrhoidectomy and burning pile tissue.
How to Prevent External Piles from developing
As with most natural treatment remedies, prevention is always the primary objective, and as such should be considered with this in mind. The best way to prevent external piles is to avoid straining while passing your bowels.
In the case of constipation, you can use aids such as increasing your fiber intake or using laxatives to ease your bowel movements. You can also use over the counter stool softeners especially if you are dealing with temporary chronic constipation because of pregnancy.
Preventing this condition also necessitates making lifestyle changes not only dietary control considerations, but posture and exercise as well.
External piles are a fairly common condition and are usually not severe so long as you use the best treatment at earliest. In fact, a lot of people who suffer from this condition are able to recover quickly and do not experience continued symptoms in the future.