How do I Choose the Best Treatment for Piles?

Madeleine A.
Madeleine A.
Some people take sitz baths to relieve discomfort from hemorrhoids.
Some people take sitz baths to relieve discomfort from hemorrhoids.

Choosing the best treatment for piles depends upon the patient's symptoms and their severity. Common treatments for piles or hemorrhoids include creams and ointments that relieve swelling and itching. Bleeding is also a common manifestation of piles and usually goes away after inflammation subsides. In addition, taking measures to soften stools is also helpful in relieving symptoms. Piles are swollen veins in rectal or anal area that become irritated and sore from straining during a bowel movement, standing or sitting for long periods of time, and from being overweight.

Pregnancy can also instigate piles because the extra weight puts pressure on the veins, causing them to enlarge or protrude. Piles can be internal or external. Regardless of where the piles are located, similar symptoms are usually present.

Creams are often used to treat piles.
Creams are often used to treat piles.

Another common treatment for piles is the sitz bath. Sitting a warm bathtub for about 20 minutes twice a day can relieve swelling, itching, and pain of hemorrhoids. In addition, frequent bathing with clear water removes bacteria and keeps the area clean. Rectal suppositories containing anti-inflammatory medication is another effective treatment for piles, but can sometimes be difficult to insert for certain individuals.

Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, can occur internally or externally.
Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, can occur internally or externally.

In extreme cases, where piles have formed blood clots, or thrombosed, surgery might be recommended. Surgery to repair or remove piles is generally performed in an outpatient treatment setting. This is usually done under local anesthesia, rather than a general anesthetic.

Most methods of treatment for piles, however, are simple and can be done from home. In cases where significant pain is present, treatment for piles might include over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen or other pain relievers such as acetaminophen. Since anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin can causes thinning of the blood, people might notice an increase in rectal bleeding.

Rectal wipes or towelettes such as those that are pre-moistened with an astringent can dramatically soothe hemorrhoidal tissue and reduce inflammation. Used after every bowel movement, cleansing wipes can offer an effective treatment for piles. Consuming more fiber allows for ease of bowel movements and reduces constipation and straining, which are frequent causes of piles. In cases where increasing daily fiber is ineffective, taking a stool softener can help facilitate easier bowel movements, hastening hemorrhoidal healing. Since piles can return, practicing healthy eating habits and drinking enough water to keep stool from becoming hard and difficult to pass is important to prevent a recurrence.

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    • Some people take sitz baths to relieve discomfort from hemorrhoids.
      By: fotoschab
      Some people take sitz baths to relieve discomfort from hemorrhoids.
    • Creams are often used to treat piles.
      By: Angel_a
      Creams are often used to treat piles.
    • Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, can occur internally or externally.
      By: Alila Medical Media
      Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, can occur internally or externally.