Bleeding Piles Reviews - Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Guide
Posted on 02 September 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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In this bleeding piles guide, we will go over everything you need to know about a bleeding haemorrhoid. You might know haemorrhoids as piles, or that feeling on your bum that makes moving, sitting, and standing uncomfortable, and sometimes even painful.
Piles are all too familiar, and in the UK, half of adults will develop piles at some point.
Specific groups of people are more prone to developing piles or bleeding piles, and in this guide, we will cover what you should know about treatment, prevention, symptoms, and causes.
Bleeding piles sound more alarming than it usually is, but if you are looking for guidance on the matter, the best thing you should do is seek advice from your GP first.
Any bleeding from your bum and the rectal area should be reported to your physician.
Why Bleeding Haemorrhoids Occur
Bright red blood is synonymous with piles, but why? It is vital to understand the driving force behind piles and their development, and that is the rectal blood supply.
The internal area of the rectum has an incredibly rich supply of blood, and if constricted in any way, inflammation of the rectal veins can occur. This designated area inside the anal canal refers to the swelling of arteries and veins that form internal piles.
A swollen vein inside the rectum can catch against passing stools, especially if the faeces are hard and lack moisture.
Constipation is a prevalent factor for many patients struggling with piles, and this abrasion happens all too often, and the result of which produces the bright red blood after the faeces are passed.
It is because of these reasons that internal piles lead to bright red blood after elimination. You might see the blood on the poo itself, or notice it when wiping following a bowel movement. Ultimately, this is usually the only sign of an internal haemorrhoid.
Bleeding may occur for a different reason when external piles are concerned, but you still will see blood that is bright red. External haemorrhoids are noticeable lumps that can feel rubbery.
External piles are indeed the more painful and apparent type of haemorrhoid.
These protrusions are swollen anal cushions, veins, blood vessels, and rectal arteries that have suffered from interrupted blood flow.
The bumps are found on the anus or around it and will hurt, ache, and throb, sometimes inducing a burning sensation.
For external piles, bleeding could mean that a blood clot has taken up inside the mix of tissues, blood vessels, and pockets of veins.
If this sounds painful, it is; a blood clot means thrombosis, incurring sharp pain that will force you to avoid certain positions and make going to the toilet even more terrifying.
Thrombosed haemorrhoids are considered a complication of piles. You could see bright red blood erupt from a blood clot that has opened itself.
The best thing to do in this situation is to have your GP lance and drain the thrombosed pile in an in-office appointment. By having your physician perform this simple procedure, you can avoid infection of the ruptured haemorrhoid.
The Symptoms of Bleeding Piles
Bleeding piles can cause an array of unpleasant symptoms, and the effects of the piles will depend on whether your piles are internally or externally located.
Internal haemorrhoids do not display themselves in side effects except for occasionally causing rectal bleeding. Bleeding internal haemorrhoids are fortunately painless, but you should still seek medical consultation from your GP.
You may experience these symptoms with internal piles:
- Bright red blood after a bowel movement
- Itching around or on the anus
- Anal mucus or discharge
- Complications of a prolapse extending beyond the rectum
For external piles, symptoms include:
- Lumps that are tender or sore
- Itching, burning, and throbbing
- Complications of a blood clot
- Bleeding or infection from an opened blood clot
Who Develops Bleeding Piles?
You might be wondering if you are at-risk in developing bleeding piles or if the piles you are experiencing will generate this much-discussed bright red blood.
Bleeding piles are a side effect of pressure and stress on the working veins, blood vessels, and arteries in the lower rectum.
Bleeding piles can occur if:
- You struggle with being obese or overweight
- You have a job or lifestyle that involves sitting or standing for extended periods of time
- You have a job or lifestyle that requires lifting heavy things
- You are pregnant or have just given birth
- If bleeding piles runs in your family
- If you have chronic gastrointestinal or bowel conditions
Certain lifestyles and factors can lead to bleeding piles. Abnormal restriction of blood flow and pressure on the lower rectum is the main reason for piles.
So, if you struggle with being obese or overweight, this can put you at higher risk of internal or external haemorrhoids.
A similar reason explains why pregnancy is a contributor (the steadily increasing of weight and pressure), and labor and delivery (the pushing and straining of the rectal muscles).
There is also the role of hormones and their changing levels throughout a pregnancy, which in turn can affect the body’s veins and blood flow.
Lifestyles that involve heavy lifting, either for exercise, a job, or for hobbies, can place immense strain on the rectal veins and muscles, resulting in swollen and bleeding piles.
Physicians advise patients to avoid heavy lifting if piles are persistent, severe, or reoccurring, or if haemorrhoid surgery has been recently performed.
But perhaps the most common cause behind haemorrhoids is constipation. Constipation can either be a side effect of lifestyle, other medical conditions, or certain medications (primary, secondary, and latrogenic).
Faecal impaction leads to poor toilet habits, such as straining, hard stools, and interruption of the rectal veins.
By focusing on relieving constipation, you can subside the symptoms of bleeding piles and allow the blood supply to normalize to the rectal area to minimise haemorrhoids from reoccurring.
When to See Your Physician For Your Bleeding Haemorrhoids
If your piles are bleeding or if you experience bleeding from the rectal area in any capacity, then it is time to make an appointment with your GP. Bleeding because of piles is common, but it could be your body telling you there is something else going on.
Varying factors such as your age, overall health, weight, and family history can all be considered by your physician to determine if you need further examinations, like the commonly performed colonoscopy.
Bleeding can be a side effect of piles, but it could also be an indication of another gastrointestinal disorder that requires further examination.
In-office examinations can be done efficiently and quickly for your GP to confirm your diagnosis of piles if he or she does not believe a colonoscopy is required.
Preventing and Treating Bleeding Piles
Prevention and treatment go together in taking care of your bleeding piles, regardless if they are internal or external.
Hydration, a balanced and healthy weight, a diet with high-fibre, and a steady amount of exercise are all apart of preventing haemorrhoids.
If you have bleeding piles, soaking in a warm sitz bath is one of the most highly recommended methods of relieving pain. For external bleeding piles, it is advisable to use a cream to ward off potential infection and to reduce pain, itching, and burning.
Using wipes with the herb witch hazel is a widely employed method for treating and alleviating piles. Witch hazel contains properties that are anti-inflammatory and its effects soothe the irritation commonly brought on by haemorrhoids.
Prevention methods of haemorrhoids include:
- Watching your weight
- Having a proper diet with plenty of fibre
- Taking a preventative haemorrhoid medicine or fibre supplement
- Engaging in exercise
- Drinking six to eight glasses of water a day
Top ways to treat bleeding piles:
- Using a calming wipe after a bowel movement
- Soaking in a sitz bath or warm bath
- Using a laxative
- Sitting on a specially designed haemorrhoid cushion
- Using creams, ointments, salves, and balms
Ensuring that you are maintaining good toilet habits will also prevent haemorrhoids from flaring up. Do not remain on the toilet for long periods, as this can affect the blood flow to your rectum.
If you find yourself straining on the toilet, strive to eat more fibre.
Bleeding haemorrhoids can be resolved even without treatment in just a few days. If symptoms worsen, persist, or become severe, then you should talk to your GP.
Bleeding should be reported to your GP even if you believe it is a result of the non-threatening condition of piles.