4 Warning Signs You are Having Haemorrhoids

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4 Warning Signs You are Having Haemorrhoids

Haemorrhoids, also known as piles, are a common and often uncomfortable condition that can affect anyone. If you suspect you have haemorrhoids, watching out for warning signs and understanding the treatment options can help you manage the condition effectively. 

In this article, we’ll discuss four key warning signs of piles and when to see a piles specialist.

What are piles?

Piles are characterised by swollen and inflamed veins in the anus. They can develop as internal or external piles depending on their location with respect to the dentate line. While piles can be uncomfortable, painful and may cause bleeding, they are usually not life-threatening. In fact, they can be treated effectively with various methods.

To know if you have piles, look out for the following signs.

Blood in stool

The most common and alarming sign of haemorrhoids is the presence of blood in the stool. You might notice bright red blood when you clean yourself with toilet paper or in the toilet bowl. This bleeding occurs because the swollen veins in your rectum or anus have been irritated or ruptured.

Causes of bleeding from piles

  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Passing hard stools
  • Prolonged sitting on the toilet
  • Taking spicy food or an alcoholic binge

Pain or discomfort

Pain or discomfort in the anus and its surrounding areas, especially when passing motion, is another common symptom of haemorrhoids. This pain can feel mild to severe, and may present with itching or irritation.

Causes of pain or discomfort from piles

  • Swelling and inflammation of haemorrhoidal veins
  • Protrusion of internal haemorrhoids through the anal opening
  • Thrombosed external haemorrhoids (where a blood clot forms in an external haemorrhoid)

Prolonged symptoms

Haemorrhoid symptoms that persist for more than a week or recur frequently can be a sign that you need medical intervention. Chronic piles can lead to ongoing discomfort, irritation, and potential complications.

Causes of prolonged symptoms

  • Chronic constipation or diarrhoea
  • Straining during bowel movements
  • Continued bad lifestyle habits 
  • Use of anticoagulants or blood thinning medicine 

Bulging tissue

Feeling or seeing a lump or bulging tissue around the anus is a clear sign of haemorrhoids. Internal haemorrhoids can protrude through the anal opening, especially during straining, and external haemorrhoids can form a noticeable lump outside the anus.

Causes of bulging tissue

  • Increased pressure in the lower rectum
  • Chronic straining during bowel movements
  • Pregnancy (due to increased pressure on pelvic veins)

Treatment options

Effective treatment of haemorrhoids depends on the severity and duration of your symptoms. Here are some standard treatment options:

Lifestyle changes

  • Increase fibre intake: Eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains to soften stool and reduce straining.
  • Stay hydrated: Consume at least two litres of water throughout the day.
  • Exercise regularly: Physical activity helps stimulate bowel function.

Over-the-counter treatments

  • Topical creams and ointments: Provide relief from pain and itching.
  • Suppositories: Help reduce inflammation and discomfort.
  • Pain relievers: Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can alleviate pain.

Minimally invasive procedures

  • Rubber Band Ligation: A small band is positioned around the base of the haemorrhoid to restrict its blood supply.
  • Sclerotherapy: The haemorrhoid is injected with a chemical solution to shrink it.
  • Infrared Coagulation: Infrared light cuts off the blood supply to the haemorrhoid.

Surgical options

  • Hemorrhoidectomy: Surgical removal of severe or large haemorrhoids.
  • Stapled Hemorrhoidopexy: A surgical technique that staples and removes haemorrhoidal tissue.
  • Laser Hemorrhoidopexy. Use of laser energy to cause closure of the veins that drain hemorrhoidal vessels. 

When to see a piles specialist

While many cases of haemorrhoids can be managed with home treatments and lifestyle changes, there are certain situations where it’s crucial to seek the expertise of a piles specialist.

Severe pain

Extreme pain, especially during bowel movements, can be a sign of complicated haemorrhoids or other anal conditions such as fissures or abscesses. 

Significant bleeding

Minor bleeding can be common with haemorrhoids, but significant or persistent bleeding needs medical attention. Heavy bleeding can lead to anaemia and might indicate more serious conditions.

Persistent or recurrent symptoms

If your haemorrhoid symptoms persist for more than a week despite home treatments, it’s a clear indication that you need to see a specialist. 

Bulging tissue

When you notice or feel a lump or bulging tissue around the anus, it’s a sign that haemorrhoids might be more advanced. 

Ineffective home treatments

If conservative treatments are not providing relief, it’s time to consult a piles specialist. They can offer more advanced treatment options that are not available over-the-counter. 

Complications

Complications from haemorrhoids, such as strangulated haemorrhoids or ulcerations of overlying skin require expedient medical attention.

Piles specialist in Singapore

Recognising the warning signs of haemorrhoids and understanding your treatment options can significantly improve your quality of life. If you suspect you have haemorrhoids, don’t hesitate to seek a piles specialist to manage your symptoms effectively and prevent complications.

Ark Surgical Practice provides diagnostic and treatment options for haemorrhoids in Singapore. We are specialists in colorectal surgery and have extensive experience in treating haemorrhoids.

Contact our piles specialist today.

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