Piles or haemorrhoids, which are commonly referred to as ‘bavasir’ in Hindi, are the masses of swollen and inflamed anal or rectal blood vessels. Generally, not much painful at the beginning stages, they can lead to a huge amount of bleeding due to frail tissues present in the skin of rectum as they contain blood vessels. These normally arise as a result of sustained growing intra- abdominal pressure since the pressure causes blood vessels to become engorged, which essentially refers to this disease. Haemorrhoids are usually of two types. These comprise of internal and external piles. While internal haemorrhoids occur deep inside the anal canal or rectum, the external haemorrhoids prolapse outside the anal canal. External piles can be immensely painful sometimes when blood clots form within the masses that have slipped down. In addition to being one of the most embarrassing ailments, haemorrhoids can pose a lot of problems to the infected person. Pain and bleeding during bowel movements, redness and swelling in the anal region and itching are the main difficulties associated with piles. In certain cases, they escalate to such an extent that the infected person is even frightened to sit upright. But what are the reasons behind such a painful disease?
Causes of Haemorrhoids
The exact reason behind piles is unclear and a lot of medical specialists debate over the same. However, they all agree on one thing that increased pressure in the blood vessels present in and near the anal region is usually accompanied by piles. The growth in pressure causes blood vessels to become inflamed and swollen. Now, let us look at the various causes that may result in development of haemorrhoidal disease.
- Diet – The main and primary reason behind this ailment is unhealthy consumption habits. Diet low in fibre and high in junk and processed foods usually induces swollen haemorrhoids. Low and inadequate intake of liquids, mainly water, is also instrumental in developing this disease. A healthy and fibre-rich diet is highly essential for stools to be normal rather than hard. Sometimes, lack of fibre also leads to chronic constipation, which is another major cause or piles.
- Chronic diarrhoea – diarrhoea is a condition which occurs when the intestine lining becomes incapable to absorb fluids. In such a case, bowel movements become watery and loose. If a person is affected by diarrhoea over a long period of time, it may make him or her vulnerable to formation of piles.
- Constipation – As discussed previously, prolonged constipation is another leading reason behind haemorrhoids. In such a situation, blood vessels have to bear a lot of pressure in releasing stools. This excessive straining during bowel movements is associated with piles.
- Obesity – Unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical exertion often lead to accumulation of fat, a condition known as obesity. A huge chunk of population is affected by being obese or overweight today. This state of body puts an excessive abdominal pressure on veins, which might result in the formation of haemorrhoids.
- Lifting heavy weights – Regularly, raising enormous and heavy objects and performing strenuous manual labour work can increase the risk rate of piles.
- Genetic factors – A person with a family history of piles or weak rectal veins is more likely to get affected by this painful and bleeding ailment. These people might inherit weak blood vessels, which might result in their quicker and more frequent swelling.
- Pregnancy – It is another most common factor that raises the risk of piles. As the foetus grows, within the pelvic area, the blood vessels get stressed leading to engorgement of the rectal or anal blood vessels. The risk goes on intensifying as the baby grows and is at its maximum during the delivery since the mother is told to put force, strain and push. Usually, they shrink on its own after the baby is born but may still be present and require surgical procedure to heal.
- Aging – Due to rising age, specifically elderly people over 50 years of age, tissues in the lining of the anus are more likely to become weak and less supportive. This increases the occurrence of piles.
- Piles is more prevalent in people who sit for long durations in their jobs. Sitting on hard or bare surfaces for prolonged period of time can create pressure on the anal veins and vessels around the pelvic area, thereby leading to piles.
- Infections generated near the anal region might also render blood vessels to become weak.
- Persistent unhealed coughing for a long period of time, vomiting and sneezing may also result into development of haemorrhoids since they raise pressure within the abdomen.
- Patients who have previously had surgeries in their rectum or anus due to some reason, lie at the increased risk of developing piles since their muscles of anus or rectum are weak.
- Dysfunction of pelvis floor is another reason that leads to the formation of this disease.
The Bottom Line
Whatever may be the cause of piles, they can still be avoided by keeping care of your body by following some preventive measures. Bad eating habits should be identified and rectified well in time. One must take sufficient amounts of dietary fibre and intake good amount of water. Consulting doctor before piles turn into a major concern and absolutely require surgery is advisable.