November 20 is celebrated as “World Piles Day” every year to spread awareness about the ailment. Piles are engorged veins in the anal canal which usually appear due to prolonged case of constipation or the resultant pressure-pressed bowel moments. If you have concerns related to anal health, don’t delay in consulting a medical expert as it is always. Experts say, “the earlier, the better.”
In fact, why endure the pain for so long that it gets unbearable, and worse? Dr. Nehal Patel from Healing Hands Clinic explains that there are four stages of piles, of which the initial stage is potential of being treated with pure medicines and lifestyle changes. She calls it a “conservative approach” to turn piles into smiles.
“While Grade-II, Grade-III piles cause even more discomfort, they are dealt with by surgery, ideally through a painless laser treatment. However, if the patient has neglected the condition for a long time, and made piles to enter the final grade, a detailed staple surgery is unavoidable,” says the doctor.
Hard stools and constipation happen to be the precursor for piles, which eventually can trigger anal fissures, fistula, rectal prolapses, weakening of the gut and other digestive disorders. “There is a lack of awareness, and people don’t open up on conveying these issues to others. Some even shy away to communicate the health concerns regarding their private parts with their life partners and close family. This needs change, we as medical practitioners, encourage them to speak up and discuss the ailment that the patient is suffering,” she says.
The doctor also points out that, there is lack of awareness around the issue and unlike many ailments which have become plots of several Bollywood films, piles, on the other hand, haven’t secured that space on screens. “Not many films, or any other platform try creating awareness about piles, and related issues. It is the need of the hour,” she points out referring to the Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone starrer Piku (2015) where the senior actor is seen often upset with constipated stools which can certainly lead to piles.
Stills from film Piku |
Can piles lead to a pull back from having one’s favourite foods, we ask. “Everything you like can be consumed, however, along with some fibrous fruits, ghee and buttermilk. This will improve your gut immunity and keep you piles-free.”
As several youngsters have indulged in addictive habits like smoking and alcohol intake, the doctor clarifies on how such habits can disturb one’s hormones and the overall wellbeing. “Smoking cigarettes is now considered cool, but their consequences aren’t so. Both the activities lead to a compromise on gut immunity, which eventually lead to digestion problems and constipation,” she shares. According to Dr Patel, piles are common in the age group of 25 to 45. “Self-care is missing today due to an uncared-for lifestyle amid busy or unbalanced working patterns.”
In order to avoid the ailment, Dr Patel suggests some asanas such as Dhanurasana, Pavanamuktasana and Vajrasana for a happy digestive health and bowel-related ailments.
Dhanurasana | Pinterest
Pavanamuktasana | Pinterest
Vajrasana | Pinterest
It is also observed that pregnant women undergo some changes in bowel movements and develop constipation. Dr Patel agrees that pregnant women are prone to piles. “The baby bump eventually reduces the rectal opening. Also, due to severe hormonal changes in the body, stools come constipated which lead to piles. If a mother goes through a normal delivery, it involves pressure to push the baby. This pressure affects the anal region to tear-off, leading to ailment,” explains the doctor and points out that Iron pills affect one’s bowel moments adversely.
Representative image | Istock
Can Indian toilets help pass the stool more comfortably? We ask. “While one uses an Indian commode to pass stools, the rectum and the pelvic girdle make the right angle to let the waste go off. Thus, it’s always ideal to use them. Not just that, western toilets have made people carry phones and newspapers inside, they don’t realise the time they spend pooping. This may be their negligence towards developing health concerns,” she says.