diseases Piles are enlarged or engorged blood vessel(s) of the anus often feared as tumours of the anus. Called haemorrhoids in medical terminology, Piles are not tumourous or dangerous. It is the dilatation (varicosity) of the haemorrhoidal plexus (veins of anus). It appears as bluish or purple coloured swellings due to stagnated blood. Piles may cause symptoms like bleeding, itching, pain and lump feeling in the anus.

Varicosity often affects blood vessels, when there is obstruction or resistance/ sluggish or reduced or back flow of blood etc. Pregnant women or policemen or in people whose job/habit is to stand continuously for a prolonged period suffer from varicosity. Veins of the legs are most commonly affected with this ailment as it is the most dependent part of the body, where the gravitational force constantly gives pressure with stagnation. The next common spot of varicosity is the anus since it has a cluster of loosely supported blood vessels anastamosing (joining) systemic & portal (liver) circulation. These blood vessels have no valves to avoid back flow and therefore are more prone to varicosity.

Due to shyness to consult the doctor most Piles patients suffer their complaints silently. Only when the conditions become unbearable they go in for treatment, and surgery becomes unavoidable. Every complaint should be treated in the early stages, for easy cure and to avoid progress of the disease into complications. Other anal complaints like fissures, fistulas, rectal tumours, prolapsed anus, etc. are often confused with piles nowadays. It is therefore important that every complaint should be clearly analysed by examination and investigation before being diagnosed and treated.

Piles are common nowadays. It is more commonly seen that women are more prone to piles than men. And often the adolescent age group and aged persons are more affected. Piles incidences are more common in persons who deviate more from nature in diet, living style and sitting habits. It has been seen that tension & psychological factors cause more incidences of piles.

The most people affected are: Travelers sitting for long times Sedentary workers Alcoholics and those who suffer from liver disorders Persons who often suffer from constipation or diarrhea Types of Piles Piles are classified as:

Internal piles
These Piles lie inside the anus. They originate from the upper part of anal canal and usually will not be painful, as the area lacks pain-sensitive nerve innervations.

internal piles
External piles
These piles lie outside the anus. External piles originate from the lower part of the anal canal. The external piles are most painful, since the lower part of the anal canal has pain-sensitive nerve fibers. Some piles patients may have both types.
external piles

Piles can also be classified as:

Primary piles – Occur due to hereditary reasons without any causative factor or obstruction

Secondary piles – Occur in continuation with other diseases or obstruction to portal circulation like liver disorders, portal hypertension due to obstruction, rectal or pelvic tumours, cancer, splenomegaly, etc.

Prolapsed piles –Some piles often descend from the place of origin, i.e. internal piles descend to get visualised as external piles. These prolapsed piles should be cared for in the initial period itself or otherwise it may get strangulated and develop into gangrene. In the initial period, the protrusion gets inside or recedes without any assistance after passing stool, but in due course, the protruded mass will not recede even with the assistance of fingers.