Symptoms of Piles are the result of swollen veins in the lower rectum and anal region. They are also called hemorrhoids in many parts of the world. If piles protrude outside the anus, these veins which are enlarged and inflamed have the appearance of little balls. In the middle ages, people began to refer to this condition as piles for the Latin term meaning ball.
There are two types of piles: internal and external.
Internal piles can remain symptomless for a long time, and in some cases, some people may never develop any pile symptoms. However, most people will develop symptoms of piles at some time in their lives because it is such a common affliction.
Piles are graded by the medical community as follows:
First Grade Piles -Are sore and swollen veins in the lower anal canal which is often accompanied by painless bleeding .
Second Grade Piles – Swelling increases which produces larger piles. Often at this degree the piles will temporaraly prolapse outside the anus during a bowl movement.
Third Degree Piles – At this point the piles are prolapsed all the time (hang outside of the rectum/anus). The only way to get third degree piles back inside the anus is to actually push them back in, ususally with ones hand.
Fourth Degree Piles – The same conditions as the third stage except now the piles permanently hang down outside of the rectum and you can not just push them back into the anal canal. At this point the piles are extremely swollen and very painful. Blood clots are usually present as well causing extreme discomfort.
External piles develop around the outside of the anus, and they may cause severe pain and complications.
List of Piles Symptoms
Bleeding Piles during a bowel movement. Blood may appear on the toilet tissue, on the stool or on the toilet bowl. The blood should be a bright red in color because it comes from the rectum or anal area. Bleeding higher up in the intestinal tract darkens the blood by the time it is expelled and could mean a more serious condition.
Rectal itching, burning, or pain from the drainage.
Protrusion or prolapse of the piles outside the anus.
A hard lump or lumps around the anus
Slimy discharge of mucus
The blood in these veins cannot circulate, so the condition is referred to as strangulated or a thrombosed hemorrhoid. This can lead to complications such as tissue death (gangrene).
Swelling around the anus from the inflamed veins.
Anytime there is bleeding from the rectum, you should ALWAYS see your doctor for a diagnosis. You want to make sure you only have a hemorrhoidal condition and not something more severe. Piles can be successfully treated with home remedies and lifestyle changes if you don’t allow the condition to get worse. Remember that these symptoms are your body’s warning that something is wrong. Do not wait to take action once you find yourself having symptoms of piles.
Written by Joy Seeman
© 2009 Hemorrhoid Information Center