A lot of people don’t even know they have hemorrhoids or piles as the rectum is not an area that one can readily see. Sometimes one is unaware until they find blood in the toilet water after bowel movements and experience pain and discomfort while passing stools. So what exactly are piles and how does one develop them?
Piles or Hemorrhoids are one of the most common problems in the anal region affecting more than half of the population. The main concern is that many patients are embarrassed to seek medical attention and are left untreated.
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the wall of the rectum and anus caused by too much pressure in the veins. This disease is usually manifested with a long history of indigestion and constipation resulting in hard stools.
In Ayurveda, the hemorrhoid is correlated, as per its origin and symptoms, with Arsha described by Acharya Sushruta who categorized this disorder in the “Ashta Mahagada” viz Eight grave diseases. Arsha occurs in Guda or anal region, which is undoubtedly a Marma site i.e. area known for its chronicity and difficult management approach.
Piles are a common condition among people of various age groups. In most cases, the main causes of the piles are bad eating habits, poor lifestyle and the other factors that show the negligence of the individual. The disease is painful with lots of discomfort that should be treated as soon as the patient experiences the symptoms. Common causes of piles are:
Hemorrhoids are the most common cause of rectal and anal complaints with symptoms such as:
In Ayurvedic classics, the type of hemorrhoids is mainly determined by the dominant dosha. Pitta dominants usually experience soft and red inflamed bleeding hemorrhoids with a feeling of fever, diarrhea, and thirst while Vata dominants experience rough, hard texture stools, and constipation. Persons with Kapha have poor digestion and slippery, light and large piles.
As per the treatment approach, the position and origin of the piles matter a lot and are classified as;
Internal hemorrhoids within the rectum are not painful due to a lack of sensing nerves. During passing stools, it usually collapses and protrudes outside the anal sphincter, which appears like moist pads of skin that need to be reduced back manually. These prolapsed hemorrhoids are treated with a general diet and lifestyle changes along with conservation Ayurveda medications.
Hemorrhoid starts off as internal and moves on as internal and later as the prognosis worsens and leads to the external type of hemorrhoid.
External hemorrhoids are those that are present outside the anal verge and thus are more uncomfortable. While straining or passing stools, they appear outside due to the movement of stool and become visible. Blood clots occur on them, leading to a painful stage called thrombosis which turns these piles from pink to blue and could even bleed.
For proper diagnostic approach and treatment planning, the stage and grading of piles is required. The grading of hemorrhoids as per its clinical symptoms and position of mass or tag readily helps in choosing a treatment approach and also aids to compare therapeutic outcomes among them. On the basis of their location and degree of prolapse, the classification of hemorrhoids is as follows;
Grade 1 – hemorrhoids are not bulging out, with painless bleeding.
Grade 2– bulging out, but spontaneously regresses
Grade 3 – Bulges out and needs to be returned digitally or manually reduced by the patient.
Grade 4 – Permanently bulge or prolapsed and can’t be returned digitally.
The management aspects of treating piles with ayurvedic medicines have shown great results because the herbal remedies have proven the effect on the various causes of the diseases with an individual approach. The ayurvedic medicines act directly on the inflamed blood vessels helping reduce both the pain and bleeding from the rectum in both the internal and external piles.
The treatment modality is mainly focused on the grading of piles and the symptoms;
1st-degree hemorrhoids: Medicinal management along with a conservative approach
2nd-degree and 3rd-degree hemorrhoids: A Conservative medicinal approach along with strict diet and lifestyle changes can help to cure 2nd and 3rd-degree piles initially but may require kshara-sutra ligation or Agni karma approach, depending on the severity and prognosis of the piles.
Hemorrhoids are a painful and debilitating condition that directly links to the quality of life. However, Ayurveda medicines are boon to this condition and could be the solution for the cure along with healthier lifestyle changes.
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