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Haemorrhoids/Piles

Haemorrhoids (also known as piles) are swollen blood vessels in or around the anus. The condition affects at least half of people at some stage in their lives and symptoms include itching, bleeding and bloody stools. The condition is both preventable and treatable and with the help of our below advice and effective treatment options, you can get back to feeling normal again.

Group 14

Dr Christian Jessen Explains

Haemorrhoids and the treatments available

Anusol Cream
  • Effective treatment for haemorrhoids
  • Works quickly
  • Easy to use
From
£3.99
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Anusol HC Ointment
  • Reduces swelling and irritation
  • Fast, long-lasting relief
  • Effective treatment for haemorrhoids
From
£5.99
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Proctofoam HC
  • Effective treatment for haemorrhoids
  • Treats both internal and external symptoms
  • Specially designed applicator for ease of use
From
£0.00
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Perinal
  • Numbs sensation to relieve pain
  • Contains a steroid to reduce inflammation
  • Easy spray form
From
£19.99
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Scheriproct Ointment
  • Contains a local anaesthetic to reduce sensitivity
  • Relieves redness, itching and pain
  • Fast acting
From
£0.00
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Anusol HC Suppositories
  • Relieves discomfort
  • Targets internal symptoms
  • Easy to use
From
£14.99
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Uniroid HC Ointment
  • Treats haemorrhoids
  • Works in under 7 days
  • Reduces pain and inflammation
From
£24.99
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Xyloproct Ointment
  • Effectively treats haemorrhoids
  • Numbs pain and itching
  • Simple application
From
£18.99
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Read up

    Haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles) refer to the inflammation of the anal canal, causing swelling and discomfort. The inflammation begins internally but the inflamed parts can push their way out of the anus, which can be very painful. There are also external haemorrhoids, which are blood clots around the edge of the anal opening, but they are much rarer and affect far fewer people.

    The word haemorrhoids refers to the overarching condition, however there are many different types. The most common is internal haemorrhoids, where the swelling happens about 2 to 4 cm above the opening, meaning you can’t see or feel them and anal bleeding may be the only sign they’re there. Internal haemorrhoids can become external though, when the swelling comes through the anal opening, and this is much more painful than those that remain internal. Internal haemorrhoids are also diagnosed on a grading system from first degree to fourth degree, with the mildest being piles that you can’t see or feel, and the most severe being large external lumps that don’t retract internally and can’t be pushed back in.

    Internal haemorrhoids that begin to appear externally are, however, different from external haemorrhoids. These are very rare and occur due to blood clots underneath the surface of the skin around the anus. It’s not always easy to identify external haemorrhoids compared to fourth-degree internal haemorrhoids, but they are likely to be more irritated and painful.

    A lot of the time, people with piles don’t experience any symptoms, so they may go for extended periods of time without realising they have them. For those that do experience symptoms, you might notice blood after passing a stool, anal discharge, itching, soreness and the feeling of still needing to pass a stool after you already have. It’s important though to get any of these symptoms properly checked out, as they can also be signs of Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and bowel cancer.

    The exact cause of piles is still unclear but it’s thought to be linked to high pressure in the blood vessels that surround the anus. This pressure then causes swelling and inflammation that become irritated by clothing and by passing stools.

    There are a number of triggers that can lead to the pressure in your vessels increasing. The top one is constipation because it places added strain on the rectum. It can also be triggered by chronic diarrhoea, pregnancy, being overweight, and sitting down for prolonged periods of time. The idea that sitting specifically on cold surfaces causes piles is nothing more than a myth though.

    Once you develop haemorrhoids once, you’re more likely to get them again, due to genetics and recurring risk factors, such as being overweight.

    A lot of the time, haemorrhoids can go away on their own. However, if your symptoms are lasting longer than 7 days then you should seek treatment. Here at UK Meds, we have a range of medications from ointments to suppositories, that are available to buy with our reliable online doctor service and quick delivery options. Like with all our orders, you can be assured that your medication will arrive in an unbranded, unmarked box with no clue to its contents. If you have had haemorrhoids before then it’s recommended to keep a stock of treatment, to easily clear them when they occur.

    As well as medication, it’s advised to combine treatment with some lifestyle aspects in order to clear piles and avoid them coming back in the future. If you are overweight then it’s advised to lose some weight, and in any case, it’s wise to increase your intake of fibre and drink plenty of water, to keep stools soft and to avoid constipation. You should also stay active, exercise regularly and minimise consumption of caffeine and alcohol.

    If diet and medication haven’t cleared your piles then there are also surgical options to consider. This does not happen very often and is only for very severe cases, but it’s something you should discuss with a doctor if you think you may need it.

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