How to Treat Haemorrhoids

Haemorroids - Man in Jeans Credit: winterseitler at
Haemorrhoids, also known as piles can be a painful and uncomfortable condition. However there are remedies you can use to ease the pain and get rid of your piles.

Haemorrhoids, better known as piles, occur when the blood vessels enlarge inside and around your anus. They can cause discomfort and itching.

What causes piles to develop?

Piles can develop for several reasons. Common causes are constipation. What happens is that when you are constipated, you push hard when you are pooing, and this leads to enlarged blood vessels and then piles.

You can also get piles if you are doing a lot of heavy lifting which is causing strain and also, pregnancy can bring on piles when the uterus puts extra pressure on the veins around your anus.

What are the symptoms of piles?

Symptoms include:

  • Itching around the anus
  • Bright red blood on the toilet paper after you poo
  • Mucus in your underwear
  • Lumps around the anus. There may be a lump sticking out of your bottom which can be pushed back in
  • Feeling like you haven’t finished pooing although you have
  • Painful feeling around the anus when you poo

What do piles feel like?

They can feel like lumps around the size of peas if they are small, or grapes if they have grown larger.

Can piles be prevented?

The easiest way to prevent piles is to keep stools soft and easy to pass. This means eating high-fibre foods like whole grains and more fruits and vegetables. You should also drink plenty of fluids and include some daily exercise in your routine to maintain your correct weight.

How can piles be treated?

If you are in pain when you poo wipe yourself with damp toilet paper or a baby wipe which will reduce the pain. A warm bath can ease itching, or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. You can also take an over-the-counter medicine like paracetamol if you are hurting. If you’re piles are bleeding don’t take ibuprofen and avoid painkillers containing codeine as they can cause constipation.

What treatments can I get from the pharmacy?

Here at VSM Pharmacy, we can supply you with creams that can ease the pain, itching and swelling of the piles. We also have treatments to help soften your poo if you are constipated and we sell cold packs which you can use to ease the discomfort.

Should I see a doctor?

If home treatments aren’t working and you find you are in a lot of discomfort, you should visit your doctor who may refer you to a hospital for treatment.

Non-surgical treatments for piles include:

  • Use of an infrared light (infrared Coagulation). The light is used to cut the blood supply to your piles and then they shrink
  • A liquid is injected into the piles which makes them shrink
  • Electrotherapy is used by applying a gentle electric current to your piles to make them shrink
  • Rubber Band Ligation. A band is tied around your piles to make them fall off

There are also several surgical treatments available. These treatments will usually require an overnight stay in a hospital and the procedure will be carried out while you are asleep.

These treatments are:

  • Haemorrhoidal Artery Ligation – Stitches are used which cut the blood supply to your piles and make them shrink
  • Haemorrhoidectomy – This procedure cuts your piles away
  • Stapled Haemorrhoidopexy – Doctors will staple your piles back into your anus.

If you have discovered you have piles you might find that they go away on their own with help from over-the-counter treatments. Ask your pharmacist if you can have a word in private if there are other customers in the shop. We’re always here to help and give advice whatever the problem.

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