Piles, also known as haemorrhoids, are swollen varicose veins inside and around the rectum and anus. It's a very common problem that doesn't always come with symptoms, but left untreated piles can become very uncomfortable, painful and itchy, and may even bleed too.
Some lifestyle changes may also help to reduce your symptoms of piles or stop them from returning. These include increasing the fibre in your diet, drinking more water and less caffeine to make your stools easier to pass; not delaying emptying your bowels for extended periods of time; not straining when you do empty your bowels; and losing excess weight and exercising regularly to lower your blood pressure and strain on the blood vessels around your rectum.
The symptoms of piles include:
- Bleeding after passing a stool – the blood is usually bright red.
- Itchy bottom.
- A lump hanging down outside of the anus, which may need to be pushed back in after passing a stool.
- A mucus discharge after passing a stool.
- Soreness, redness and swelling around your anus.
Symptoms can range from temporary and mild, to persistent and painful. In some cases, piles are
small and symptoms settle down without treatment. However if treatment is required it is usually effective. The exact cause of piles is unclear; many cases are thought to be caused by too much straining on the toilet as a result of prolonged constipation however long term diarrhoea can make some people more susceptible to piles also. Other factors may also increase the risk of piles including pregnancy, being overweight and old age.
If you are worried about your piles or they have lasted a few weeks, ask our pharmacist for advice.
- Ask to see your pharmacist who will choose a suitable product for you.
- Increase your fibre intake. Fibre is found in fruit and vegetables and wholemeal bread.
- Increase your fluid intake - not tea, coffee, cola or alcohol.
- Take regular exercise.
- Do not strain when you go to the toilet - relax!
- Wipe your bottom with soft toilet paper after you have been to the toilet, and if possible, wash with warm soapy water. Keep moist toilet tissues to hand for use when you are out.
- Wash the area morning and night before using your treatment.
- Use the treatment morning and night and after emptying your bowels.
Products we recommend for this condition are:
- Anusol Cream 23g - Provides effective, soothing relief from the pain and discomfort associated with haemorrhoids (piles), itching, fissures and other related anal conditions. It contains ingredients that soothe and protect raw areas; helps reduce swelling, prevent bacterial growth and can promote healing. Rapidly absorbed and has a vanishing base that avoids staining clothes. Suitable for adults. Please read the enclosed leaflet carefully before use. Topical use only. Apply to the affected area at night, in the morning and after each bowel movement. For internal conditions use the rectal nozzle provided, remove the nozzle cap and clean the nozzle after use. Not recommended for children. You may use if you are pregnant or breast feeding but as with all medicines at this time, you should discuss it with your doctor first. Keep out of the reach and sight of children. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have an underlying medical condition, are taking any other medication or complementary therapy, or if symptoms persist.
- Anusol Suppositories 12s - Shrinks piles, soothes itching, relieves pain & discomfort. Delivers medication right where it's needed. Provides targeted soothing relief from the discomfort of internal piles (haemorrhoids), fissures and anal itching. Contains ingredients that soothe itching, shrink piles and prevent bacterial growth which can promote healing. Suitable for adults only. Please read the enclosed leaflet carefully before use. Topical use only. Do not take orally. Insert one suppository into the back passage at night, in the morning and after each bowel movement. Not recommended for children. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have an underlying medical condition, are taking any other medication or complementary therapy, or if symptoms persist. Seek advice before using if you are breast feeding, pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or suffer from allergies.
To find your nearest Rowlands Pharmacy simply enter your postcode into the store finder.