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Video

Dr Christian:
Sit on that cold floor and you’ll get piles, that’s what our Grans used to say. Well actually, you won’t. Piles, or as they’re medically known, haemorrhoids, actually occur when the pressure on the back passage increases so the blood vessels swell and form lumps. The most common cause is constipation. The more you strain to pass stools the more pressure you put on the blood vessels. Pregnancy can also cause piles due to the added pressure on the veins in the back passage from the baby.

About half the UK will develop piles at some point in their lives and they can occur inside or outside the anus. Symptoms can include bright red blood from your anus, pain or discomfort after going to the toilet, and a slimy mucus discharge. But piles aren’t serious, many people have them and don’t even realise it, and a lot of the time they disappear of their own accord.

If you’re feeling discomfort from piles you can get over-the-counter creams to relieve them. The creams containing anaesthetic shouldn’t be used for longer than seven days. Where there’s a lot of inflammation in the area the doctor can prescribe a steroid cream but again, this should not be used for longer than a week. If you have prolapsed piles, painkillers and an ice pack on the area will help soothe and relive any tenderness.

When piles don’t clear up you may need to have them surgically removed and there are loads of methods. Banding can be for internal or external piles where a surgeon places a rubber band around the base of the haemorrhoid to cut off its blood supply so after a few days it dies and falls off. Other treatments include injecting the haemorrhoids, freezing them, using a laser to destroy them and surgically lifting up the anal cushions to prevent them from prolapsing.

Whatever type of haemorrhoids you have, the important thing to remember is they can be easily treated but to stop piles becoming your problem eat a high fibre diet and include plenty of fruit and veg, cut down on sugary, fatty and processed food and drink plenty of water and drink alcohol in moderation. This should keep your stool soft, healthy and you free from constipation and hopefully, free from piles.

Read the video transcript

Quick Health Advice: Piles

Around half the UK population will develop piles at some point in their life. In this exclusive guide, Dr Jessen explains the causes of haemorrhoids and dispels some myths along the way. He also discusses treatment options – from over-the-counter creams to surgery – and advises on the best way to prevent piles occurring in the first place.

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Please note: Unfortunately Channel 4 cannot respond to individual inquiries. If you have any concerns, you can check out NHS Choices, but ultimately it is always best to check with a health professional.

I have a very small pile and I've seen the doctor who said it's so small it doesn't matter and it will always be there and I don't need surgery. But I hate it and I told her how annoying it was to me. I need to remove it myself. What shall I do. Ibe seen 2 women doctors now and they just kind of ignore me about it.





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I have had piles for 3 weeks now (little blood a lot of pain) have seen the doctor after 1 who prescribed a cream. I have tried not sitting much, bathes, paracetamol an d cold compresesses as well as the cream but still no change. They arent big but are painful. What now?





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Okay so yesterday I think I developed piles, my feces. went soft almost like diorea buy not diorea I kept on going to the toilet about 6 times in 1 day and I kind of pushed hard, so now it stings so bad to poo but at the same time I need a poo real bad now, I also found blood in one of my feces after wiping, so now i have to hold my poo before I make the matter worse, and when I sit down or try to hold my poo I keep on getting the urge to urinate frequently I'm a 13 year old male so can.some one advise me? Thanks





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Hi I'm a 16 year old girl and I have been having piles since I was about 10. Now it's gotten way out of control. I have to push it back in EVERYTIME I use the toilet and for at least 15 hours after that, it's super painful to sit down. I'm too embarrassed to do anything about it. How?





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Hi I've had piles for about 1 year now and I feel that I need to get it checked out but I don't know what to do. Can you help me?





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I have piles with blood bleeding.I am a 21 year boy.I visit two piles doctor one doctor say the treatment is to fix one type of thread around the piles area and the treatment fees is 7000 .another doctor say it is cure using ointment and injection and the fees is 9500.so I want to know which method is the best method to cure piles please reply.





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I have a broken leg so consequently have to sit for long stretches I have developed a painful pile. What can I do to soothe the pain an prevent a reoccurence





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How are piles caused by sugar or lack of nutrition





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sir i have pain less piles since 7 years.i dont feel any pain,iching,bleeding with stool or any uncomfortable.is necessary remove it immediatly.my age is 25 yrs.pile was started from my pregnency stage 8yrs ago





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hy am having a severe pain in my anus and penis as well as the veins of the leg. when i go to the toilet it pains alot ...does piles affect the penis?





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