If you are a sufferer of piles (also called haemorrhoids) you may be prone to a feeling of pressure around the bottom, almost as if you feel like you want to open your bowels (called tenesmus).
This can be very uncomfortable and inconvenient, as you will most likely be constantly wondering where the toilet is when you are out and about.
The pressure in your bum comes from your rectum. The rectum is the last few inches of your large intestine where the intestine straightens vertically and flows to your anus.
There are other conditions that might give you the same feeling, such as constipation, which can be treated with over the counter remedies.
The reason you might have this feeling with internal piles is that there is a rectal lining around the haemorrhoid rather than nerve rich skin. If your internal piles become swollen then this gives a feeling of fullness in the rectum, hence making you feel like you want to open your bowels.
There are thought to be around 8 million sufferers in the UK, but the reasons they have developed piles can be associated with anything from bad diet to family history.
In basic terms, the lining of the back passage contains many blood vessels which, together with support tissues, make up the so-called haemorrhoidal cushions. Changes to the veins and support tissues can occur within the lining that can lead to piles developing. The lining and veins become larger which causes a swelling and that is what eventually becomes a haemorrhoid.
The exact cause is still a bit of a mystery. It is thought that increased pressure in and around the back passage (anus) is a major factor in causing piles. This pressure often comes from straining when having a bowel movement (poo), which is why a high fibre diet to keep your bowel movements regular and drinking plenty of water can help prevent piles.
There are certain things that may increase your likelihood of developing piles.
Being overweight. The increase in pressure throughout the body is likely to be a contributing factor to developing piles.
Constipation. The increased effort and straining required to open your bowels, putting pressure on the veins around the anus, is a common reason for piles.
Pregnancy. This is most likely due to the extra pressure around the rectum because of where the baby is lying. The change in hormones can also have an effect on the veins. Piles during pregnancy will most likely go away after the birth of the child, although this can take a few weeks or months.
Ageing. The tissue around the lining of the anus simply becomes less supportive as we get older.
Hereditary factors. If your closest family members have piles, then it may be that you have inherited a susceptibility to piles.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a cure that will mean you are rid of them for life, but there are ways of eradicating the piles that you have at the minute.
There are a number of surgical and non-surgical treatments available. You can read about the main ones in our haemorrhoid treatment page.
eXroid® electrotherapy is one such non-surgical treatment. It’s safe, effective and one of the least invasive treatments available. Please click here for more details.
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