Glossary On What are hemorrhoids / piles?

When veins (blood vessels) in the anal region enlarge and form a mass, the condition is called as Hemorrhoids (piles). This mass (piles) may protrude outside the anus, may bleed, itch or even become tender.

Hemorrhoids are fairly common and the incidence tends to increase with advancing age. People between 45 to 65 years of age have the highest incidence. However, many cases go unreported since home remedies are very commonly used to treat Hemorrhoids.

There are two types of Hemorrhoids:

  • Internal: Internal Hemorrhoids originate in the upper part of the anal canal and usually you can't see or feel these hemorrhoids. They generally don’t cause any discomfort either; however, the patient continues to experience symptoms like bleeding with stools. Sometimes, the internal piles may prolapse (fall out of place) due to excessive straining and start protruding outside the anus resulting in pain and irritation.
  • External: External hemorrhoids originate in the lower part of the anal canal and are covered by anal skin. When irritated, external hemorrhoids can itch or bleed. Sometimes blood may pool in an external hemorrhoid and form a clot (thrombus), resulting in severe pain, swelling and inflammation.

Based on the severity, hemorrhoids (piles) can be grouped as follows:

  • Grade 1 Hemorrhoids: In this case, small swellings are present on the inside lining of the anus and cannot be seen or felt from outside. Their presence is only identified due to the bleeding which occurs with stools.
  • Grade 2 Hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids prolapse from the anus while passing stools but they immediately get pulled in to the original place after passing stools.
  • Grade 3 Hemorrhoids: Here, the hemorrhoids remain outside the anus as small grape-like lumps but can be restored back (pushed) inside the anus using a finger.
  • Grade 4 Hemorrhoids: These hemorrhoids permanently prolapse outside the anus and cannot be pushed back inside. These can result in significant discomfort to the patient.

Homeopathy can effectively treat grade 1 and grade 2 Hemorrhoids whereas it can provide symptomatic relief to grade 3 and 4 Hemorrhoids.