Simple lifestyle changes can often be the answer to a mild case of piles, especially if constipation and over-straining were the cause.
- By introducing more fibre into your diet, you can help make your stools softer and easier to pass, which will reduce the amount of straining.
- Do not ignore the call to use the bathroom, it can lead to straining and haemorrhoids.
- Be sure to drink plenty of water as dehydration can lead to constipation and then to piles.
- Exercise helps to keep the bowels moving and thus can ease constipation and therefore piles.
If you require medication, there are many different over-the-counter remedies available. These topical treatments include; ointments, creams, sprays and suppositories. Anusol, Germoloids, Preparation H and Anodesyn are all treatments are designed to soothe irritation in and around the anus. They are zinc-based, which provides a barrier for the sore skin, to ease irritation and helping to prevent infection. Some also contain local anaesthetics to help to ease the pain of piles.
If there is severe inflammation around the anus then certain preparations, such as Scheriproct Ointment and Proctosedyl Ointment contain a steroid, which will help reduce inflammation. They also contain different ingredients designed to ease pain and irritation or act as a barrier. They are suitable for more serious cases of haemorrhoids (second and third degree) where over-the-counter treatments are ineffective. They are normally used in courses of 7-10 days at a time.
If your piles are the result of constipation then a laxative may be necessary. These are medicines designed to empty the bowel and relieve any straining associated with passing stools. See our constipation section for further information on laxatives and treating constipation.
Treatment of serious internal haemorrhoids
If your haemorrhoids have developed above the dentate line (high inside the anus), then over-the-counter treatments are not appropriate and your GP may refer you to a specialist. The recommended procedures in these cases are banding and sclerotherapy. Banding is a procedure that involves reducing the haemorrhoid’s blood supply by attaching a very tight elastic around their base. Sclerotherapy is an injection that both numbs pain as well as hardening the tissue of the haemorrhoid, causing it to ultimately reduce and shrivel up.