Piles is the one of the most common problems seen today among anorectal disorders. Piles, also known as hemorrhoids is clinically an engorged condition of haemorrhoidal venous plexus along with abnormally displaced enlarged anal cushion, characterized by inflamed or prolapsed pile mass, bleeding per rectum and some discharge from the anus.
The problem of piles is related to life-style, occupation, age and dietary habits. Other factors such as complications during child birth in females, repeated abortions, physical injury to the anal region, psychological imbalances etc. also play a major role in the development of this disorder.
It is a very terrible condition as patient is afraid of defecation because of pain with bleeding per rectum.
They are classified into two types depending on their level in relation to anus. They are classified as:
- Internal piles
- External piles
Internal piles are further classified into four degrees depending on the symptoms.
- Grade I: In this category, there is only bleeding from the rectum but the hemorrhoids do not prolapse.
- Grade II: The hemorrhoids prolapse upon defecation but reduce spontaneously.
- Grade III: In Grade III, the hemorrhoids prolapse upon defecation but these reduce after manipulation.
- Grade IV: The hemorroids always remain prolapsed.
What are the causes of Piles?
- Irregular bowel movements like constipation
- Intake of low-fibre diet
- Lack of exercise
- Increased intra-abdominal pressure such as in pregnancy, due to intra-abdominal mass, absence of valves within the hemorrhoidal veins
- Sitting for longer periods of time
What is the treatment of Piles?
In modern medical science, many procedures are described for the management of hemorrhoids, out of which haemorrhoidectomy is commonly preferred by the surgeons, but after sometime of excision, there is a great possibility of recurrence of the condition.
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Concept of Piles according to Ayurveda:
In Ayurveda, piles are known as “Arsha”. In modern medicine, hemorrhoids are considered as stubborn but Ayurveda provides the alternative treatment for piles as Ayurveda acts on the root cause of the disease. Ayurvedic treatment is also cost-effective and affordable for the people in developing countries.
In Ayurveda, it is stated that:
It means that something that obstructs the anal canal is called “Arsha”.
The vitiation of all the three doshas vata, pitta and kapha doshas are responsible for causation of piles as vata dosha governs the movement in the body. The aggravation of Vata dosha causes constipation. The bowels get dried with painful black coloured hemorrhoids. The pitta dosha causes the inflammation of haemorrhoids that bleed. The kapha dosha is cold and heavy in nature, which causes large light coloured hemorrhoids.
What is the treatment of Piles in Ayurveda?
The science of Ayurveda is based on the tridoshic concept. The mode of treatment in Ayurveda for piles is to rectify the pathology through diet and drugs. Therapeutic objectives in piles are relieving constipation, shrinkage of pile mass, subsiding infection as well as inflammation in the anal region and preventing bleeding from the rectum.
Conservative Ayurvedic treatment for piles includes:
- Treating the root cause such as constipation by administering laxatives such as Triphala churna, Haritaki Churna, Panchaskar Churna etc.
- Prescription of Deepan-Pachan aushidhi like chitrakadi vati, lavan Bhaskar churna etc. These are prescribed for the removal of ama (toxins) and strengthening the agni (digestive fire).
- Hot-sitz bath is prescribed
- Rakt-stambhan drugs (medicines that arrest the bleeding) drugs are prescribed to stop the bleeding such as bol parpati, praval pishti etc.
- Vran ropak (wound healing) medicines are given for local application such as jatyadi oil, nirgundi oil etc.
- Vednahar (analgesics): Ayurvedic medicines such as triphala guggul are administered for pain.
Along with Ayurvedic treatment for piles, certain dietary guidelines must be followed for the successful treatment. These are:
- Pathya (Wholesome diet): Cow milk, fresh butter, buttermilk, cow ghee, green vegetables, regular sleep, non-suppression of natural urges and moderate exercise.
- Apathya (Unwholesome diet): All food items that vitiate Pitta dosha such as chillies, fried food items, sour food items, tea/coffee, alcohol, junk food, non-vegetarian food, sedentary lifestyle, applying excessive pressure during defecation.
In addition to the above treatment for piles, other treatment procedures like Kshar Sutra Ligation, Agni Karma, Chedana Karma are also described in ancient Ayurvedic texts for the treatment of piles. These procedures also show high successful rate and negligible recurrence in the future. These procedures are done by experienced Ayruvedic physicians.
Some of the Home Remedies for the treatment of Piles are:
- Pomegranate: 15 ml of fresh pomegranate juice should be taken with 5-10 g of rock candy twice a day.
- Kamal keshara (Lotus Stem): 5 g lotus stem to should be taken with fresh butter in the morning.
- Bilva (Aegle marmelos): Mix 1-2 gm of bilva powder or pulp with 1 gm of shunthi (dry ginger) and take it with water twice a day.
- Triphala Powder: As constipation is one of the major causes of piles, triphala powder must be taken regularly to remove constipation and hence it prevents the piles from developing. 4 gm of triphala powder should be taken with water before going to bed.
- Castor Oil: Castor oil is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant in nature. It reduces the size of the piles and reduces pain as well. 3 ml of castor oil can be taken with milk every night. Castor oil can also be applied externally on the affected area.
- Salads: Salads such as cucumber and carrots must be eaten regularly. Carrots have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. They are also a rich source of Vitamins C and K, which are known to improve vein health.
- Water: Adequate intake of water results in healthy bowel movement as it prevents constipation. Take 8-10 glasses of water every day.
Conclusion: Hence it can be stated that with ayurvedic medications and changes in diet such as avoiding the intake of strong and spicy foods such as coffee, tea, alcohol and intake of fibrous diet along with adequate quantity of water, patient gets relief. Therefore, Ayurvedic treatment has immense potential for managing all the stages of piles successfully without causing any complications.
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