According to Ayurveda, there are many premonitory symptoms or warning signs of hemorrhoids and piles, which can be seen before the disease symptoms are exhibited.
Some of these warning signs include hard and irregular stools or constipation along with the passing of excessive flatulence. The client may show less interest towards food as in anorexia or the feeling of tastelessness of food may also be shown.
Even if the client is hungry, he or she shows little interest in consuming food. In addition, the client will complain of discomfort in the stomach, along with issues of digestion. Symptoms like heartburn and sour belching also fall into this category. Some may even experience a cutting pain in the anus, which may occur infrequently.
Symptoms of hemorrhoids or piles are mainly seen as a mass in the anal region or anal canal which is mainly felt while straining to pass stools. It can occur with or without bleeding.
Piles are a mass which protrudes out of the anus. They occur mainly due to a problem with the veins which are passing through the anal regions. These veins get dilated due to various causes, thereby leading to these diseases. They can occur mainly with or without the passing of blood. Those that pass blood are called hemorrhoids. Those that don’t pass blood are called piles.
Piles which occur deep inside the anus and have a covering of a layer of membrane on it are called inernal piles. Another variety are the piles which occur as a mass of muscle around the anal opening and are covered with skin. These can be easily visible while passing stools. These muscle masses can extend outside while straining to pass stools. All of these can occur with or without bleeding.
According to Ayurveda hemorrhoids and piles are referred to as Arshas.
The muscle (mamsa) or the sprouts of muscle obstruct the passage of the anal canal and the expulsion of doshas from the body, vitiating the skin (twak), muscles (mamsa) and the fat (meda) producing masses of different shapes in the anal canal, called Arshas.
The causes of hemorrhoids and piles are mainly based on a poor diet and the lifestyle. A diet of junk food and lack of water and fiber can be a cause of constipation. In time one who is constipated will try to strain for passing stools, and thereby the veins in the anal canal get irritated, causing hemorrhoids and piles.
Lack of exercise can also increase the chances of getting piles and hemorrhoids. Studies show that working professionals with prolonged sitting are more prone to piles.
Those with familial history of piles are also included in the piles prone category. Other reasons include infections which occur in the lower intestine, suppressing the urge of passing stools at the proper time and poor hygiene.
There are four categories of hemorrhoids and piles.
Grade 1: Hemorrhoids and piles which bleed.
Grade 2: After passing stools the pile mass which comes outside returns back, by its own.
Grade 3: Prolapsed pile mass can only be replaced by pulling it inside with hands.
Grade 4: The pile mass will be permanently outside and cannot be replaced even with hands.
Lifestyle changes like taking up exercise can help to an extent. The practice of yogasanas like pavanamukthasana, pranayamas or breathing exercises and surya namaskar or sun salutations are all beneficial to prevent the disease.
Take care not to consume spicy food and junk food which are rich in calories frequently. They can impair the normal digestion process of a healthy person. Also, it is always advisable to pass out the malas or the waste products of the human body such as urine and stools, as soon as one gets the urge. Suppression over time can lead to various health issues.
Include foods which are high in fiber like green leafy vegetables by preparing salads for your daily meals.
Foods such as yam, button onions, spinach and buttermilk can help by including them in the diet.
Gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), citrus fruits and grapes are all soothing to the intestine and tight stools, and can help in preventing constipation.
In Ayurveda the treatments are mainly given as follows.
1. Medicinal Remedies
These include the administration of medicinal preparations such as chirbilwadi kashaya, dusparshakadi kashaya, kankayana gudika and hutabugadi churna. These can be given according to the condition of the client.
2. Herbal Application
An herbal application of a caustic alkali made up of chaff flower (Achyranthus aspera) is found highly effective.
3. Thermal Cauterization
4. Surgical Operations
5. Other Treatments
Other treatments includes sedation by avagaha technique, applying the pile mass with teekshna lepas (strong medicated ointments), oleation, sitz bath, application of warm poultices and blood letting therapies.
The application of ointments with drugs such as Milk hedge (Euphorbia nerifolia), also known as ‘spurge’, and moist turmeric can be useful.
Intake of buttermilk can also provide wonderful results for those with hemorrhoids.
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