Piles, also known as hemorrhoids, are swollen veins in the rectal area that can cause discomfort, bleeding, and itching. While there is no guaranteed way to completely prevent piles, there are several steps you can take to reduce your risk of developing them or to minimize their symptoms if you already have them:
- Increase your fiber intake: Eating a high-fiber diet can help soften your stool, making it easier to pass and reducing the strain on your rectal veins. Good sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.
- Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help keep your stools soft and prevent constipation, which can aggravate piles.
- Exercise regularly: Regular physical activity can help improve your digestion and prevent constipation, which can help reduce your risk of developing piles.
- Avoid sitting or standing for long periods: Sitting or standing for prolonged periods can put pressure on your rectal veins and exacerbate piles. Try to take frequent breaks and move around periodically throughout the day.
- Practice good toilet habits: Avoid straining when you’re on the toilet, and don’t linger on the toilet for too long. If you’re having trouble passing a bowel movement, try using a stool softener or gentle laxative.
- Manage your weight: Being overweight or obese can increase your risk of developing piles. Maintaining a healthy weight through diet and exercise can help reduce your risk.
- Avoid heavy lifting: Lifting heavy objects can put pressure on your rectal veins and exacerbate piles. If you need to lift something heavy, use proper lifting techniques and avoid straining.
If you have piles that are causing discomfort or bleeding, you should see a healthcare provider for treatment. They may recommend over-the-counter remedies such as creams or ointments, or they may suggest more advanced treatments such as rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or surgery.