If you have daily bowel movements that are solid but soft, and you don’t need to strain, faeces will pass easily and will not put pressure on the blood vessels in your anal area.
To keep your bowel movements soft, you should:
- – eat plenty of fibre-rich foods such as fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals (eg brown rice, wholemeal bread and wholemeal pasta)
- drink plenty of water (2-3l/day)
You shouldn’t spend too much time on the toilet (reading, for example). Regular warm baths may relieve irritation and help to keep the area clean.
If you are still passing hard or infrequent faeces, you could try a fibre supplement such as ispaghula husk (eg Paraffin oil, Fybogel) or mild laxatives such as lactulose, which soften faeces. Don’t use strong laxatives, such as the stimulant laxative senna, unless your doctor advises you to.
There are a number of treatments that can help relieve the symptoms of piles, but won’t cure them.
- Soothing creams, ointments and suppositories may ease pain and itchiness. There are many different products available without prescription. Some contain a local anaesthetic such as lidocaine.
- Products containing corticosteroids, such as Anugesic and Proctosedyl, may reduce inflammation and pain.
If these self-help measures don’t work, or you have a higher grade of piles, you may need treatment with one of the following procedures.
Out-patient treatments/hospital treatments