Colonic Irrigation & Piles (haemorrhoids)

Piles (also known as haemorrhoids) are lumps that tend to develop in or around the anus and/or rectum. The piles are swellings that appear as blood vessels in the anus and rectum get filled with more blood than they normally do. Around 50% of the UK population will develop piles at some point in their lives.  Occasionally, piles just appear and appear to have no underlying cause. However, it is thought that in the majority of cases, the piles develop due to anal pressure.

What may encourage the formation of piles?

There are four factors that are common in many lives, which have been related to an increased probability of the development of piles. These are:

  • Pregnancy – The pressure on the rectum and anus that is caused by the baby is one contributing factor to the common issue of piles whilst pregnant. In conjunction with this situation, the hormones that the body produces during pregnancy can also change the vein characteristics also being a causative event leading to piles.
  • Constipation – When someone is constipated, they tend to strain a lot when going to the toilet to try and force the stool out. The stool in question is often rather large and hard. This causes a pressure increase for the anal veins, which can then subsequently lead to the formation of piles.
  • Ageing – As we age, the tissues around the anus become less elastic and supportive. This may cause increase in anal vein pressure as stools are passed which may cause the development of piles.
  • Hereditary influences – It is well known that traits like hair colour and height are inherited by offspring, and one of these traits may be weak walls of the veins in and around the anus. This can cause them to fill up with blood easier and swell to cause piles to form.

Symptoms of piles

The symptoms of piles can vary greatly between individuals. Often, if the piles are small in size they are also pretty much painless. Despite this, a very commonly reported symptom is bleeding after passing a stool. In contrast to small piles, larger ones can lead to the production of mucous as well as being itchy, irritating and occasionally painful. Piles can be internal and these tend to develop in the rectum, between two and four centimetres above the anal opening. There are four graded categories that internal piles are separated into based on their size and level of severity:

  • Grade 1 – These piles are actually rather common and are often not visible by just looking at the anus. They are small swellings that occur on the inside wall of the rectum. However, despite them seeming relatively harmless at this grade, they can develop into grade 2 piles.
  • Grade 2 – These piles are larger than grade 1. They may project slightly from the anus when passing a stool (known as a prolapse). However, once the stool has been passed, they projections tend to regress back inside.
  • Grade 3 – These piles are visible as they prolapse (project out) from the anus. They are often not too large but you can feel them with your finger. It is also possible to push them back inside the anus with your finger.
  • Grade 4 – This grade of piles cannot be pushed back into your anus. They are permanently prolapsed and can become rather large and uncomfortable.

Grade 3 and grade 4 piles can sometimes (but rarely) lead to complications such as thrombosis (blood clots). These can form inside the haemorrhoid and can be extremely painful.

Colonic irrigation and piles

It has been claimed that colonic irrigation is safe to perform and can relieve the pain of piles. At first thought, the idea that inserting a tube into an anus that is already inflamed and irritated due to piles seems completely illogical. However, as the colonic irrigation alternates between using hot and cold water, it increases the blood flow. This is beneficial if you suffer from piles as they are there due to the accumulation of blood in veins because of a lack of blood circulation. Therefore, by increasing the blood flow you will increase the circulation in the anal and rectal veins.

Another contributing factor to the formation of piles is the pressure caused by trying to force a bowel movement. Colonic irrigation loosens up the bowels whilst strengthening the colon walls so bowel movement is made easier. This will hopefully prevent the formation of future piles as passing stools is eased.

« Colonic Irrigation & Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Colonic Irrigation vs. Enema »