Piles / Hemorrhoids : Causes & Risk Factors
Hemorrhoids are painful, swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus. Hemorrhoids are vascular structures in the anal canal which help with stool control. They become pathological or piles when swollen or inflamed. In their physiological state, they act as a cushion composed of arterio-venous channels and connective tissue that aid the passage of stool.
Causes & Risk Factors
This condition is very common, especially during pregnancy and after childbirth. Hemorrhoids result from increased pressure in the veins of the anus. The pressure causes the veins to bulge and expand, making them painful, particularly when you are sitting.
The most common cause is straining during bowel movements. Hemorrhoids may result from constipation, sitting for long periods of time, and anal infections.
In some cases they may be caused by other diseases, such as liver cirrhosis.
Internal hemorrhoids occur just inside the anus, at the beginning of the rectum.
External hemorrhoids occur at the anal opening and may hang outside the anus.