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What are the signs and symptoms of piles?

Hemorrhoids are also known as piles. A hemorrhoid is a swelling of the veins in the lower anus and rectum. It may cause localized inflammation in other tissues.

Piles are common, but often their symptoms are not obvious. In the United States, at least 50% of people over 50 have noticeable symptoms associated with hemorrhoids.

In this article, we will examine piles, their causes, how to diagnose, grade, and treat them, as well as the effects they might have.

Usually, piles do not cause serious health issues and will resolve by themselves.

Here are some symptoms of piles:

  • lumps around the anus
  • itching and discomfort in the anus
  • discomfort when passing stools
  • bloody stools

piles can deteriorate into a more severe condition. Examples include:

  • anemia caused by excessive anal bleeding
  • and infections
  • fecal incontinence
  • anal fistula
  • strangulated hemorrhoid, in which anal muscles cut off blood supply to the hemorrhoid

However, many people with piles may not experience any symptoms.

Piles are usually diagnosed through a physical examination. A doctor will examine the person's anus.

He or she may ask the following questions:

  • Do you have any close relatives with piles?
  • Is there blood or mucus in your stool?
  • Did you recently lose weight?
  • Have you noticed any changes in your bowel movements?
  • What color are your stools?