Thursday, September 7, 2017

Increasing cases of piles in India to be blamed on unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle

Provided lifestyle changes are not made on time, it can cause complications and need surgical intervention

New Delhi, 06 September 2017: One disease that is increasingly affecting about 10 million people in India every year is piles. The disease is spreading fast due to stress, insomnia, constipation, and increasingly sedentary life in the urban areas. Studies indicate that every second individual in the world comes across piles between 45 and 65 years of age. As per the IMA, what is alarming is that young people in their 20s are falling prey to this disease owing to bad lifestyle habits.

Piles are hemorrhoids which become inflamed. Hemorrhoids are masses, clumps, and cushions of tissue in the anal canal. These are full of blood vessels, support tissue, muscle and elastic fibers. Although all of us have hemorrhoids, they become problematic only when the hemorrhoidal cushions become too big.

Speaking about this, Padma Shri Awardee Dr K K Aggarwal, National President Indian Medical Association (IMA) and President Heart Care Foundation of India (HCFI) and Dr RN Tandon – Honorary Secretary General IMA in a joint statement, said, “Piles is today become increasingly prevalent in urban areas thanks to faulty food habits, be it junk food, aerated drinks, or a low-fibre diet. Youngsters are becoming habituated to fast food, as it is convenient and easily available, and therefore, start experiencing symptoms right from an early age. Food that is not rich in fibre ruptures veins in the rectum and anus, causing inflammation of these areas. When this swelling and inflammation continue for a long time, it leads to piles. Although in majority of the cases, piles are not serious and go away on their own, they can even require surgical intervention if lifestyle changes are not made on time.”

Some symptoms of piles include a hard lump around the anus consisting of coagulated blood, a feeling that the bowels are full even after a bowel movement, bright red blood after a bowel movement, itchiness around the anus, mucus discharge, pain while defecating, and soreness around the anus.

Adding further, Dr Aggarwal, said, “It is important to consume a diet high in fibre such as salads, seasonal vegetables, and fresh fruits. Spices, junk food, and aerated drinks are better avoided. Some examples of high-fibre foods include oats, sesame seeds, radish, turnips, and papaya which help in preventing and curing piles. However, if piles continue despite all these precautionary measures, it is a good idea to consult a doctor.”

Here are some tips to prevent piles.

  • Be physically active: About 20 to 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise such as a brisk walk can help stimulate your bowels.
  • Eat more fibre: Just as exercise, fibrous food also stimulates the bowels and therefore prevents constipation and piles.
  • Drink plenty of water: Staying hydrated helps the stool stay soft and staves off constipation.
  • Do not fight the urge: It is important to empty your bowels when you feel the urge to. Holding stools for a long time can make them go hard and dry inside the bowel.

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