Dr Kingsley Umeh, a private medical practitioner in Abuja, has warned that inclusion of processed foods in daily diets could lead to piles, also known as haemorrhoids.
Speaking with NAN in Abuja, Umeh identified low-fibre diet or inadequate fluid intake as possible causes of constipation, which can aggravate haemorrhoids by producing hard stools that further irritate the swollen veins.
According to Umeh, haemorrhoids are enlarged veins that have occurred in the rectum due to constant strains during bowel movements, which can be external and internal in outlook, thereby making the patient very uncomfortable.
He recommended adequate water intake, consumption of healthy meals and maintenance of healthy lifestyle as ways of preventing haemorrhoids or piles.
“Most people do not get enough fibre in their diet and they do not even eat enough fresh vegetables and fruits,” he said.
“Diet, intake of plenty of water and reduction of salt intake are antidotes, salt leads to fluid retention which in turn causes your body to swell, including the blood vessels causing haemorrhoids,.”
Umeh explained that haemorrhoids could also be caused by sitting on the toilet for a long time, carrying heavy items, obesity, diarrhoea and constipation.
“Those ones that occur in the rectum are called internal haemorrhoids, while those which occur around the anus are called external haemorrhoids,” he said.
“It is possible that pile affects about 50 per cent of men before they reach the age of 50 years. Symptoms are usually swollen, painful and bleeding rectum, causing a feeling of pressure.
“You might notice a streak of blood on the outside of your stool or on the toilet paper when you wipe your bottom or splashes of blood on the toilet bowl.”
He said that there could also be a feeling of discomfort when cleaning up after passing stool, hence the need to avoid the use of toilet tissues, but the constant use of water for cleaning oneself.
Highlighting the causes of haemorrhoids in pregnancy, Umeh said the process of childbirth and the increased pressure of the weight of the baby on the child in the anal area could trigger it, stressing that it naturally dissolves after delivery of the baby.
He implored people to avoid straining while passing stool, as increased pressure on the rectum could lead to inflammation of the haemorrhoids.
He also said people should be aware that they should pass stool immediately nature calls, not delaying it till some other time, as such could also make the stool to be hard.
“Most haemorrhoids are manageable; it is only in severe cases that surgery would be needed,” he said.
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