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PILES. (Hemorrhoids)

Category: Digestive Organs

Hemorrhoid is derived from two Greek words, meaning
blood and flowing with blood. "Pile" is from a Greek word meaning a ball
or globe. Hemorrhoids, or piles, are varicose tumors involving the veins,
capillaries of the mucous membranes and tissue directly underneath the
mucous membrane of the lower rectum, characterized by a tendency to bleed
and protrude. They were known in the time of Moses.

Varieties. There are the external (covered by the skin) and the internal
(covered by mucous membrane).

Causes. Heredity. More frequent in males. Women sometimes suffer from
them during pregnancy. Usually occurs between the ages of twenty-five and
fifty. Sedentary life, irregular habits, high-grade wines and liquors, hot
and highly seasoned and stimulating foods. Heavy lifting. Those who must
remain on their feet long or sit on hard unventilated seats for several
hours at a time. Railway employees, because they take their meals any time
and cannot go to stool when Nature calls, causing constipation. Purgatives
and enemata used often and for a long time. Constipation is perhaps the
most frequent cause: when a movement of the bowels is put off for a
considerable time the feces accumulate and become hard and lumpy and
difficult to expel. If this hard mass is retained in the rectum, it
presses upon the blood vessels interfering with their circulation and by
bruising the vessels may induce an inflammation of the veins when the
hardened feces are expelled; straining is intense, the mass closes the
vessels above by pressure and forces the blood downward into the veins,
producing dilatation when the force is sufficient. One or more of the
small veins near the anus may rupture and cause a bloody (vascular) tumor
beneath the mucous membrane or skin.

External Piles. Two kinds, venous piles and skin or simple enlarged tags
of skin. Venous piles usually occur in robust persons. They come on
suddenly and are caused by the rupture of one or more small veins during
the expulsion of hardened feces. There may be one or more, and may be
located just at the union of the mucous membrane and the skin. Their size
is from a millet-seed to a cherry, livid or dark blue in color, and appear
like bullets or small shots under the skin. At first they cause a feeling
of swelling at the margin of the anus; but as the clot becomes larger and
harder, there is a feeling of the presence of a foreign body in the lower
part of the anal canal (or canal of the anus). The sphincter muscle
resents this and occasionally contracts, spasmodically at first, producing
a drawing feeling; later these contractions become longer and more
frequent, and there is intense suffering caused by the pile being
squeezed, and this suffering may be so great that sleep is impossible
without an opiate. Because of the straining, irritation of the rectum and
pain in the sphincter, the piles soon become highly inflamed and very
sensitive. The clot may be absorbed without any treatment. Occasionally it
becomes ulcerated from the irritation, infection takes place and an
abscess forms around the margin of the anus terminating in a fistula.

Next: Skin Piles. (Cutaneous)

Previous: ITCHING OF THE ANUS. (Itching Piles) (Pruritus ani).Causes

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