Hemorrhoids or piles are the swollen, inflamed veins (blood vessels) of rectum found around the anal region. The topic of hemorrhoids is not discussed easily in polite society because of its symptoms and the area which is affected by it. This lack of free discussion about the disease in public gives rise to many myths associated with hemorrhoids. The myths become so much deep rooted in the minds of people that eventually, the myths turn into facts in the minds of people and they live their life with the disease and the myths about it. Here, we will see some of the most common myths related with hemorrhoids.
Only men get hemorrhoids!:This belief is absolutely false and baseless. Men or women both can get affected by hemorrhoids anytime in their life if they lead a faulty lifestyle, if they sufferfrom chronic constipation, if there is lack of enough fibers and excessive presence of junk food in their daily diet. In fact, females bear higher risk of developing hemorrhoids during pregnancy.
Eating high fiber vegetarian diet makes one immune to hemorrhoids. This is not true. It is right that if you are suffering from hemorrhoids, you should take more of fibers in the form of vegetables and salads in your daily diet. But, fruits and vegetables never make an individual immune to it. They may reduce the risk and chances of developing hemorrhoids but they cannot act as a vaccine and protect the individual against developing hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids can cause colon cancer. Hemorrhoids cannot cause colon cancer but the symptom of hemorrhoids and symptoms of rectal cancer are very similar. This similarity masks the underlying cancer of the rectum or colon. So, it is very important to get treated for hemorrhoids as soon as they develop. Permanent cure of hemorrhoids is not possible: Hemorrhoids is a disease condition which is known for recurrence. So, people may think that the disease cannot be treated permanently. But, today the scenario has changed. With the new techniques of surgery like stapler hemorrhidectomy complete and permanent solution to the problem is available.
Hemorrhoids always bleed profusely: This belief is not true. Hemorrhoids are of two types. Bleeding hemorrhoids and non –bleeding hemorrhoids or the blind piles. The blind hemorrhoids feel like protruding masses at the opening of the anus after passing stools. Only older people get affected by hemorrhoids: Although, disease is seen in large numbers in old people, it cannot be said that only older people can get hemorrhoids. The fact is anyone who leads a sedentary life, eats fewer fibers and more junk, can suffer from hemorrhoids irrespective of the age. Surgery is the only option to get rid of hemorrhoids: surgery is one of the options for the treatment of hemorrhoids but it is not the only option. Homeopathic medicines play a significant role in treating hemorrhoids.Especially, if the treatment is started in early stages and along with lifestyle modificationand diet modification. This is all about the overall myths and misconceptions that surround the disease called as hemorrhoids. An important point to note about hemorrhoids is that homeopathy offers an excellent treatment for this and surgery could be avoided in most mild to moderate cases.
Myths about haemorrhoids
Haemorrhoids is a condition that has many misconceptions about it. Below are some of the myths you may have heard, with an explanation as to why there is no truth to them.
Myth : You can get haemorrhoids from sitting on cold floors .
The facts:This is not true! Sitting on a cold floor will not give you haemorrhoids, however, sitting down for long periods can increase your chances of getting haemorrhoids. The temperature of what you sit on has no effect on whether you get haemorrhoids and in fact many people find that cooling painful haemorrhoids is a great way of getting relief.
Myth :Only unhealthy people get haemorrhoids .
The facts:This is not true. It is important to remember that a good diet will reduce your chance of getting haemorrhoids, however, lots of healthy people also suffer. If your family has a history of suffering haemorrhoids or if you do heavy manual work or weightlifting your chance of getting haemorrhoids is increased.
Myth :Only older people get haemorrhoids .
The facts:This is not true. It is true that your chances of getting haemorrhoids increase with age, however, lots of young men and women also suffer.
Common Myths about Piles
Myth :Cure of piles not possible
The high recurrence rates of the conventional modes of treatment led to this belief. This is not true today. The newer method(Stapler Haemorrhoidectomy) has decreased the recurrence rates to the lowest levels.
Myth :Surgery of Piles is painful and prolonged
This was true with conventional surgery but with Stapler surgery, the treatment is virtually painless and can be done on day care basis(i.e the patient goes home the same day)
Myth :Piles always bleed
This is not true. A significant percentage of piles patients hardly bleed. They just feel the small masses(piles) in their anal area after motions. These masses gradually increase in size over years and may lead to complications of piles.
Myth :Piles can lead to cancer
Piles does not increase the risk of cancer but what is important to understand is that symptoms of piles and rectal cancer are same i.e bleeding off and on. So symptoms of piles can mask the presence of underlying rectal cancer. Therefore piles should always be treated even it is causing no symptoms other than occasional bleeding.
Myth :Piles is a taboo
Many people including the educated ones consider piles to be a taboo and do not come out openly/ discuss their problem. This can be dangerous. Piles is a simple disease like any other disease and a consultation should be sought with a good surgeon.
Myth :Piles treatment is a domain of quacks
As earlier mentioned, because of lack of satisfactory treatment with medical sciences, the treatment of piles was taken over by quacks especially in India. But now this tendency should be curbed as medical science offer very good treatment options or piles.
Time to Debunk Hemorrhoid Myths
No question, hemorrhoids are a still considered a taboo subject. This is one of the reasons why false convictions have stubbornly persisted.
Nobody likes to talk about haemorrhoids and other anorectal diseases. Thus, many people with this problem put off seeing their doctor for too long. You may have some good reasons for being reluctant to consult a Proctologist: a busy schedule, the fear of embarrassment or painful surgery, or panic that it could be something worse. But neighbors, colleagues or family members are not the ones to turn to for help in clarifying the cause of your symptoms. Often they even don’t want to hear about your hemorrhoid complaints. Moreover, the expert advice of your pharmacist will be much more accurate if it is based on a thorough diagnosis established by a Proctologist. Your Proctologist is exactly the right person to talk to. After a thorough examination he will discuss with you the appropriate therapeutic options – of which surgery is only one among many. In fact, hemorrhoidectomy or MIPH is considered to be the last option after all other possibilities have been exhausted or in advanced cases.
There are several misperceptions about hemorrhoids (piles). Many people think that common activities such as eating spicy foods, riding a bike, sitting on cold benches or sidewalks, or having anal sex cause hemorrhoids. The development of hemorrhoids is not so simple. The real truth is it is important for patients to have the facts about hemorrhoids (including common hemorrhoid myths) in order to prevent or treat the condition. If you’re suffering from a hemorrhoidal condition and need accurate information, don’t hesitate to contact the colorectal and GI specialists at Padval Hospital for a consultation.
Hemorrhoid Myths :Piles can lead to cancer.
Hemorrhoids may well be uncomfortable, painful and can progress, turning into quite a serious problem. However, that problem is not cancer. Piles are actually just swollen veins that cause discomfort and are not actually cells, which prevent the progression into cancer. Cancer is the division and mutation of cells and so is completely different but that it not to say that you should assume that your piles are nothing serious. Some cancer patients are susceptible to piles so you should always seek medical attention.
Hemorrhoid Myths :Hemorrhoids are permanent and you cannot cure them.
As with most other health issues, hemorrhoids are not permanent because of their very nature. They are swollen veins that have the ability to change as time goes by. As such, there are plenty of ways in which you can cure and solve your hemorrhoids problem over time.
Hemorrhoid Myths : Piles can be caused by having anal sex.
Anal sex is not a major cause of piles. Although having anal intercourse can make existing hemorrhoids worse, there is no proof that it causes them to begin with.
Hemorrhoid Myths : Spicy foods cause hemorrhoids.
Spicy foods can cause problems with your digestive system because it tends to upset the balance of your stomach. However, it cannot cause piles because spicy food does not affect the veins in the rectal area.
Hemorrhoid Myths : Sitting on a cold sidewalk can cause piles.
This hemorrhoid myth is almost laughable. Sitting on a cold sidewalk, seat or anything else will not cause Piles. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Cold pavements will cause the veins to move further into the body to retain heat. Sitting or standing in the same position for a long period of time can cause piles though because of the strain placed on the rectum.
Hemorrhoid Myths :Hemorrhoids is a senior citizen problem.
Any person of any age can get piles, although older people are more likely to suffer with them because of the degradation of the body and weakening of the rectal walls. However, you should not dismiss the possibility based on age.