Piles (Haemorrhoids) in Children
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Haemorrhoids are swollen veins in the lower part of the anus or rectum. Haemorrhoids are also known as piles and can be very painful. Many adults suffer from this problem. But can this problem affect children too? The answer is yes. Although piles are more common in adults, piles (haemorrhoids) in children is possible.
What Are Haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoids are also known as piles. It is a condition that occurs when the veins around the anal region and inside the rectum are enlarged. Most patients with piles experience a lot of discomfort in the area, which also hurts and bleeds at times. It is not only embarrassing for someone but causes an immense amount of physical and mental distress.
Causes of Piles in Children
Some of the common causes of piles in children are mentioned below.
Sitting on hard surfaces for extended periods of time can cause piles in children.
If a child regularly sits on the toilet seat for extended periods of time or for more than 10 minutes, he is at a higher risk of getting piles. Sitting on the pot for a long can lead to blood collection and stagnation in the pelvic area.
If a child spends a lot of time attempting to poop and tries hard, this can put pressure on his anal area, which might aggravate piles.
If a child does not eat healthy foods, if his diet lacks fibrous fruits, and if he is not hydrated, he may get constipation, which can increase his chances of getting piles.
If a child’s parents have a history of piles, there is a chance that the child may get the same due to hereditary reasons. Such congenital piles are sometimes observed right in the first week of the birth itself.
The formation of a tumour in the colon can result in the stagnation of blood, which can lead to haemorrhoids in kids.
An infected large intestine can further aggravate the rectal area, leading to the formation of piles.
If a child rarely engages in play and spends most of his time sitting around, this can increase the chances of piles.
Symptoms of Haemorrhoids in Children
If your child has haemorrhoids, he may experience the following. These are some common symptoms of haemorrhoids.
Rectal bleeding, itching in the anal area, and a sense of discomfort.
Blood in the bowels is also a sign of piles. This is the result of blood vessels in the anal area being ruptured. Such bleeding of the rectum could also be indicative of different problems and should be checked immediately by a paediatrician.
The presence of piles results in the secretion of a mucus-like substance that keeps the anus and the surrounding area uncomfortably moist. As a result, there is always itching or irritation in the anal area.
Going to the bathroom and sitting for long periods of time generally becomes a painful activity. At times, children may avoid going to the bathroom altogether in order to avoid pain.
External piles make their presence by protruding out from the anus. This is a giveaway sign of a haemorrhoid and needs treatment.
How Are Haemorrhoids Diagnosed in Children?
Doctors usually look for the signs of piles by observing the external area of the anus or by conducting an internal anal exam. Since internal piles are soft and cannot be instantly judged as haemorrhoids, a doctor may use a proctoscope or any other instrument that allows him to take a look inside the anus. If the condition is severe, a doctor may conduct an extensive examination of the entire colon tract through a colonoscopy.
Remedies for Haemorrhoids in Children
In order to treat piles in a child, one or more of the following remedies mentioned below can be tried.
Warm baths twice or thrice a day can provide relief and soothe the anal area. However, while bathing, kids should avoid using a bar of soap and wipe the area clean after bathing.
If the anal area is inflammed and there is an itching sensation, an ice pack or cold compress should be used to get quick relief.
Cleaning the anal area with water can provide relief. If your child uses toilet paper, ask him to use wet wipes instead, as dry toilet paper can irritate his anus.
If it gets too painful for your child, give him some painkillers such as acetaminophen. This can reduce pain as well as soreness in that area.
You can also use haemorrhoid creams available in the market for your child. However, it is best to have a word with your doctor before using any over-the-counter medicines or creams for your child.
If your child has constipation or if he spends a lot of time in the toilet attempting to poop, it’s best to tackle the main problem first, i.e., constipation. Make a change in his diet by including fruits, vegetables, and grain-based dishes in it. Avoid giving him sugary foods and food made with refined flour, as these foods are difficult to digest. Include fibrous foods in his diet.
Make sure that your child stays hydrated. Make him drinks enough water throughout the day. Drinking water will keep him hydrated, and his digestive system will stay healthy and function properly. He should drink at least 8-10 glasses of water daily.
Get your child moving. Let him play some sport, go jogging with you, or simply take a walk every day. Physical activity is a necessity, so make sure he leads an active lifestyle.
If your child holds in poop, this might become a habit. Make sure your child goes to the bathroom the minute he feels the need to poop. Holding in just because he is watching his favourite cartoon or feels like going later will only increase pressure in the anal area and further irritate the haemorrhoids.
Can You Prevent Piles?
If you want to prevent piles in children, here is what you can ask them to do.
- Ask him to exercise daily.
- Make him eat high-fibre foods.
- Make him stay hydrated. Ask him to drink a lot of water and keep himself hydrated at all times.
- Ask him to sit on the toilet pot the Indian way, i.e., by squatting so as to ease the process of pooping.
Adults are more prone to developing this condition, but sometimes children may also develop piles. The good thing is that they can be prevented by making them follow a healthy diet and by ensuring that they get enough exercise. In case your child exhibits the symptoms of piles, it is suggested that you take him to a doctor to rule out any further complications.
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Also Read: Hematuria in Kids