Doctors urge patients to see a specialist for piles problems
With hemorrhoids – also known as piles – a very common but somewhat embarrassing and unspoken condition, leading doctors are urging people with symptoms to avoid self-diagnosis and seek specialist treatment to avoid complications.
Dr Chou Chamnan, a gastroenterology specialist at Siem Reap Provincial Referral Hospital, said he sees around 20 patients a month with symptoms – including painful bleeding from veins in the anus and lower rectum – most of the patients being aged 25 and over. Men and women are affected equally.
“We all get hemorrhoids naturally. Hemorrhoids are veins in the lower rectum. But when we talk about hemorrhoids as a disease, it’s when those veins swell, bleed, or stretch from the anus,” said Chamnan.
According to Dr. Vanna Chetra, gastroenterology specialist at Calmette Hospital, the first symptom to usually look out for is bleeding, and although this may be minimal, bloodstains on underwear are an indicator of hemorrhage. .
Another symptom is swollen external bumps around the anus during defecation. Although these may recede on their own or be pushed back, they can sometimes remain prolonged.
Pain and itching around the anus are other common symptoms of hemorrhoids.
Mey Somony, a teacher at Hun Sen Borey 100 Khnang High School in Phnom Penh, said he suffered from hemorrhoids and noticed the first symptoms about five years ago.
“I had difficulty defecating, with a prolonged time needed to defecate, and sometimes I noticed bleeding. Sometimes a lump would spread and I found it painful to sit down, need to stand up while working For the past year, the pain was particularly intense.
“I first noticed over 10 years ago that I was bleeding while defecating, but it has gotten worse over the past three to five years,” Somony said.
He blamed his piles on poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. He said he ate irregularly and unhealthily, eating hard-to-digest foods too late at night, sitting too long and not getting enough exercise.
Dr. Chamnan said the most common factors associated with general hemorrhoids were constipation, diarrhea and prolonged defecation, with up to five minutes to pass stool.
Constipation can be caused by a poor diet lacking enough fruits and vegetables and fiber-rich foods, too much meat, Dr Chetra added, sitting or standing too long and not drinking enough alcohol. ‘water.
The obese, the elderly, and people who often lift heavy objects were particularly prone to hemorrhoids, as were pregnant women.
“In general, as with any other disease, older people are more at risk because the veins around the anus are weaker than in younger people.
“Some patients may have suffered from constipation for 10 to 20 years without seeking treatment, with hemorrhoids developing with age.
“For women during pregnancy, pressure in the abdomen can restrict blood flow around the anus, while pushing hard during childbirth can lead to the development of hemorrhoids,” Dr. Chetra said.
Dr. Chamnan said that based on observations, around 50% of people with hemorrhoids are over the age of 50, with constipation being the main reason.
He said anyone who bleeds from the anus should see a doctor immediately as it can be symptomatic of bleeding in the digestive system or even cancer.
Dr Chetra said piles were such a common condition that people shouldn’t be embarrassed, especially since neglecting the problem would only make it worse.
“Some people with hemorrhoids don’t want to go to the hospital. If anyone experiences even minor symptoms, they should see a specialist to see if the problem is really with hemorrhoids and discuss what to do next.
“What I have seen at Calmette Hospital is that people often self-diagnose and even go to a non-specialist for treatment.
“We’ve seen some people go to non-specialist clinics, and they only come to us when they’re not getting better – we were the last to deal with the problem,” Dr Chetra said.
Appreciating being pain-free after treatment at Toch Yan Clinic, Somony urges others to adopt a healthy lifestyle and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
“The doctor who examined me said that my hemorrhoids started over 20 years ago and only became serious in the last five years.
“It is important to find a balance in life. Get enough sleep and eat well with a high fiber diet. Don’t eat hard-to-digest foods in the evening or at night, and don’t sit for more than three hours or stand too long. Exercise regularly.
“Love yourself and your body – watch your diet and don’t eat things that can cause health problems,” he said.