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Blog - How common are Haemorrhoids (Piles)

In the UK, piles or hemorrhoids are a common condition. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), about 1 in 10 people in the UK are affected by haemorrhoids at some point in their lives.

Haemorrhoids are more common in adults aged 45 to 65, but they can affect people of any age. Some factors that may increase the risk of developing hemorrhoids include a family history of hemorrhoids, pregnancy, obesity, and a sedentary lifestyle.

It's important to note that while haemorrhoids can be uncomfortable and even painful, they are generally a benign condition that can be treated with various home remedies or medical interventions, depending on the severity.

There are several treatments available for piles or hemorrhoids, including:

  1. Self-care measures: These include maintaining a healthy diet with plenty of fibre, staying hydrated, and avoiding straining during bowel movements. You can also use over-the-counter creams, ointments, or suppositories to relieve symptoms such as itching and discomfort.

  2. Medical procedures: If self-care measures do not relieve your symptoms, your doctor may recommend medical procedures such as rubber band ligation (banding), sclerotherapy, Rafaelo, some form of arterial ligation or full blown haemorrhoidectomy. These procedures aim to remove or shrink the haemorrhoid, thus reducing symptoms. Some are more effective and more reliable than others, some are certainly more painful than others.

  3. Prescription medications: In some cases, your doctor may prescribe medications such as corticosteroids or topical analgesics to reduce inflammation and pain, but these will often 'numb' the problem as opposed to 'curing' it.

It is important to note that the treatment for haemorrhoids depends on the severity and the cause of your symptoms. Therefore, it is important to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Moreover it is essential that you visit a colorectal surgeon and one who has all treatments options available to them. Often we self diagnose haemorrhoids and, when encoutering itching and bleeding, we generally conclude haemorrhoids as being the culprit. You may well be right but these symptoms can also be caused in some cases by something somewhat more sinister and that needs to be checked. Only a colorectal surgeon can diagnose you with any confidence. Furthermore, a surgeon who only offers one or two treatment options will be limited by what they are equipped to do, whether or not that is the best option for you. Some NHS hospitals still only offer a Haemorrhoidectomy for this condition - that can be extremely painful with long periods of painful recovery and can, in most cases, certainly be avoided. Ensure that whoever you see, they can offer you the full range of treatment options meaning that you get what is right for you. You can find out the names and locations of all the Rafaelo practitioners in the UK by checking the Find a Clinic section at

Date posted - 01 March 2023

Author - The Rafaelo Team

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