Medical Q&As

Piles - very embarrassed?

I\'m pretty sure I have piles. I am 18 and don\'t want to tell my parents and donít have the money to go to a GP. Is there any less embarrassing way to cure it or do I have to visit the doctor?

You havenít mentioned your symptoms therefore I am not sure that you are right in your diagnosis. However, for the purpose of answering your question I will address the issue of managing piles. It is important to ensure that you are getting extra roughage or fibre in your diet. Fibre is the non-digestible residue from plant-based foods that is left in your gut after all the nutrients have been extracted through the process of digestion. The fibre travels on through the gut and eventually forms the bulk of the stool. Extra fibre in the diet ensures that the stool is bulkier but softer thereby helping to prevent constipation. I used the term plant-based foods and by that I mean vegetables, fruit, grains and cereals. It is also important to drink more water each day in order to prevent constipation. Constipation tends to make piles worse because the straining at stool can increase the size of the piles and may make them bleed. Even if you donít suffer from constipation it is important not to strain and force the stool out during defaecation. There are several over the counter preparations available at your local pharmacy that can soothe and ease any irritation or discomfort associated with the piles. Many people with piles are embarrassed about their condition so perhaps asking for a pile remedy in the pharmacy might be more of an ordeal than discussing the matter in the privacy of the consulting room with your doctor. I would suggest that you visit your doctor and have the diagnosis confirmed. Given your age there is no need for your parents to know about your condition if you are too embarrassed to tell them.