Piles, or haemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels found inside or around the anus, according to the NHS.
In a lot of cases, the piles don’t cause any symptoms, and patients won’t even realise they have them.
There are two general different types of piles; internal and external piles.
Internal piles start inside the anus, and could hang down outside of the anal canal. External piles are swellings closer to the anus, and can be very painful.
Internal haemorrhoids can be classified by first, second, third or fourth degree piles. This is what each classification actually means.
“First degree piles may bleed but don’t come out of your anus,” said Bupa UK.
“Second degree piles come out of your anus when you have a bowel movement, but go back inside on their own afterwards.
“Third degree piles come out of your anus and only go back inside when you push them in.
“Fourth degree piles are always partly outside your anus and you can’t push them back in. They may become very swollen and painful if the blood inside them clots.”
You should see a GP if you have persistent or severe symptoms of haemorrhoids.
If your piles are bleeding, or you’re showing any signs of rectal bleeding, it should always be checked by a doctor.
The GP will diagnose haemorrhoids by using a simple internal examination of your back passage, the NHS said.
You shouldn’t be embarrassed about seeing a doctor about haemorrhoids – they are very used to diagnosing and treating the condition.
You can treat your piles by increasing the amount of fibre in your diet.
Try eating more fruit, vegetables, wholegrain rice, bread, pulses and beans, the NHS suggested.
Prevent the condition in the first place by never delaying going to the toilet.
Ignoring the urge to pass a stool makes them drier and harder, which may lead to straining when you go to the toilet later.