Piles: This common cold symptom increases your chances of haemorrhoids - are you at risk?

Piles, also known as haemorrhoids, are swollen blood vessels that are found inside or around the anus, according to the NHS.

Symptoms of piles include bleeding after passing a stool, and having an itchy bottom.

Having a mucus discharge after passing a stool may also be a sign of piles.

You could be more likely to develop haemorrhoids if you’re suffering a cough.

“There are certain situations that increase the chance of piles developing,” said medical website Patient.info.

“Possible causes of piles include heavy lifting or a persistent [chronic] cough.

“Some people may inherit a weakness of the wall of the veins in the anal region.

“The tissues in the lining of the anus may become less supportive as we become older.”

Most coughs are caused by a cold or flu virus.

The risk of becoming infected by a virus increases during cold weather.

That means coughs are more likely during freezing temperatures, and therefore haemorrhoids.

You could also be more likely to develop piles if you’re constipated, overweight or are pregnant.

See your GP if you have persistent symptoms of haemorrhoids, the NHS said.

The symptoms usually clear up by themselves. Alternatively, see a pharmacist for simple treatments that are available over-the-counter.

Some people with haemorrhoids are embarrassed to see their GP about piles.

But, doctors are very used to diagnosing and treating haemorrhoids, the NHS advised.

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