Hemorrhoids and Your Diet
Whether you are a first time hemorrhoid sufferer or are regularly affected by hemorrhoidal pain, the importance of your diet to alleviate the symptoms cannot be underestimated. What you intake into your body will undoubted come out the other end, so it is critical to be careful with what you eat and how much you eat.
Beyond easing the discomfort of hemorrhoids, changing your diet also can help in the prevention of developing hemorrhoids. So we will look at specific foods that will address the immediate problem and also give you some general ways to improve your hemorrhoid diet that will reduce the possibility of hemorrhoids in the future.
Best Diet for Hemorrhoids – some tips
- Overwhelmingly, the most recommended general advice for preventing hemorrhoids is to eat more fiber. We will discuss the specific foods shortly, but increasing your intake of high fiber foods will help you win your battle with hemorrhoids – now and in the future.
- The advice is consistent but in many cases the reason is absent. What additional fiber does is to cause the water in your body to be absorbed into your stool, making it softer. Some cases of hemorrhoids are the result of pushing too hard during a bowel movement because of insufficient dietary fiber and a dry stool.
- What naturally follows is that if more dietary fiber is needed to draw water into the bowels, then increasing your water intake is necessary during hemorrhoid diet cure. The old “8 glasses of water a day” formula should be ignored because you may need more. In a short time you should arrive at a level that is both beneficial and normal for you.
- Reduce your sitting time when going to the bathroom. There is no specific amount of time you should sit on the toilet, but the longer you sit, the more strain you will put on your rectum and increase the possibility of hemorrhoids or worsen the condition of your current ones. Even if you do not have hemorrhoids, prolonged sitting on the toilet is an indication there is some type of medical problem that requires a visit to the doctor.
Foods to Avoid with Hemorrhoids
The general rule to use with foods that increase your hemorrhoidal discomfort are those that add bulk to your diet but do not add any benefits, such as increasing the amount of water your body can use and foods that have little or no fiber content. The reason is your body will be processing these foods and increase the bulk of your stool, making bowel movements more difficult and possibly aggravating your symptoms.
The first group are “normal” foods:
- Dairy products, such as cheese
- White bread, especially bread that has had the nutrients bleached out during processing and then added back in at the end of the process, often labeled as “:enriched”
- Meat (this is not to say “no” to meat, but significantly decrease your intake temporarily)
- Frozen foods that are “heat and serve”
- Fast food
- “Avoid” does not mean zero intake. If you know your hemorrhoids diet largely consists of these foods then you need to make some lifestyle and dietary changes – permanently. If they are a normal part of your diet, then reduce your weekly amounts.
- The second group are non-foods, though some may believe they actually have some nutritional value.
- Spicy foods
- Salty foods
Spices add to the flavor of your food but only add to your discomfort. Caffeine, alcohol, and salty foods all have one thing in common: they drain needed water from your system, drying out your stool and generally dehydrate you, making your hemorrhoidal condition worse.
Contrasted with foods that cause hemorrhoids, even small amounts of these non-foods can make a big difference. Ask anyone whose diet is very low in salt what happens when they eat something as simple as a regular potato chip. Bring the daily percentage of these non-foods down to zero.
Best Foods for Hemorrhoids
The recommended amount of dietary fiber is between 20 and 30 grams per day. As a hemorrhoids sufferer you should increase this amount but no so much as to make your stool too soft or runny. The list of foods to help hemorrhoids includes:
- Whole grain foods – whole wheat bread, oatmeal, barley are packed with fiber
- Fruits and vegetables – oranges, grapes, bananas, leafy green vegetables all have nutrients that serve a dual purpose by increasing your dietary fiber and by adding natural water that will help ease the pressure from your bowel movements
- Natural fats – olive oil, sunflower seeds, avocados, and tuna add natural lubricants to your rectum, making passage of the stool easier.
For healthy eating, the rule always to apply is “moderation. “ These lists are provided as a guideline, and there are exceptions to some of these recommendations. For example, older people often have a problem digesting certain types of nuts, such as cashews. Other people have allergic conditions that prevent eating some of the recommended foods. Find the best combination of foods that allows you to eat healthy, eliminate the presence and discomfort of hemorrhoids, and generally improve your overall health.