Foods to Avoid for Hemorrhoids: Does Diet Matter?
Whether you’re currently plagued with hemorrhoids or simply looking to avoid them, you may have questions about your diet. First, are there foods to avoid for hemorrhoids? Also, are there things you should eat instead?
Diet can make a big difference in your fight against hemorrhoids. By learning which foods to avoid and which to enjoy, you can do your best to care for your colorectal system.
Why Diet Matters for Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are often related to a person’s bowel habits. Straining on the toilet during a bout of constipation could cause hemorrhoids to form. Continued struggles with constipation are likely to aggravate an ongoing hemorrhoid problem.
Diet can be quite influential in your constipation situation. By choosing foods and drinks that will make bowel movements easier, you might be able to clear up your hemorrhoid concerns.
On the other hand, though, you don’t want to cause diarrhea. Like constipation, diarrhea can contribute to hemorrhoids. Ideally, you’ll opt for a diet that helps you pass bowel movements that are soft but not loose.
Foods to Avoid for Hemorrhoids
To prevent hemorrhoids, cut back on the amount of high-fat, low-fiber foods in your diet and avoid anything that gives you an upset stomach.
Many carbohydrate products are made with refined flour that's been stripped of its fiber-containing components. Such flour is commonly used for bread, bagels, pasta, snack cakes, crackers, cookies and other popular foods.
While you don’t need to avoid these items entirely, it’s wise to opt for versions that are higher in fiber, such as those made with whole grains instead of refined flour. The nutrition label on packaged items can clue you into their fiber content.
Cheese and other dairy products don’t have much fiber. Instead, they often have a lot of fat. When it comes to constipation prevention, that’s a bad combination.
Fatty foods can slow your digestion. Slow-moving bowels can leave you with dry, hard stools that don’t pass through your body easily.
Like dairy, meat can have a lot of fat and not much fiber. Red meat can be particularly problematic for those with constipation. In addition to cutting back on red meat, some people may also need to eat fewer eggs.
Processed Snacks and Meals
Processed foods are often salty. That’s a problem because salt can draw moisture away from your intestines. Without enough water, your bowel movements can become hard, and you may end up constipated as a result.
Another problem with processed foods is that they can be high in fat and fiber. As you already know, those things aren’t good for your regularity.
Alcoholic beverages can be dehydrating. That’s not helpful for the consistency of your bowel movements. They may become dry and harder to pass if you indulge in too many alcoholic drinks.
For some people, a spicy meal sends them right to the toilet. If that’s you, then you’ll probably want to avoid spicy items whenever possible since diarrhea has the potential to give you hemorrhoid problems.
Allergy or Sensitivity Foods
This category will change depending on who you are and what your system can handle. If certain foods irritate your system, then consuming them may give you diarrhea.
Common culprits are dairy products, fried foods and gluten. Being careful to avoid your dietary triggers may be useful in the battle against hemorrhoids.
Foods That Can Help with Hemorrhoids
If you reduce your intake of the above items, you’ll have more space to enjoy foods that promote regular bowel movements.
Dietary fiber is key to maintaining bowel regularity. Produce — fruits and vegetables — is a great source of dietary fiber. Whole grains are beneficial too.
Some of the top contenders include:
- Leafy greens
If you need help increasing your fiber intake, discuss ideas with your doctor. You may be a good candidate for a fiber supplement.
Also, some people have the opposite response to boosting their dietary fiber. The more they consume, the more constipated they become. Your doctor can evaluate your situation and advise you on whether fiber is the right solution for you.
To avoid constipation, it’s also important that you’re getting plenty to drink. If you’re dehydrated, your stool can become hard and dry. That makes bowel movements much harder to pass.
Most people need to drink about 11.5 to 15.5 cups of fluid each day.
The best drink to rely on is water because it’s free of sugar and calories. You can also get your hydration from juice, tea and other beverages.
For more tips on an anti-constipation diet, watch this video:
When Diet Is Not Enough to Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hopefully, following these guidelines for foods to avoid for hemorrhoids will help you steer clear of the issue. Your diet may help you clear up a current round of hemorrhoids and keep recurrences at bay.
That’s not always the case though. Even with a careful diet, some people still experience recurrent hemorrhoids. When that happens, treatment may be in order.
Your doctor may recommend removing your hemorrhoids through rubber band ligation. If so, choose to have your procedure done with the Adler Ligator, a convenient, affordable approach to hemorrhoid surgery. Visit our Adler Ligator resource page to learn more.
As with all medical issues, your physician is the ultimate source as to what procedure best fits your needs. Discuss all options and get a second opinion if you have any doubts. These articles are intended to be a source of general information only.