Hemorrhoids or piles refer to swollen veins below the mucus lining in the anus and/or rectum. Their symptoms include pain, discomfort, feeling that there’s still some stool, blood in the stool and swelling. In most cases, you can treat the condition at home with the help of hemorrhoid wipes, lotions, etc. though you should consult a doctor to ensure that it isn’t some other disease with similar symptoms like colorectal cancer. The food you eat can help you prevent and cure piles or cause and worsen them. It depends on how much fiber they contain, how easy they are to digest and how they affect the stool.
Best Food For Hemorrhoid Relief At Home
A fiber-rich diet is essential for a healthy digestive system. Fiber-rich food items contain two types, a soluble fiber that dissolves in water and softens the stool, and an insoluble fiber called roughage that improves bowel movement. Following are some food items you should eat and drink for hemorrhoid relief at home:
Most ripe fruits are rich in fibers and water, both of which are essential for healthy digestion. Bright colored fruits like grapes and berries are particularly rich in fibers. Some fruits like apples, pears, plums, etc. contain roughage in their skin so you should eat them without peeling it.
A cup of leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc. can give you four to five grams of fiber and should be eaten whole if possible. Some vegetables are rich in fiber and water like celery and cucumber. False vegetables like tomatoes and mild bell peppers are also good for piles. Legumes are also beneficial for the digestive system.
3) Whole Grains
Whole grains like oatmeals, barley, brown rice, and bran flakes contain lots of fibers. You should eat bread made from whole grains instead of refined grains.
20 Almonds or pecans contain 3 grams of fiber in them.
Other than your fiber intake, you should also take care of your water intake. Water breaks down food and softens the stools which prevent constipation and protects your swollen veins from irritation. Have six to eight cups of water a day or drink whenever you feel thirsty.
6) Fiber Supplements
If you are unable to get enough fiber from your daily diet then you can turn to OTC supplements like Benefiber and Metamucil. Limit your dosage to avoid hardening the stool or causing gas.
Worst Food For Hemorrhoid Relief At Home
You should avoid food items that are hard to digest, cause digestive problems or don’t contain fibers as they can irritate and worsen piles. Following are some food items you should avoid for hemorrhoid relief at home:
1) Refined Grains
Refined grains, like polished rice, are stripped of their coating that contains important nutrients including fiber, making them harder to digest. The grains may sit in the stomach and intestines for a long time and cause hemorrhoids to flare up. You should have whole grains instead.
2) Deep-Fried Food
Deep-fried food contains lots of fats and oils that are difficult to digest, can inflame the intestines and worsen the swelling. Avoid deep-fried food during piles.
Too much salt can slow down bowel movements and make them more painful. When the blood salt level builds-up it can cause bloating and worsen the piles, making them more sensitive. Control how much salt you consume per meal.
4) Caffeinated Drinks
caffeine hardens the stool, this can result in constipation and can irritate the swelling. Avoid coffee, tea, and cold drinks.
Alcoholic drinks also harden stool resulting in constipation and irritation of swollen blood vessels so they should be avoided.
6) Red Meat
Red meat takes longer to digest and can worsen your problem.
These are just some food items you should add and avoid when you have piles. You should also consider other solutions like hemorrhoid wipes, lotions, gels, etc.