The health condition that is referred to as hemorrhoids occurs when the veins around the lower rectum or anus become inflamed and swollen. Hemorrhoids are also called piles and they can develop within the anus or outside the anus. External hemorrhoids are the most common type; they can be very unsettling because they are located around the anus and this is where many of the body’s pain-sensing nerves can be found. Internal hemorrhoids, on the other hand, usually cannot be felt or seen because they happen inside the rectum and may not manifest any signs of discomfort.
With hemorrhoids, passing bowel movements can be really painful and it can even lead to rectal bleeding. Medical research has shown that pregnant women and people between the ages of 45-65 are more likely to develop hemorrhoids. In some cases, the symptoms of hemorrhoids go away on their own without treatment or by simply drinking a lot of fluids, but in other cases, symptoms can stay longer and cause more discomfort.
Constipation is one of the most common causes of piles, as it makes you strain the anus to pass bowels thereby leading to swollen veins, which is called hemorrhoids. There are other symptoms associated with hemorrhoids, such as:
- Inability to control bowel movements
- Painful and discomfort around the anus
- itchy swelling around the anus
- Irritation around the anus
- Painful bowel movements
- Rectal bleeding
- Severe itching around the anus
- Discomfort when sitting
Hemorrhoids mostly develop when there’s a lot of pressure on the veins that are located around the anus. Although the symptoms of piles can be very painful and distressing, they can, however, be treated with simple lifestyle changes and a good diet.
Certain foods can further worsen the symptoms of piles. Foods that are low in fiber have the worst effect on hemorrhoids and as such should be avoided. There are different diet suggestions that you can utilize to alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids and prevent them from causing more discomfort. Here are foods to avoid with hemorrhoids.
15 Foods to avoid with hemorrhoids
1. Spicy foods
If you are suffering from piles, you should avoid spicy foods and vegetables totally, as they can further aggravate your symptoms. Spicy foods have a high acidity level and this can further increase the inflammation of the veins around the anus. They can lead to an uncomfortable feeling in the stomach and can worsen indigestion. Consuming spicy foods can lead to more pain and discomfort when passing bowels especially if you are already bleeding. Avoid foods that contain chilies, cayenne pepper, pepperoni pizza, and fast foods.
2. Salty foods
Foods that contain a high amount of salt can reduce the function of the digestive system, thereby making bowel movements sorer. The consumption of foods that have excess salt can leave your body grasping for water and this can add to the pressure on your blood veins, including the veins around the bottom causing the piles. Salty foods can also cause bloating and this can worsen the situation of your hemorrhoids, making them more sensitive.
3. Refined grains
Grains in this category have been modified to soften their texture, the germ and bran which contain most of the fiber and nutrients, have been removed. Refined grains are bad for piles because they are not easily digested, and they sit in the intestines or stomach resulting in more pain and swelling around the anus. Avoid refined grains like white bread and bulgur.
4. Dairy products
The consumption of dairy products can lead to constipation, stomach cramps, and gas formation during the outbreak of piles and this can further worsen your condition. Avoid dairy products like milk, ice cream, and cheese. If you have hemorrhoids, it is recommended that you reduce your dairy consumption or eliminate them from your diet.
5. Processed foods
These foods have gone through different processes, such as canning, fortifying, and packaging. Processed foods are filled with several preservatives, which contain chemicals that can cause harm to the digestive tract. Processed foods are low in fiber and sodium and can increase your risk of getting constipated. Bottled juices, jams, and syrups, which are also processed foods, contain high amounts of sugar which can restrict the easy movement of stool. Foods that are processed contain few nutrients and are unhealthy. Processed foods to avoid with hemorrhoids include canned foods, microwaved foods, hot dogs, and frozen meals.
6. Processed meats and red meat
Processed meats are low in fiber and are rich in sodium, thereby increasing your risk of constipation. Processed meats also contain a lot of preservatives that can be bad for your digestive tract. Red meat can worsen constipation and do not digest easily. Constant consumption of processed meats and red meat can deprive your body of the necessary fiber content it needs to support bowel movement. To alleviate the symptoms of hemorrhoids, you should avoid bologna and other cold cuts of processed meats.
7. Deep-fried foods
Fried foods are generally bad for the digestive tract because they have a high-fat content and unhealthy oils, which makes them hard and heavy to digest. The fat and oils can cause inflammation in the intestine. Foods that are low in fat can aid the improvement of the symptoms of piles.
While chocolate is widely loved and appreciated, it contains caffeine and sugar. This can increase dehydration, thereby making your stool dry and painful to pass. Studies have also shown that chocolates can add to the effect of constipation and this is bad for piles.
9. White flour
White flour, also referred to as plain flour, has had most of its bran and germ removed thereby making it very low in fiber. Consuming it can congest your body system by slowing down digestion; this can lead to weight gain and headaches. You should avoid products that are made with white flour if you want to reduce the symptoms of your hemorrhoids. Products made from white flour include pasta, bagel, and white bread.
10. Some unripe fruits
Although some unripe fruits are healthy with piles, you should avoid some of them as they can be hard to digest. Fruits like unripe bananas are rich in compounds that can be constipating. If the veins around your anus are already swollen and inflamed, you should consume ripe fruits only.
11. Beverages containing caffeine
Caffeinated beverages can harden your stool, making it difficult to pass bowels and further worsening your piles. You should eliminate beverages that contain caffeine from your diet. These beverages include coffee, caffeinated colas, and teas. Instead, go for decaffeinated beverages.
12. Baked foods
Food items that are baked are also bad for hemorrhoids because they possess low fiber content. Baked foods such as brown bread, cookies, and cakes can worsen the condition of piles and should be avoided.
Alcoholic drinks can disrupt the balance of your digestive system by increasing the amount of fluid passed through urine; this can give rise to dehydration. This can cause dry stool, painful bowel movements, and increased discomfort with hemorrhoids.
14. Polished rice
Polished rice, also known as white rice, is not healthy, as it has already been stripped of almost all its fiber and vitamins, and minerals. Consuming polished rice can increase the risk of diabetes and constipation. With hemorrhoids, it is better to consume unpolished rice or brown rice.
15. Fast foods
When dealing with the symptoms of hemorrhoids, you should stay away from consuming fast foods like burgers and chips; they are rich in fat and have low fiber content. Eating them can increase indigestion and constipation, thereby making you strain to pass stools.
It is important to note that taking laxatives with hemorrhoids can worsen your condition and can lead to further discomfort. Also, foods with low fiber content can generally give rise to constipation, thereby making the condition of the hemorrhoids worsen. A nutritional diet of moderation and balance with regular exercise is very important if you want to alleviate the symptoms attached to hemorrhoids. The foods that are listed above are foods to avoid with hemorrhoids. Removing these foods from your diet can reduce inflammation, relieve discomfort and set you right on the road to recovery.