Diet remains a vital part of managing your hemorrhoids. I’ve seen that choice of food alone can fix a lot of symptoms and prevent extra trips to the doctor.
Most of us already know that proper hydration or high-fiber foods are a must when you’re experiencing hemorrhoids (more on this later). But a surprising number of people with hemorrhoids remain ignorant about what foods to avoid.
As a result, we end up worsening our hemorrhoids simply by consuming food items that slow down digestion and affect bowel movement.
So, let’s talk about the ten worst foods to avoid if you’re struggling with hemorrhoids.
Dairy goods and products do not go well with hemorrhoids because the concentration of lactose can upset the rectal and anal tissues. And that’s bad news for existing hemorrhoidal symptoms, which can only get worse.
People who suffer from lactose intolerance have even more reasons to avoid dairy when experiencing hemorrhoids. Diarrhea or constipation caused by dairy will lead to aggravation of your hemorrhoidal symptoms.
Overall, dairy is simply a food type you should avoid when you have hemorrhoids, regardless of your tolerance to lactose.
Spicy food items
Try to minimize spicy foods or avoid them altogether when you have hemorrhoids. Yes, there’s nothing that compares to those spicy buffalo wings at your favorite diner. Maybe hot peppers have become a staple choice whenever you go through menus in restaurants. Unfortunately, these spicy additions to your diet cause more harm than good for hemorrhoids.
Spices usually contain capsaicin, an active chemical that gives these food items their ‘spiciness.’ But they can also graze and irritate the linings along your stomach and intestines. This can lead to mild or chronic diarrhea and prevent the healing of your hemorrhoid’s symptoms.
Coffee may be another go-to beverage that’s part of your daily diet. But I advise decreasing your consumption if you’re experiencing hemorrhoids.
Caffeine is considered a diuretic, a substance that increases urine production in the body. So, strong coffee beverages will push your body towards dehydration.
This dehydration may be mild, but it can still worsen your hemorrhoidal symptoms. Lack of water in the body can also cause constipation, which will put additional pressure on your intestines and rectum.
Most processed foods do not contain enough fiber for a healthy diet. So, continued consumption increases the risk of constipation.
Processed foods also contain a lot of salt. And you can be sure they come with a ton of preservatives. Excess consumption of either one leads to digestive issues and encourages dehydration.
Also, a lot of modern processed foods come with generous portions of refined carbohydrates and fats. These ingredients are high in taste and calories but not great for your digestive system. They can cause inflammation of your tissues which can add to the hemorrhoidal woes you already have.
Alcohol is notorious for squeezing out the fluids from your body. Dehydration from alcohol is not confined only to lazy hangovers. Your stool hardens, and there’s a higher risk of developing constipation.
Another risk with hemorrhoids and alcohol is that you may irritate the existing symptoms through inebriated movements. Of course, that’s not a risk for everyone. But it’s still a concern worth considering.
Occasionally, your body’s reaction to alcohol in the system may also lead to diarrhea. Multiple stool passages in short duration will surely make your hemorrhoidal symptoms worse, especially if they’re prolapsed.
White flour is a default ingredient in most snacks and treats present in our everyday diet. Think of the bread you had during breakfast or the pasta that you took for brunch last weekend. Whether it’s cookies at a cafe or muffins at the office party, white flour is almost impossible to escape.
A good way to start is by identifying these flour-rich items and minimizing your consumption. That way, you can slowly move towards kicking it off your diet eventually. If nothing else, reducing the intake will certainly help matters.
Junk Food/Fast Food
This one probably goes without saying, but it is worth mentioning just for clarity. Fast food contains a ton of unhealthy fats, excessive calories, a lot of salt, and added flavors. These are the ingredient you should avoid even if you don’t suffer from hemorrhoids.
They can irritate your digestive system leading to irregular bowel movements. And the added flavors can contain ingredients that flare up your hemorrhoidal symptoms.
Red meat contributes to a variety of health conditions, especially if taken frequently and regularly. So, hemorrhoids aside, there are good reasons to reduce your consumption of red meat anyway.
When you’re experiencing severe hemorrhoids, you want your digestive system and bowel movements to be as reliable and normal as possible. Red meat does not digest quickly and adds tons of fat to your body. These effects can band together and lead to aggravation of your hemorrhoidal symptoms.
Try to avoid any fried food that comes with a lot of oil. Yes, I understand most of the mouth-watering treats you enjoy may be fried delicacies. Unfortunately, for hemorrhoids, it’s best to stay away from excessive oil and fats when your symptoms are flaring up.
Reactions with the oil and fatty ingredients may cause bowel problems. Hemorrhoidal conditions include inflamed tissues and swollen veins that don’t respond well to digestive problems caused by too much fat in the system.
Many people today take iron supplements as part of their diet to address iron deficiencies. However, one recurring side effect of iron supplements is that they may cause constipation in the user.
Hardened stools aggravate inflammation in your rectum and irritate the sensitive skin around the hemorrhoidal tissues. If your iron supplements are part of your doctor’s prescription, confirm whether it’s ok to continue with the same dose once you develop hemorrhoids.
Proper digestion and healthy bowel movement are key factors in relieving the pain and discomfort of hemorrhoids. They are also crucial in curing hemorrhoidal symptoms. Remember these ten foods to avoid with hemorrhoids, and you will improve your chances of recovering from the condition at the earliest.
Constipation is one of the most frequent ill effects of a poor diet on hemorrhoids. Learn how constipation affects your hemorrhoids and how to prevent or alleviate the effects when it happens.
Side note: Please understand that what works for some might not work for others. The list above talks about foods to avoid in general. It is your task to experiment and ‘listen’ to your body’s reaction to it. Im my case, I’ve found that red wine and walnuts are absolute killer for my hemorrhoids. On the other hand, I can still enjoy mild spicy food. Start testing with one food at the time and you’ll see what works what doesn’t. Thanks!