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Avoid These Foods If You're Struggling With Hemorrhoids

Avoid These Foods If You're Struggling With Hemorrhoids

About half of all Americans get hemorrhoids by the age of 50. Hemorrhoids occur when the veins in your rectum or anus get swollen and irritated. They’re uncomfortable, sometimes painful, and for many people, they’re also embarrassing.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to treat hemorrhoids and prevent them in the future. Balaguru Sambandam, MD, FACS, and our team at North Tarrant Health Providers offer hemorrhoid care for all ages, and one way to prevent hemorrhoids is by changing your diet.

Here’s what you need to know if you’re tired of struggling with hemorrhoids.

Foods to avoid if you have hemorrhoids

When you have hemorrhoids, eating certain foods can make the condition worse. We may recommend avoiding:

1. Spicy foods

Spicy foods irritate your digestive tract, which can make itching, burning, and other hemorrhoid symptoms worse. That’s because the capsaicin found in spicy foods can increase blood flow to your rectal area, worsening inflammation and discomfort. If you have hemorrhoids, it’s best to avoid chili peppers, cayenne, hot sauce, and other spicy ingredients.

2. Processed foods

Some of the most common processed foods are fast food, frozen meals, and prepackaged snacks. These foods are usually high in sodium and devoid of dietary fiber, which can cause constipation and exacerbate your hemorrhoid symptoms. Instead of convenience foods, choose whole, fiber-rich foods like fruits and vegetables, along with lean proteins and healthy fats to support optimum digestion and prevent constipation.

3. Dairy products

Some dairy products are high in fat and sugar, both of which can contribute to constipation and make your hemorrhoid symptoms worse. Try limiting full-fat milk, cheese, and ice cream or choosing low-fat or lactose-free alternatives to relieve bothersome digestive symptoms.

4. Alcohol

Alcohol can worsen hemorrhoids in two ways: it dehydrates your body and it makes your blood vessels dilate. Dehydration can lead to constipation, and dilated blood vessels increase your risk of bleeding from hemorrhoids. If you have hemorrhoids, we often recommend limiting your intake of alcohol or avoiding it altogether.

Your hemorrhoid treatment options

Along with dietary changes, there’s a lot you can do to manage hemorrhoids and relieve your discomfort, including several over-the-counter treatments available for hemorrhoids. These creams, ointments, and suppositories can help relieve hemorrhoid pain, itching, and swelling.

Another popular home remedy is a sitz bath. A sitz bath is a warm, shallow bath that can help alleviate hemorrhoid symptoms. To take a sitz bath, fill a bathtub with a few inches of warm water and soak for 15 to 20 minutes at a time.

Many people find that their hemorrhoid symptoms improve with at-home care. But in some cases, medical procedures may be necessary. Depending on your needs, Dr. Sambandam may recommend rubber band ligation, sclerotherapy, or another treatment to remove hemorrhoids and relieve your discomfort.

For more tips to relieve hemorrhoids and prevent their recurrence, book an appointment at North Tarrant Health Providers in Fort Worth, Texas. Call us at 817-904-4165 or request an appointment online now.

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