Foods that Irritate Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins along the lining of your anus and rectum. They may be caused by straining during bowel movements. Symptoms include bleeding during bowel movements, itching or irritation in your anus, swelling around your anus, stool leakage and pain or discomfort. Certain foods may irritate hemorrhoids and should be avoided in order to reduce or control symptoms 1.
Alcohol may aggravate your hemorrhoid symptoms, so you may need to avoid alcoholic beverages. You should drink 6 to 8 glasses of water and other fluids per day and not consume alcohol. Alcohol can dehydrate you, and dehydration can contribute to straining during bowel movements. Clear liquids can help keep your stools soft and prevent straining that can worsen hemorrhoids and their symptoms 1.
Fiber is important to add bulk and softness to your stools. This can prevent straining during bowel movements that leads to or irritates your hemorrhoids. Foods that are low in fiber may contribute to problems. Low-fiber foods such as:
- pies have been stripped of their bran component
Choose high-fiber foods instead. Good choices include oatmeal, brown rice, barley, fruits and vegetables.
Many chemicals in foods may lead to or worsen symptoms of anal itching that is common to hemorrhoids sufferers 1. These foods may directly irritate your colon and anus and can include chocolate, tomatoes and citrus fruits. Caffeinated beverages and milk may also irritate hemorrhoid symptoms, so you may need to reduce or avoid consuming them.
- MayoClinic.com: Hemorrhoids: Symptoms
- MayoClinic.com: Hemorrhoids: Prevention
- MayoClinic.com: Anal Itching: Causes
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Hemorrhoids
- Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Gastrointestinal Society. What You Need to Know About Hemorrhoids.
- Colon Cancer | American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons. Resources. Disease and Conditions. Hemorrhoids.
- Harvard Health Publishing. Hemorrhoids and what to do about them. Harvard Health Blog.
- Lohsiriwat V. Hemorrhoids: from basic pathophysiology to clinical management. World J Gastroenterol. 2012;18(17):2009-17. DOI: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i17.2009
- Riss S, Weiser FA, Schwameis K, et al. The prevalence of hemorrhoids in adults. International Journal of Colorectal Disease. 2011;27(2):215-220. DOI: 10.1007/s00384-011-1316-3
- UCSF Medical Center. Hemorrhoids.
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