Statistics say that almost 5% Americans are suffering from mild to severe cases of Hemorrhoids also known as Piles. Yet despite the high percentage, the shame associated with the disease is profound. People find it easier to treat the disease with OTC medications and ointments. However, there is a good chance the condition would relapse if the lifestyle and dietary improvements aren’t made ASAP.
What are Hemorrhoids:
The human rectum and anus are supplied by a multitude of minute and thin blood vessels. These vessels are prone to stretching and becoming enlarged upon stimulation. However, due to certain conditions these veins become enraged, infection, swollen and tender to stimuli. This engorged state of rectal and anal vessels is called as Hemorrhoids.
What are symptoms of Hemorrhoids:
Hemorrhoids are usually blamed for any or most of the rectal infections. However, they do present certain specific pathologies and symptoms.
Some of the signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Involuntary Fecal leakage
- Rectal bleeding and pain
- Painless rectal bleeding
- Bloody stools
- Lumps in rectal and anal area
- Swelling and tenderness in the anus
- Frequent itching
- Irritation to fabric and clothing
- Who is at risk for hemorrhoids?
There is a certain situational factor associated with the onset of the disease. some people are more prone to getting hemorrhoids as opposed to others.
Some of these factors are as follows:
- Pregnant woman
- Men/woman above 50 to 55 yrs. of age
- Unhealthy eating habits such as insufficient fiber intake
- Sitting on the toilet for long period of time
- Lifting heavy loads on regular basis
- Chronic constipation or diarrhea
- Intercourse via anal
What should you not eat when you have hemorrhoids?
The intestinal tract of digestive system is designed to absorb water during excretion process. This water absorption is primarily based on the availability of both fibers and water. However, poor dietary habits can lead to damaged excretory system and therefore chronic constipation. It is therefore essential to avoid such foods that can trigger vein engorging in the anal area.
These foods include:
- Deep fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Frozen foods
- Canned foods
- Sugary foods
- Milk and milk products such as cheese
- What foods help treat Hemorrhoids:
Having a regular habit of going to the toilet everyday at a specific time is an underrated blessing. Dependance on medications and supplements for having an easy motion is an utter trouble and pain. Parents should try to incorporate good dietary habits in the kids from a young age. Not everything available at the “vegetable section” of the grocery store good for treating hemorrhoids. Some of the foods that are particularly beneficial in preventing a hemorrhoid flare up are as follows:
Befriend your fibers:
Fibers are the key to solving almost any digestive issue. However, not all fibers are the solution to hemorrhoid problem. There are certain groups of fibers that are more beneficial than the other ones.
|Insoluble Fiber||Soluble Fiber|
|Benefit in the body||It does not absorb water and turn into a gel like substance forming the bolus. Helps relieve constipation and therefore minimizes the vein engorging||Absorbs water and therefore act as laxative. They help prevent forceful, delayed and prolonged bowel movements.|
|Food sources||Whole wheat, potatoes, cauliflower, green vegetables such s spinach, cucumbers, lentils, celery, fenugreek.||Beans such as black beans, green beans, lima beans, kidney beans, Fruits and vegetables such as Apples, oranges, carrots, peas|
Psyllium comes from Plantago. These are also an amazing source of fibers. They help relieve constipation. Since the urge to push and force is minimized; therefore, the hemorrhoid flareup can be easily avoided.
Psyllium can be added to warm tea and water at night. The key is regularity and consistency.
Eat your greens:
With all sorts of diets going around in the world, plant-based diet has proven its value the most. Green part of the plant is composed of cellulose. Human gut uses the cellulose metabolic waste to make Bolus. This bolus is basically finally excreted. Therefore, cellulose products are extremely beneficial due to their easy excretory potential.
Food rich in cellulose are spinach, cucumbers, lettuce, celery, broccoli, asparagus etc.
Let the Legumes do their magic:
Yes, that’s right! Legumes are the magical units of hemorrhoid treatment. They are an extremely rich source of fibers. Legumes are low in overall caloric content. In fact, they help lose weight all the while improving digestion process.
Some of the particularly beneficial legumes are kidney beans, green and black beans, black eyed peas, lima beans etc.
Water rich fruits:
Drinking 8 glasses of water in a day isn’t particularly the most appealing task. Nobody has the time to chug down a whole bottle of water every few hours. Therefore, health professionals recommend fruit-based meal once a day atleast to help alleviate the hemorrhoidal symptoms.
Such fruits include:
- 7 cups Watermelon deseeded and cubed
- 3 Oranges peeled
- 1 pinch Ginger Powder
- Cut watermelon into cubes, making sure all seeds are removed.
- Peel the 3 oranges.
- Run 3 cups of the watermelon through the juicer.
- Run the 3 oranges through the juicer next.
- Then run the last 4 cups of watermelon through the juicer.
- Add a pinch of ginger powder. Stir thoroughly.
- Serve and enjoy!
Whole foods to the rescue:
Insufficient information on social media and internet has everyone suffering from the fear of whole foods. Whereas they are in fact the most beneficial of the food groups. You just cannot ignore the whole foods and expect to have a healthy gut.
Whole grains contain a good portion of insoluble fibers. When ingested they form bulk in the digestive tract. The endosperm part of the whole grain remains intact during digestion and therefore, easily removed. Therefore, health professionals’ advice a hearty portion of whole grains once a day atleast
- It is particularly important to note that unprocessed or minutely processed grains are beneficial. They must contain large quantity of three parts of the grain I-e. Bran, endosperm and germ.
- The acts as prebiotic by improving the growth of microbial flora of gut and digestive tract in addition to increasing the fecal mass.
Example of whole grains are:
- Whole wheat grains
Radish is all the rave:
Radish are not only tasty to eat; but also, extensively beneficial for improving the digestion and excretion process. Radish contains proteoglycan, and Glucosinolates. Both these constituents improve the GI motility at ileum, jejunum and duodenum. The muscarinic pathway in the GI tract is naturally stimulated resulting in easy excretion. Therefore, forceful fecal motion can be prevented.
- In addition to the above-mentioned food groups; there are plenty of healthy options such as gut improving yogurts, kombucha tea etc.
- Mango seeds, prune tea, plums etc. all have proved their efficacy in treating hemorrhoids.
- Eating fruits with their skin intact such as plum, apples etc. is also particularly recommended for chronic constipation patients.
Not all diseases can be treated with diet; but there are some conditions that are solely improved by improving habits. A well-balanced sleep-wake habit, inhibiting alcohol intake, reducing stress and anxiety, hydrating by drinking plenty of water, when possible, etc. are all the baby steps in the right direction. The stigma associated with hemorrhoids shouldn’t let anyone astray from treatment.
However, most of the time its just what you eat and how you eat it; that can make the most difference,