Diet and Nutrition for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids - What Are They?

Hemorrhoids are varicose dilations of the veins of the anus and rectum. Depending on whether the veins of the upper and middle hemorrhoidal plexus or those of the lower hemorrhoidal plexus are involved, internal and external hemorrhoids are distinguished.

Congestion of the veins surrounding the rectum and anus is a fairly frequent ailment, which mainly affects men of mature age.



Hemorrhoids are due to factors of a constitutional nature (weakness and reduced elasticity of the venous walls, circulatory problems) and environmental (supply excessive and disordered, low-fiber diet, constipation, pregnancy and particularly heavy work or sports).

Hemorrhoids are generally accompanied by symptoms such as: itching, eczema, proctitis, fissures, bleeding and pain during bowel movement. For this reason it is necessary to try to contain them with the same precautions used to fight constipation: healthy diet and movement.


Diet and Nutrition for Hemorrhoids

Nutrition Hemorrhoids

The diet for hemorrhoids is aimed above all at the prevention of constipation; on the other hand, in some cases, hemorrhoids can also be caused by persistent diarrhea.

Both conditions, if associated with irritable colon, can be controlled by ensuring the constant intake of dietary fiber and water.
NB. In case of diarrhea NOT due to irritable colon, it may sometimes be necessary to identify the triggering cause (celiac disease, lactose intolerance, etc.).




The fibers contained in the diet should be made above all with food, trying to favor above all the soluble ones; alternatively, there are various specific dietary supplements based on soluble fiber.
The diet for hemorrhoids should include a good dose of probiotic microorganisms (physiological bacteria) and prebiotic molecules (polysaccharides and dietary fibers).

Remember that the activity of the intestinal bacterial flora promotes the release of molecules that nourish the enterocytes and improve the health of the intestinal mucosa (butyric acid and polyamines). Probiotics can also be taken through specific supplements and drugs.


The biochemical balance of the hemorrhoid diet must fully respect the nutritional balance, with great attention to the quantities of proteins and lipids. Being partially responsible for the fecal pH, in the right doses they form a slightly acidic substance (never alkaline); with the same bacterial flora, remember that the fecal pH lowers with the increase of fat molecules and rises with the increase of protein ones.
In addition, fats perform an additional protective function against hemorrhoids; in fact, in the right percentage (25-30% of the energy), they perform a strongly emollient action on the faeces and promote their expulsion.


The diet for hemorrhoids avoids subjecting the intestine to any form of chemical-pharmacological stress, preventing irritation, inflammation and therefore vasodilation (which would contribute to the initiation or worsening of hemorrhoids). Spicy molecules such as: capsaicin, piperine, gingerol, isothiocyanate and allicin (chilli, pepper, horseradish, mustard, ginger, wasabi, radish, garlic, onion, shallot, etc.) must be avoided. Furthermore, nerve molecules such as: ethyl alcohol, caffeine, theine, theobromine (alcoholic beverages, fermented teas, coffee, cocoa, chocolate) are completely contraindicated.
Certain drugs should also be limited (if necessary, consult the package leaflet or the pharmacist) and osmotic laxatives (lactulose, sorbitol, etc.) and / or irritants (anthraquinones, phenolphthalein, etc.).
The hemorrhoid diet also limits the intake of "foreign" or unnatural molecules; among these we recognize: sodium chloride and added sucrose (salt and sugar), food additives etc.
In case of constipation, all astringent foods should be avoided, such as the tannins of fermented tea, unripe persimmon, unripe banana, etc.



Diet and Hemorrhoids

Fighting Constipation

Efforts made to eliminate hard, dry and modestly sized stools enormously increase intra-abdominal pressure and blood flow to the anal vessels, favoring their dilation and rupture.

The hypothesis has also been advanced that the external anal sphincter, not being usually dilated by bulky stools, gradually undergoes a narrowing, which prevents adequate blood circulation in the area.

The therapy of hemorrhoids must therefore make use, first of all, of hygienic-dietary measures aimed at regulating the hive. For this purpose, a diet free of irritating foods and alcoholic beverages, as well as rich in plant fluids and fiber is recommended.

The non-digestible food residues tend to absorb water, stretching the colon walls and preventing their nervous contraction. Precisely because of their ability to bind water, plant foods must be associated with a diet rich in liquids (at least a couple of liters of water a day), which soften the fecal content facilitating the evacuation and reduction of pain and gas.

However, we must consider that a diet too rich in vegetable fibers causes, in some subjects, an aggravation of constipation, while in others it causes attacks of diarrhea.


In case of Diarrhea

In addition to constipation, diarrhea with repeated episodes also tends to worsen hemorrhoids by chemically irritating the anus and causing it to become inflamed.


Pepper and Chilli

The influence of potentially irritating foods - such as alcohol, spices (pepper, chillies, peppers, paprika) and chocolate - varies from person to person.

In predisposed subjects, these foods can favor the exacerbation of symptoms and should therefore be limited.

 

Foods Not Recommended

Recommended Foods

Alcohol and spirits, coffee and tea, chocolate and cocoa, carbonated soft drinks, overly salty foods (sausages, cheeses, canned goods ...), vinegar and lemon, spices, spicy foods, fatty foods and animal fats

fried food and dips, seafood and shellfish, garlic and onion, aubergines, radishes and truffles

Foods rich in fiber

Oats, meat broth, beetroot, chestnut, cabbage, safflower, bran, yeast, lemon (in case of diarrhea), melon, blueberry, potato, pollen, leek, sage, dandelion, yogurt

Supplements and Phytotherapy

See also: Herbal teas for hemorrhoids and other natural remedies

In the mild forms, numerous phytotherapeutic remedies are useful that find fertile ground in the treatment of hemorrhoids.

These include extracts or decoctions based on yarrow, pineapple, cypress, horse chestnut, mallow, mullein and tormentilla.

To stimulate the natural evacuation, one or two glasses of lukewarm water may be useful, to be taken at the end of a meal.

Constipation can improve considerably even if a regular diet is accompanied by a glucomannan supplement.

In the case of hemorrhoids, local anointings are also useful with an oleite based on scrophularia, morella, linaria and linaiolo. The oily-based ointment consisting of cypress tincture, cinquefoglio, barberry and horse chestnut, is instead indicated for its analgesic properties.

Various ointments based on shark liver oil, yeast, horse chestnut and witch hazel are also used in the treatment of hemorrhoids.

 

We must not forget, however, that hemorrhoids can heal spontaneously and that in many cases the connection between healing and food, diet and medicines is purely coincidental.


Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle is often one of the contributing causes of constipation and hemorrhoids. Therefore, it is essential to associate adequate physical exercise with a correct diet.

A simple walk, with no contraindications for most people, is therefore an effective drug, to be taken day by day, on a regular basis. The bicycle, on the other hand, could cause problems in subjects in which the haemorrhoidal pathology is already overt or relapsing.

Finally, proper local hygiene is essential, morning and evening or in any case after each evacuation.



Other articles on 'Diet and Nutrition for Hemorrhoids'

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  2. Hemorrhoids
  3. Hemorrhoids symptoms
  4. Hemorrhoids: causes, treatment and prevention
  5. Diet Example for Hemorrhoids
  6. Hemorrhoids: natural remedies
  7. Herbal tea for hemorrhoids
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