While hemorrhoids aren’t a favorite topic of conversation, the reality is that many people experience the signs of hemorrhoids at some point. As many as 50% of people aged 50-plus have hemorrhoids.
Gastroenterologist Eric Ibegbu, MD, and our compassionate team at Atlantic Medical Group can diagnose and treat pesky hemorrhoids without surgery. Although we can combat hard-to-treat hemorrhoids, we are also big proponents of using diet to support your digestive health, and that includes reducing your risk of hemorrhoid flare-ups.
In this blog, we explore why food is a good prevention strategy and which foods are best.
Fiber is the key
When you’re looking at dietary adjustments for hemorrhoid relief, fiber is the key. Fiber makes stools softer and bulkier, which makes them easier to pass. And that means you’re less likely to strain, which is a big cause of hemorrhoids.
Fiber is not only good for hemorrhoid prevention, but it’s good for your entire digestive system. Here are five fiber-rich foods that help prevent hemorrhoids.
Lentils are a type of legume. They’re a good choice because one cup delivers half of your daily fiber requirements. That’s 16 grams of fiber per serving.
You can prepare lentils as a side dish, puree them into a soup, or sprinkle them over a salad.
Whole grains, including oatmeal, are another rich source of insoluble fiber. Steel-cut oats provide more fiber than instant oats, and they’re less processed. A third of a cup provides 5 grams of fiber. You can add oatmeal — either hot or cold — into your breakfast rotation. Top with fresh fruit for even more fiber.
Broccoli is rich in vitamins, but this cruciferous vegetable can also help prevent hemorrhoid flare-ups. One cup of raw broccoli serves up 1.84 grams of insoluble fiber. And insoluble fiber helps to keep your digestive system regular.
Not a fan of broccoli? That’s OK. Try other cruciferous veggies like cauliflower, kale, and bok choy.
Eating just one pear provides 22% of your daily recommended intake of fiber. That’s an average of 6 grams of fiber per pear. Try the pear raw, dip it in almond butter, or slice it over a spring mix salad.
Apples are another fiber-rich fruit. Apples contain almost as much fiber as pears — 5 grams. Of course, this varies and larger apple varieties contain more fiber. Apples make for a good snack, or as a topping on your oatmeal or salad.
Don’t forget your fluids. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, drinking fluids can help the fiber do its job better. Good choices include water, fruit juice, and clear broth soups.
What if dietary changes aren’t enough to manage flare-ups?
Lifestyle changes like reaching your daily water intake goals, exercising more, or eating plenty of fiber-rich foods can be enough to stop future flare-ups. Sometimes, though, despite your best efforts, you might still struggle with the unpleasant symptoms of hemorrhoids.
You’re not out of luck, though. Dr. Ibegbu can treat hemorrhoids with a variety of nonsurgical treatments. These include laser treatments, sclerotherapy, and rubber band ligation.
You don’t need to suffer from hemorrhoids any longer. We’re just a call or click away. To learn more about your hemorrhoid treatment options, call our Kinston or Jacksonville, North Carolina, clinic today.