Good news! There are food and drink hacks that can help lessen your haemorrhoids symptoms
Written in partnership with Germoloids
If you've ever suffered with haemorrhoids (also known as piles) you'll know you'd do just about anything to ease the itching and irritation they cause. So what are piles ? They're swollen blood vessels in our bottoms. They can be caused by constipation and pushing too hard when you're going to the toilet – the two tend to go hand in hand.
According to the NHS when it comes to piles treatments , haemorrhoids often get better on their own after a few days, but what if we told you by changing what you eat you could be well on your way to improving the symptoms of your haemorrhoids?
Haemorrhoid treatment brand Germoloids say that certain foods could help fend off constipation and help to prevent haemorrhoids from developing or at least alleviate symptoms. Here's what to stock up on (and just as importantly, what to cut out).
Failing to drink enough water can make our bowel movements harder and more difficult to pass, leading to constipation. The strain that constipation causes can put extra pressure on the blood vessels in our bottoms, leading them to become swollen and enlarge, or even bleed and become painful and itchy, all of which are common symptoms of haemorrhoids.
With this in mind, make sure you're drinking a lot of water - The British Nutrition Foundation recommends six to eight glasses per day. Staying hydrated helps to maintain healthy digestion and keeps things moving by keeping our stools soft.
If you get bored of drinking water, you could add drink prune juice into the mix. It's a natural laxative so could help make your stools softer and easier to pass.
Fill up on fibre
The same goes for fibre ; we all know that fibre keeps our bowels moving. A lack of it can have the same outcome as a lack of hydration. Stocking up on both soluble fibre which passes through our systems and keeps stools soft as well as insoluble fibres that keeps bowel movement regular can help. The NHS says we should aim for 30 grams of fibre per day.
Eat plenty of fruit
Fruit is an easy way to get your daily fibre fix. Much of the fibre in fruit is found in the skin, so eat the peel of apples to amp up your intake. Medical advice site Healthline shouts out raspberries, bananas, melons and pears in particular.
Brussels sprouts, kale , broccoli and spinach are high in fibre, while cucumber, lettuce and peppers have high water content too to help with stool softening.
Eat your grains
Swap white bread for multi-grain or dark rye bread and swap out white rice and paste for barley and brown rice, quinoa and wholemeal pasta. It makes little difference to taste and a big difference to your fibre intake.
Nibble on nuts
Legumes and tree nuts provide great sources of soluble and insoluble fibre. Add beans lentils and nuts to staple recipes (chillies and stews, we're looking at you) for stools that could be easier to pass.
Food that can make haemorrhoids worse
Eating food that's too low in fibre can lead to constipation and result in haemorrhoids. Try to avoid eating too much white bread and rice, milk, cheese and dairy and meat to help keep your gut happy.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol
The NHS advises cutting down on alcohol and caffeine (such as tea, coffee and fizzy drinks) to avoid constipation as they can harden stools.
Side step salty foods
According to Healthline salty foods can cause bloating and make haemorrhoids worse.
Miss out red meat
Healthline also says that red meat takes longer to digest and can exacerbate constipation, so steer clear of beef and lamb if you're suffering.