Hemorrhoids, also referred to as piles, result from straining that is most often caused by constipation. Hemorrhoid creams and ointments can help to relieve the symptoms of burning and itching that result from inflamed hemorrhoids, but knowing what types of food cause constipation and aggravate hemorrhoids can help you to avoid the problem in the first place. Certain types of food can help soften stools, while other types will promote hardened stools and constipation. These types of foods should be avoided in order to prevent piles. When the body does not have the proper amount of bulk to process smooth and healthy stools, we become constipated and the result is often painful and itchy hemorrhoids.
One of the primary conditions that results in constipation and the onset of hemorrhoids is dehydration. Liquids that cause dehydration include coffee, tea and soft drinks. Any beverage that contains caffeine should be avoided or consumed in limited quantities. If you are a heavy coffee drinker, adequate amounts of water should also be consumed in order to counteract the possible effects and help to soften the stool.
Foods that may lead to constipation and piles include processed and refined food items such as bleached white flour, high-fructose corn syrup, and sugars. Not all processed foods are bad though. Those that should be avoided include any food items with high quantities of sodium, saturated fats and sugars. Some of these types of food items include bread and pasta made from white flour, convenience foods with a high fat content, and canned foods that contain a high level of sodium. Other foods to avoid or consume in small portions include red or processed meats, cookies, cakes and breakfast cereals that contain added sugar.
While these types of foods do not usually have to be avoided completely, they should be consumed in small quantities and supplemented with foods that will promote healthy and smooth stools. You may not be able to completely avoid piles, but you can cut down on the frequency of them by adjusting your diet. Since everyone reacts differently to certain types of foods, some experimentation and adjustments may be necessary before discovering specifically which foods should be avoided.
Certain foods should also be avoided during hemorrhoid flare-ups, as they can aggravate piles and cause excessive pain and discomfort. These include nuts, hot spicy foods, and salty foods. These types of foods will likely only add to the discomfort of inflamed hemorrhoids.