Ilyas Memon, MD

Best and Worst Foods for Hemorrhoids

Jun 15, 2022

Best and Worst Foods for Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can cause symptoms such as pain, itching, and burning. Learn about the important steps you can take — including making smart eating choices — to reduce your risk and your symptoms.

Hemorrhoids are no fun, that’s for sure. These inflamed, swollen, engorged veins can develop inside or outside of your rectum and anus and can cause intense pain, itching, and burning.

Hemorrhoids are frustratingly common, affecting about three-quarters of people at some point in their lives.

You can’t do much about some of the common causes of hemorrhoids, such as aging. However, some of the choices you make on a daily basis may help reduce your risk of developing hemorrhoids. Or if you already have them, some of your lifestyle choices could prevent them from worsening.

For example, losing excess weight, being active, and avoiding constipation can help prevent or relieve hemorrhoids. And so can eating — or avoiding — certain foods.

At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants in The Woodlands, Texas, Dr. Ilyas Memon and his dedicated team of care providers want to help you take steps to protect yourself from various digestive diseases, including hemorrhoids. With that in mind, he would like to take the opportunity here to tell you about some of the best and worst foods for hemorrhoids.

Best: High-fiber foods

Constipation is a major risk factor for hemorrhoids. When you have trouble passing stools, you may strain to push out bowel movements. This pressure puts strain on the structures in your anus and rectum, including the veins that may develop hemorrhoids.

Avoiding constipation is an excellent way to protect yourself from hemorrhoids. One of the best ways to do this is to eat a high-fiber diet. Good sources of dietary fiber include:

  • Fruits (with their edible skins, when applicable)
  • Fresh vegetables (with their edible skins, when applicable)
  • Whole grains, including whole-grain breads, pastas, and cereals
  • Beans
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

Worst: Low-fiber foods

Choosing low-fiber foods on a regular basis, instead of high-fiber foods, can contribute to constipation. It’s fine to eat low-fiber foods occasionally, but in general, you do your digestive health a service when you choose high-fiber foods instead of the following low-fiber options:

  • Fruit juices
  • Processed grains, such as white bread, white rice, white pasta, and low-fiber cereals
  • Foods made with highly refined flours, such as cakes, cookies, and pancakes
  • Highly processed foods 
  • Canned vegetables and fruit
  • Overcooked vegetables

If you’re unsure whether a food is low or high in fiber, check the nutrition label. And for a comprehensive guide to the fiber content in various foods, check out this list from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 

What to do if you develop hemorrhoids

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to avoid them, you may still develop hemorrhoids. Fortunately, Dr. Memon has extensive expertise diagnosing and treating hemorrhoids.

Depending on the extent of your hemorrhoids, Dr. Memon may recommend specific lifestyle changes or fiber supplements to relieve your symptoms. For more serious hemorrhoid care, he may suggest minimally invasive procedures, such as laser treatments, hemorrhoid banding (which cuts off circulation to hemorrhoids), and sclerotherapy (injections that cause hemorrhoids to shrink).

Care for your hemorrhoid needs

If you have hemorrhoids or questions about protecting your digestive health, Dr. Memon and his team can help. To schedule an appointment at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, call 281-764-9500 or book an appointment online.