Between 50 and 75 percent of Americans will develop hemorrhoids sometime during their lifetime, and about one-third of affected Americans will experience ongoing complications with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are swollen, painful blood vessels around the anus and rectum that result from sources such as constipation, straining when using the bathroom, pregnancy and genetics.
Many cases of hemorrhoids can be assuaged through increasing dietary fiber and water intake. Fiber increases bulk in the stool and eases constipation. However, in some cases, fiber and water are not enough. New studies show that food allergies can cause or exacerbate hemorrhoids. The most common foods that are linked to hemorrhoids are cow’s milk, egg, wheat, seafood and shellfish, soy, citrus fruit, tomatoes and peanuts (Source: Lifesource.com).
Milk allergies are the most common type of food allergy for people with hemorrhoids. This allergy is triggered by lactic acid intolerance. If you think that your hemorrhoids may be related to dairy, try taking out dairy products from your diet or reducing your intake of milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. Removing milk from the diet is harder than you might think, since lactic acid is a very popular preservative in foods today. You may want to ask for a referral to a registered dietitian who can help you create a new eating plan (Source: EatRight).
Other foods or substances may not cause an allergic reaction but may cause irritation in your hemorrhoids. Caffeine and alcohol are dehydrating and can aggravate hemorrhoids. Fats, oils and fried foods slow the digestive system and can make hemorrhoids worse. Sugars and spicy foods can also worsen conditions. Try eliminating or reducing certain foods for several weeks to see if there are links between your diet and your hemorrhoid condition.
Finally, certain medications and drugs can make hemorrhoids worse. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) include ibuprofen and aspirin but can cause excessive hemorrhoid bleeding. Topical medications, creams and gels can bring fast relief for itching and burning but do not treat the root problem or bring healing. These creams contain synthetic chemical ingredients and can have side effects which can actually make the hemorrhoids more painful or bothersome. Temporary relief sometimes gives way to more itching and irritation and can also produce an allergic reaction. Enemas and rectal suspensions can also aggravate hemorrhoid symptoms and make the rectal area more tender and sensitive (Source: HemorrhoidsTreatments.com).
Talk to your doctor about natural ways to treat your hemorrhoids. Try making changes in your diet, increasing water and fiber, creating an exercise plan and making healthier life choices. If you have not been treated for your hemorrhoids, find a treatment center near you today.