“Are you okay?”, one of her colleagues asked the pale looking Nidhi, as she came out of the restroom. “Yeah!” replied Nidhi very casually. But in fact, her every visit to the restroom was a dreaded one.
It all started around 2 months back. She had constipation from last 4 days which she thought to be normal as she was pretty habitual in exerting pressure for passing out stools. But it was when she felt some hard painful lump around the anus and blood in the poop, she got really worried. But this was not it, even her daily activities like sitting, standing, and walking were becoming difficult.
Have you also gone through the same agony? Do you take your constipated days or itchy red anal area too lightly? Do you also take it easy to live with painful bowel movements and bloody stools very often? These may be alarming indicators of an extremely troubling condition, known as “Piles”. Piles are inflamed and swollen collections of tissue in and around the anal area resulting in painful stools sometimes accompanied by blood as well.
When you are suffering from piles, there are days when you feel more pain than some other days. It is your food habits or the kind of diet you consume playing a pivotal role to improve or worsen your bowel movements and eventually what you pass! Pondering about your last night meal that intensified those pangs of pain?
Here, have a look at what foods to avoid when you are suffering from piles.
1. Deep-fried and processed food items
Processed foods such as frozen meals, fast food and deep fried food items are heavy and difficult to digest. They contain fewer nutrients, plenty of salt and unhealthy fats. All these contribute to poor digestion and constipation.
2. Spicy food
Love eating spicy food? But if you have piles, think twice as this may lead to more painful bowel movements. Your favorite schezwan fried rice or pepperoni pizza can be troublesome if your piles are already sore or bleeding.
Do cut out on your alcohol intake. Alcohol not only disrupts the digestive balance by depleting few nutrients but also have a dehydrating effect on the gut.
4. Dairy products
Dairy products many times leads to gas formation, cramps in the stomach, and constipation. Milk, cheese, and other dairy are more bothersome during an outbreak or flare-up of the disease. So, keep a track of your daily consumption of dairy products!
5. Unripe fruits
Fruits serve as a savior when it comes to improving symptoms of piles. However, please check that you are consuming ripe fruit. Unripe fruits, like unripe bananas, may contain some constipating or irritating compounds which can increase the pain and suffering. Include ripe fruits as part of your midmeal routine.
6. Refined grains
Refined grains like white rice, white bread and bagels, tempting cookies or cakes you buy at the stores have lost their bran component and are very low in fiber. Prefer whole grain over the refined forms.
7. High salted foods
Love munching your best-loved tortilla chips packet, salted peanuts? Can’t resist the delicious pasta mixes, hams, sausages and canned foods? Think twice as the high salt content in them can cause water retention and ultimately affect the blood vessels, including the ones troubling you at the other end of your body!
8. Iron supplements and some other medicines
You may have been taking iron supplements before suffering from piles. But, iron is a known constipating supplement. Also, some commonly used medicines (for example, cold and cough) come with unwanted effect of constipation. Never stop or alter doses abruptly. It is better to consult your doctor and let him decide the best regimen to address all your health concerns.
9. Excessive fiber
Do not take fiber supplements despite every other person telling you to eat lots of fibers to relieve constipation. Fibers have bulk-forming action on stools, rather than sweeping action. So, they are useful in other types of constipation but not in piles. Regular optimal fiber intake is fine to keep your gut healthy. You don’t need to start eating too much fibers all of a sudden, in fact, increase your fiber intake gradually.
– Sitting in warm water (Sitz bath) provides great relief.
– Drink plenty of water to keep you hydrated.
– Try not to exert pressure while passing stools.
– Exercise regularly.
– Do not neglect or feel embarrassed if you have piles. Consult your doctor immediately.
So, just don’t be afraid! Having piles is not the end of the world. There is no miracle fix. But, yes knowing what you need to know is surely going to help!