what not to eat when having hemorrhoids

Piles or hemorrhoids are blood vessels that become enlarged due to inflammation in the rectum and anus. They can bulge out of the anus too sometimes; they are known as prolapsed hemorrhoids. These can be very painful and cause discomfort and itching while sitting. We are going to discuss what not to eat when having hemorrhoids.

There are numerous articles on the internet that discuss what you should eat to cure piles or hemorrhoids but here we will discuss what not to eat when having hemorrhoids. Read on to learn more about the food items that you should not be eating if you are suffering from hemorrhoids.

what not to eat when having hemorrhoids
what not to eat when having hemorrhoids

List of 9 food items that you should not be eating when having hemorrhoids:

1. Diary products

Dairy products such as milk, cheese, cream, butter, etc. can cause gas and worsen the hemorrhoids by causing pain and discomfort in the stomach.

Most dairy products also contain lactose, also known as milk sugar. It can be difficult for some people to digest lactose and this can result in symptoms such as diarrhea, gas, constipation, nausea, and cramps in the stomach.

Dairy products do not contain fiber and that’s where the problem lies. It becomes the reason for harder stool and gas.

Banana shake has shown mixed results and this is mostly because of the state of the banana whether the banana that you are using for banana shake is ripe or unripe.

If it’s unripe then it can worsen your symptoms and cause constipation too as it contains a lot of starch whereas a ripe banana has a lot of dietary fiber and will draw more water in the intestine and help you push the stool out of your system which is a good thing for hemorrhoids.

2. Red Meat

Multiple research studies have related the consumption of red meat with cancers such as colorectal, gastric, pancreatic, and prostate cancer. 1, 2, 3, 4

Red meat is known to contain nitrates and nitrites which are converted to nitrosamines by our body. Nitrosamines are strongly carcinogenic or cancer-causing for humans.

Processed red meat is found to be more carcinogenic than unprocessed red meat due to the presence of chemical compounds such as N- nitroso, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and heterocyclic amines (HCAs).

Red meat cooked at high temperature directly over an open flame or pan-fried is also known to contain these compounds.

Moreover, red meat is low on fiber and very high on sodium which is very bad for our body as high sodium diet increases our blood pressure and disrupts electrolyte balance.

3. Deep-fried

Deep-fried food items such as deep-fried chicken, steaks, oysters, pigs, fish, samosa, potato chips, etc. are very hazardous for your health and specifically for hemorrhoids.

These food items feel crispy and yummy while eating but they are doing more hazard than benefit to your health.

Deep-fried food items have huge amounts of trans and saturated fats both of which are known to cause cancer including prostate cancer. These food items are also known to contain acrylamide which is a carcinogen, cancer-causing substance.

Deep frying deteriorates the properties of cooking oil and sucks the nutritional content out of the food.

These are bad for your gut as they put too much stress on the metabolism as they have low fiber content and high fat. They can worsen your hemorrhoid pain as these food items are very hard to push out of the intestines.

4. Processed food

Food processing is the conversion of agricultural products into food or one form of food into another such as baking bread, canned food items, making beer or wine, etc, All these products are made by converting one form of food to another.

Food processing destroys the nutritional value of the food; heating can destroy Vitamin C present in the food to large extent.

Many processed food items contain added sugar, salt, and preservatives which can become reasons for increased blood pressure, diabetes, kidney or liver-related problems, and cancer.

More importantly, these can cause and even worsen your hemorrhoids. The high amount of fats, sugar, refined carbohydrates, and sodium can contribute to factors (constipation, intestinal strain, and various others) that cause hemorrhoids.

5. High sodium

The majority of food that contains high sodium is canned or processed as the manufacturing companies add more salt to these canned food items as they use salt as preservatives.

World health organization recommends less than 2000 mg of sodium per person per day. But most of the packaged, canned, processed food we eat easily crosses this limit.

The problem with consuming high sodium diet is that it causes high blood pressure which causes risk for heart attack and stroke. It also causes hypernatremia, lesser total body water in comparison to electrolytes. In severe cases, it can cause confusion, muscle twitching, seizures, and death.

The dehydrating effect of high sodium effect causes constipation and worsens your hemorrhoids as it puts more pressure on the blood vessels in the rectum and anus.

6. Iron supplements

Iron supplements can cause constipation as it is not properly absorbed by the body and the extra iron is taken up by the bad bacteria in the gut.

They are also related to Inflammatory bowel disease and colorectal cancer. Iron supplements are known to correct problems such as iron deficiency and anemia but they also cause inflammation of the gut.

The inflammation of the gut can cause constipation and hemorrhoid. So, never take iron supplements without a doctor’s prescription as they can be harmful, and talk to your doctor before taking them if you are already suffering from constipation or hemorrhoids.

7. Refined flour

Food items made from refined flour such as white pasta, white bread, and bagels are extremely low in fiber and can be very difficult for the body to digest and process.

They can cause constipation and add to the pain resulting from hemorrhoids.

Eating whole grains or food that has higher fiber content has proven to be more beneficial in patients suffering from constipation and hemorrhoids.

8. Fiber supplements

Surprisingly, fiber supplements can be bad for hemorrhoids. You should not start eating too much fiber suddenly instead increase the fiber intake gradually.

As our daily diet also contains a fair amount of fiber, so it is possible to maintain fiber intake by eating a balanced diet. However, fiber supplements are a good option if you fail to intake the required fiber intake through your diet.

Fiber acts by adding bulk to your stool and clearing your gut. However, too much fiber can also make you constipated and worsen the stomach and hemorrhoid pain.

So, eat fiber supplements in moderation and try to maintain your fiber need through your daily diet by eating whole-grain food, fruits such as raspberries, berries, and apples.

9. Frozen meals

Frozen meals mostly contain a high amount of salt and fats to make them last longer. Also, companies add partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in these meals which can be become a matter of concern for cardiovascular health.

These meals are also known to contain less nutrition in them and contain preservatives such as butylated hydroxytoluene which has been accused of causing cancer. Although the national cancer institute reported that it is noncarcinogenic in mouse models.

What can you eat to avoid hemorrhoids?

Eat a diet that is high in fiber and consume enough water so that the stool gets pushed out easily. Fiber adds bulk to the stool and also draws more water to the intestines due to which stool spends lesser time in the intestines and passes through the stomach easily. 5

Whole grain food items such as Barley, brown rice, oats;

Fruits such as berries, raspberries, apples, pears, plums

A green vegetable that is high in fiber such as beans, legumes, artichokes, cabbage


Eat fresh and high fiber food, drink a fair amount of water and consume meals that are low in sodium as it causes water retention in the body which puts pressure on the veins in the body.

Avoid high-fat dairy, frozen meals, high sodium meals, red meat, and low fiber food items such as food prepared from refined flour and fast food.

If your problems such as pain and itching related to hemorrhoids do not go away even after doing all the right things then consult your doctor before the hemorrhoid pain or condition worsens any more.

About the author

Deepanshu has a Master's in chemistry. He has worked extensively on research subjects regarding cancer and radio nuclear science and has continually reviewed nutrition science.

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