If you do any research on your hemorrhoids at all, you'll know that hemorrhoids are usually a result of gastrointestinal disorders. Constipation and diarrhea both often lead to some excessive straining on the toilet, which is practically a recipe for hemorrhoid development.
Considering that constipation and diarrhea are both most often caused by diet choices, it's natural to want to know the foods that cause hemorrhoids. Once you know the foods that cause hemorrhoids, you can avoid them in the future and reduce your chances of both hemorrhoid symptoms and the hemorrhoids themselves.
Lets not miss the point either that foods that cause hemorrhoids also include those foods that lead to obesity, as obesity also leads to hemorrhoids.
When it comes to constipation, a high fat diet with low amounts of dietary fiber and insufficient water intake are generally the biggest culprits in causing piles. The intestines need dietary fiber in order to work properly. In a sense, dietary fiber gives the intestines something to grab onto and move easily. In addition, dietary fiber absorbs water, which keeps stools bulky and soft for easy passing. A high fat diet with low water intake, on the other hand, allows the body to move the food through very slowly and suck every bit of water out of it. Naturally, this leads to constipation. So, foods that are high in fat and low in dietary fiber are among the main foods that cause hemorrhoids.
Overprocessed packaged food is one of the major groups of foods that cause hemorrhoids. Most people don't know exactly how much fat and empty calories are in packaged food because it's hidden. Of course, the information is there on the nutrition label, but how many people really take the time to look at that? For that matter, how many people really know how to read one? You have to have some basis for comparison before a nutrition label makes any sense, and it takes time to look up how much fat, fiber, and nutrients homemade food has because when you make it at home it doesn't come with a label. However, you can pretty much take it to the bank that any food you make at home will have less sugar and fat and more fiber than any of these packaged foods that cause hemorrhoids.
Of course, considering that an excess of high fat foods are the biggest culprits among the foods that cause hemorrhoids, you'll probably want to cut as much fat out of your diet as possible. Be careful here, because high fat can hide in the most unlikely of places. You probably already knew that cakes, cookies, and ice cream are all high in fat, but did you know that most pre-made mashed potatoes are as well? Salad dressings are also terrible for their fat content, as is a lot of cheese and dairy.
Foods that have high fructose corn syrup as a major ingredient also tend to be high on the list of foods that cause hemorrhoids. High fructose corn syrup is a form of simple sugar that is frequently used in packaged goods as a sweetener and preservative. However, it also has a chemical effect in your body that often causes you to eat more. Eating fructose doesn't trigger an insulin response, whereas sucrose, aka table sugar, does. When your body notices an upswing in insulin, it tells your brain that you're full. If there is no insulin response, then your body doesn't figure out that you've eaten enough. Considering that many foods with high fructose corn syrup also contain a significant amount of fat, it's best to add high fructose corn syrup to the list of foods that cause hemorrhoids.
Frozen dinners are another major culprit when it comes to foods that cause hemorrhoids because TV dinners are often bulked out with artificial substances and more fat than usual to make them more flavorful. Unfortunately, fat carries flavor better than water does. Many restaurants and food production companies add extra fat to their meals to make sure the product they sell tastes better than anything you would ever make at home. If you did make the equivalent at home, you'd faint from how much fat you'd have to add. However, because it's already in there, you never notice. While they are convenient, commercial microwaveable dinners are definitely foods that cause hemorrhoids.
And, of course, the biggest and most well known of all, snack foods (and all those nice pastries) definitely belong on the list of foods that cause hemorrhoids. Does it even bear discussion? Well, just in case it does, snack foods are the primary source of high fat, low fiber food for most people who suffer from hemorrhoids. Potato chips, snack cakes, chip dip, and processed lunch meats are all terribly high in fat and most don't even have any nutrients at all. The first part of starting to eat a hemorrhoid friendly diet is to eliminate all the foods that cause hemorrhoids, and these top the list.
Of course, snack foods and frozen dinners aren't the only foods that cause hemorrhoids by way of constipation. There are a few foods that have caused constipation and gastrointestinal distress since the beginning of time. Naturally, the list presented here is only a selection, considering that every human being is different. If you should know of some foods that make you constipated that aren't covered here, avoid them. They are among the foods that cause hemorrhoids for you in particular.
The first of the foods that cause hemorrhoids by way of frequent constipation is cheese. Cheese is so infamous for this that it's often recommended to try and treat diarrhea. The combination of high fat and high protein in cheese helps make it so binding. Basically, the protein chains can tighten up in cheese as its being digested, which combines with the high fat content to make digested cheese very compact and dry by the time it gets done. If you've never had cheese bind you up, then there's no reason to avoid it permanently, but you may want to try going off it for a few days to see if it's one of the foods that cause hemorrhoids.
Chocolate is another one of the major binding foods that cause hemorrhoids for many people. In many cases, this is due to chocolate's incredibly high fat content. The major fat in chocolate tends to come from the cocoa butter that's inherent to chocolate processing and creation. The milk fats and sugar that's often added certainly don't help, though. One of the best ways to see if chocolate is one of the foods that cause hemorrhoids for you is to try avoiding it for a couple of weeks and see if your constipation or hemorrhoids get better.
Alcohol is probably one of the single most binding foods that cause hemorrhoids. While we know it's a drink, we're calling it a food for the purposes of this discussion, especially considering how many calories alcohol usually dumps into the system. Alcohol has no dietary fiber whatsoever, but it does have huge amounts of simple and complex sugars. In addition, alcohol makes the nervous system slow down, which makes the intestinal system slow down. When the intestinal system slows, the large intestine has more time to suck up water and create constipation.
Of course, constipation isn't the only gastrointestinal culprit when it comes to hemorrhoids. Diarrhea can have just as bad effects on the hemorrhoidal area as constipation. Therefore, the foods that cause you to get diarrhea are definitely among the foods that cause hemorrhoids. And, again, every human is different. One person will get diarrhea when they eat shrimp, while another will be just fine with it. Just take notice of the foods you eat and the results you get in order to find your particular foods that cause hemorrhoids.
Spicy foods are somewhat renowned for causing diarrhea problems, which puts them high on the list of foods that cause hemorrhoids. Spicy hot foods irritate the intestinal system, which makes it move faster. As it moves faster, the large intestine doesn't pull enough water out of the digested material, which causes diarrhea. In addition, spicy food often stimulates the intestinal circulation, which can increase pressure on the hemorrhoidal veins. That increased pressure makes current hemorrhoids worse and weak spots give way to new hemorrhoids.
Many people also find nuts to be among the foods that cause hemorrhoids by way of diarrhea or just through intestinal stimulation. This is probably because of mild allergic reactions, though no direct link has been found. If you've been having problems with hemorrhoids, try avoiding nuts for a bit and see if it eases up. This is one of the foods that cause hemorrhoids that really won't apply to everyone, but if you have a nut sensitivity you'd be wise to avoid them.
Seafood is also on the list of foods that cause hemorrhoids for a number of people, often because of the high chemical content. Fish pick up mercury and lead, while shellfish also usually have a large amount of iodine. If your intestinal system is sensitive to these things, they can make the large intestine try to dump the "bad" food out. Naturally, this leads to diarrhea, making seafood a major category of the foods that cause hemorrhoids.
Foods that cause hemorrhoids usually attack in two ways. First, these foods are bad for your gastrointestinal tract in and of themselves. They cause diarrhea or constipation, neither of which is good for your long term health. Second, they fill you up and take the place of good food that would make your GI tract work properly and help your hemorrhoids to start healing. While it may be tempting to eat these foods that cause hemorrhoids, just think of how long you want to endure your symptoms and make your decision accordingly.
Mayo Clinic staff (18 March 2010). "Hemorrhoids". MayoClinic.
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (November 2004)."Hemorrhoids". National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases(NIDDK), NIH.
L. Ferder, M.D. Ferder, & F. Inserra (2010). "The role of high-fructose corn syrup in metabolic syndrome and hypertension". Current Hypertension Report 12: 105–112.
Research and main write by Loni L. Ice, editing and additional writing by D. S. Urquhart.