Team AckoSept 21, 2023
Piles is a condition in which the blood vessels around the anus are swollen and fall out, especially while passing stools. Medically, this condition is termed “haemorrhoids”.
Piles are a very common concern and about half of the population suffers from Piles at some point by the age of 50. In general, if you experience pain while passing stools, itching or mucus discharge from the anus, bright-red blood when you pass stools or feel like you never really evacuate your bowels completely, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor to check for Piles.
A very important part of the treatment of Piles is avoiding factors that can aggravate them. There are also several conditions in which Piles can occur more commonly. These include the following.
Lifting heavy objects
Constipation or excessive straining while passing motions
Prolonged periods of sitting or standing
Chronic cough or wheezing
Repeated episodes of vomiting
The most preferable method of management of Piles in the early stages is diet modification with lifestyle changes. Having a diet low in fibre is linked with constipation. Chronic constipation increases the incidence of Piles.
Hence, patients are advised to consume foods rich in fibre along with adequate water. If the constipation is persistent, syrups or powders are given to assist with the passing of stools. In severe cases, surgery is needed to remove the haemorrhoids. Patients with severe Piles can lose a lot of blood if not treated appropriately.
As food is such an important part of the management of Piles, it is important to know which food items to eat and which to avoid.
Luckily, the regular Indian diet is rich in food items that are high in fibre. However, of late, with the increase in consumption of processed and packaged foods, most people do not meet their daily fibre requirement. Here are some food items to include in your diet if you are suffering from Piles.
Eating fruits such as bananas, apples, pears, etc., is extremely beneficial for Piles. They help in multiple ways. Firstly, their high fibre content helps soften stools, so it is easier to pass them. Just make sure to wash them well before eating.
Secondly, fruits such as berries and plums are rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are an established part of the treatment protocol for Piles. They can help strengthen veins and reduce the chances of symptoms such as bleeding. Fresh juicy fruits also have a high water content. Adequate fluid intake is a vital part of the diet recommended for Piles.
You may have noticed that you often feel heavy and constipated after eating a lot of bread, biscuits, cake, etc. These foods are all made of maida which is a refined form of wheat flour.
Simple switches in your diet can have a big effect. If you’re used to having toast with chai, try having oatmeal instead. You can also switch to whole wheat flour while baking at home. In India, we also have a wide variety of millets and other grains that you can use.
When people think about vegetables, they often picture raw salads or steamed tasteless food. That is not true. Fresh vegetables add a crunchy texture on the side and give a good variation in the flavour profile of your meals.
Another common mistake is to add all kinds of salad dressings to make them more palatable. Store-bought salad dressings often have mayonnaise, sugar, etc., that actually end up making them unhealthy.
Yes, you heard that right. Adding a bowl of dahi to your meals or drinking buttermilk can be beneficial in relieving symptoms of Piles. Curd is a probiotic that boosts digestive capacity by increasing the healthy bacteria in the intestines. Better digestion is linked with comfortable bowel movements and subsequently lesser pain and discomfort when you are in the bathroom.
Grabbing a handful of walnuts and almonds can be beneficial in more ways than one. Most people know that dry fruits are a great source of healthy fats and vitamins. However, they also have the additional advantage of being rich in fibre. You can roast nuts and add them as a topping on your morning bowl of oatmeal or in smoothies or salads for added crunch.
Beans are one of the most underrated sources of fibre available. Adding chickpeas and kidney beans to your diet can improve digestion and help you reach your daily requirement of fibre.
Knowing what not to eat is just as important as knowing what to eat. As a guideline, try to avoid all foods that make you feel heavy or bloated. These are foods that your body is not able to digest well.
The food items to avoid if you have haemorrhoids are mentioned below.
White bread and products with refined flour
Frozen foods or packaged foods that are heavily processed
Alcohol and aerated beverages
While modifying your diet is a very important part of Piles treatment, here are some other things that can help as well. If you’re suffering from Piles or chronic constipation, these home remedies can be beneficial.
A warm Sitz bath is one of the most effective ways to reduce the pain and swelling of Piles. You can use a regular plastic tub and fill it with warm water and sit in it for 15 minutes 2 to 3 times a day. Adding Epsom salt has also been recommended.
We are all familiar with the soothing effects that aloe vera has on the skin. Applying it to the affected area can also relieve inflammation because of Piles. However, pure aloe vera should always be tested by applying it on normal skin first to make sure you are not allergic to it.
Both of these have been promoted as a good way to lubricate the digestive tract and ensure better gut health. Having one or two teaspoons of coconut oil or ghee in the morning is recommended. If you are unable to do that you can also apply the oil externally or add it to food while cooking.
Not drinking enough water is one of the most important causes of Piles. Ensure that you consume enough water on a regular basis.
In case of severe inflammation and enlarged Piles, applying an ice pack is helpful. However, ice should not be applied directly. It can be wrapped in a cloth or commercially available reusable ice packs can be used.
Yes, if not treated appropriately, Piles can result in severe bleeding, causing anaemia.
With the right combination of medical guidance and self-care such as eating the right diet for Piles, you can be relieved of the symptoms.
Yes, applying an ice pack can be useful if you have Piles.
Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.
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