What is the connection between fiber and hemorrhoids? Well, most people with chronic constipation experience having hemorrhoids at some point in their lives. Generally speaking, people develop two types of hemorrhoids both associated with constipation: internal hemorrhoids and external hemorrhoids. For these two types of hemorrhoids, the most common cause is intense and extreme straining during bowel movements.

Fiber comes into the picture as a preventative measure. By eating fiber rich foods, you reduce your risk of constipation. By reducing your chance of constipation, you lower the possibility of developing hemorrhoids.  Fiber has an added benefit: it has a wide range of health benefits. Fiber can help with the treatment of diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

If you’re currently suffering from hemorrhoids, feel free to schedule an appointment at the La Peer Health Systems’ Hemorrhoid Center of Excellence by calling (888) 742-2032.

How to Increase Your Fiber Intake

The amount of fiber you should get from your diet each day depends on your age and sex. Men 50 years of age and younger should consume at least 38 grams of fiber per day, while men older than 50 years of age should aim for at least 30 grams of fiber daily. Women 50 years of age and younger should consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day, while women older than 50 years of age should aim for at least 21 grams of fiber daily.

Try the following ideas to increase the fiber in your diet:

1. Eat at least 2 cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber include:

  • Beans
  • Artichokes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pears
  • Green peas
  • Berries
  • Prunes
  • Figs
  • Dates
  • Spinach
  • Apples
  • Oranges

2. Replace refined white bread with whole-grain breads and cereals. Eat brown rice instead of white rice.

3. Eat more of the following foods:

  • Bran muffins
  • Oatmeal
  • Bran or multi-gran cereals
  • Brown rice
  • Popcorn
  • 100% whole-wheat bread

Increase Fiber in Moderation

When you first add fiber to your diet you may notice bloating, cramping or gas. However, you can prevent this by making small changes in your diet over a period of time. Start with one of the changes listed above, then wait several days to a week before making another. If one change doesn’t seem to work for you, try a different one.

Remember: be sure to drink more fluids when you increase the amount of fiber you eat. Liquids help your body digest fiber. Try to drink 8 glasses of no- or low-calorie beverages, such as water, unsweetened tea or diet soda each day.

Learn More About Hemorrhoid Prevention

The experienced Los Angeles colorectal surgeons and GI specialists at the Hemorrhoid Center of Excellence can help you with prevention and treatment of hemorrhoids. If you would like to know more about reducing hemorrhoid flare-ups or preventing hemorrhoids all together, contact us online or schedule an appointment by calling (888) 742-2032 today.