Roughly half of adults experience hemorrhoids, or inflamed veins in the rectum or anus, by age 50. Symptoms vary but may include anal pain and itching, painful bowel movements, tender bumps near the anus and bloody toilet paper after wiping. Potential causes include pregnancy, obesity, sitting for long time periods, chronic digestive problems and a diet low in fluids or fiber. Hemorrhoid flareups typically resolve on their own. Medications and dietary changes may help prevent or reduce symptoms.
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Yogurt and Kefir
Yogurt and kefir, a yogurt-like beverage, provide probiotics -- beneficial, or "friendly," bacteria that promote digestive health and immune function. Probiotics may help prevent or treat hemorrhoids, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. For best results, consume yogurt or kefir containing live active cultures, such as lactobacillus or bifidus, on a routine basis. Drinking kefir may also help reduce dehydration and stimulate bowel movements.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables provide valuable nutrients that help strengthen your immune system and fluids that may help ease constipation. As fiber-rich foods, fruits and vegetables also add bulk to your stool and may reduce strain and pain during bowel movements. Fruits and vegetables particularly high in fiber include berries, apples, pears, avocados, artichokes, peas, broccoli, dark leafy greens, beans and winter squash.
Because whole grains contain all nutritious part of the grain, they provide more fiber, protein and micronutrients than refined grains, such as white flour. Most people do not meet their daily fiber needs, which ranges from 21 and 38 grams of fiber per day. Eating 1/4 cup of amaranth or 1 cup of pearled barley supplies 6 grams of fiber. Other fiber-rich whole-grain foods include oatmeal, 100-percent whole-grain breads and cold cereals, long-grain brown rice, wild rice and popcorn.
To prevent or reduce hemorrhoid symptoms related to a low-fluid diet, drink water or other fluids throughout each day. Drink at least 8 cups of fluid, or 64 ounces, daily, which may derive from water, milk, 100-percent fruit or vegetable juices, herbal teas or broth-based soups. Keep in mind that fruit and vegetable juices contain less fiber than whole varieties. Avoid caffeinated, alcoholic and high-sugar beverages, which may provide less hydration and, in some cases, contribute to weight gain.