Anusitis occurs when the skin around the anal opening becomes irritated. You may experience uncomfortable symptoms such as itching, burning and pain. Acidic foods in your diet are the primary cause of this condition, so dietary intervention can help reduce your symptoms. An anusitis diet is essentially an elimination diet, requiring you to avoid acidic foods temporarily and then add them back as tolerated.
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A wide variety of beverages are acidic and can exacerbate anal irritation in sensitive individuals. Make a grocery list of safe foods and beverages to make it easier when you go shopping. Acidic beverages to avoid include citrus juices, coffee, black tea, beer, red wine, soda and other carbonated drinks. Add white wine, herbal tea, fresh vegetable juice and milk to your allowed beverages list.
Acidic Fruits and Vegetables
Remove acidic fruits from your diet. Some examples of acidic fruits are grapefruit, pineapple, oranges, kiwi, mulberries and strawberries. Some fruits, such as mangoes, are slightly acidic, so assess your tolerance. Bananas are safe for you to consume. Most vegetables are OK to eat since they're low in acid. Eggplant and pickles, however, are very acidic and may cause problems. Carrots, cauliflower, artichoke, turnips and shallots are slightly acidic.
Other Acidic Foods
Some nuts are very acidic, such as walnuts, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans and pistachios, but almonds and Brazil nuts are safe for you to eat. Aged buttermilk, yogurt sweetened with fruit, hard cheeses and soft cheeses are highly acidic and need to be avoided. Vinegar, garlic, pizza, Italian sauces, chilli, fatty meats, red meat and popcorn may also cause problems due to high acid levels.
Following an Anusitis Diet
Try following a strict elimination diet for three weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Consult your health care provider for a complete list of safe foods and foods to avoid. Keep a diet diary to keep track of your meals and symptom severity. After three weeks, reintroduce the foods you eliminated one by one every two to three days. Reintroducing foods slowly helps identify the offending food or foods.