Does Coffee Irritate Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids occur when the veins around your anus and lower rectum become inflamed. While there may be some drinks and foods that irritate hemorrhoids, coffee does not affect the condition.

Coffee has no effect on hemorrhoids.
Credit: xMarshall/iStock/GettyImages

Tip

Coffee does not cause or irritate hemorrhoids. Constipation and diarrhea can both cause and exacerbate the condition, so make sure that in addition to your coffee, you drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet.

What Causes Hemorrhoids?

Hemorrhoids occur in both men and women and are more common in individuals over the age of 50, advises the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. They may be caused by a variety of factors including:

  • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
  • Straining during bowel movements or remaining on the toilet for long periods of time
  • Low-fiber diets
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Pregnancy

Internal hemorrhoids are not usually painful unless it prolapses, or falls out of the body. External hemorrhoids may cause an itchy or painful anus. Hard lumps around the anus and bloody stools are also symptoms of hemorrhoids.

Read more: Can Coffee Cause Bloody or Black Stools?

Hemorrhoids can often be treated at home. Options include:

  • Stool softeners or fiber supplements

  • Eating a high-fiber diet and staying hydrated

  • Taking a sitz bath

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers and applying hemorrhoid or

    corticosteroid

    cream

  • Limiting time on the toilet and avoiding strain during bowel movements

There are also things you can do to minimize itching related to hemorrhoids. The U.S. National Library of Medicine recommends wearing cotton underwear, applying witch hazel, using baby wipes and avoiding scented toilet paper.

Other medications may also prove effective in treating hemorrhoids. For example, a study published in the October 2018 edition of Springer Advances in Therapy, found that Detralex (a micronized purified flavonoid fraction supplement) was effective in treating hemorrhoids, especially milder cases. Bleeding and prolapse of internal hemorrhoids decreased and patients in the study reported a relief in symptoms.

Warning

If hemorrhoids do not improve with home treatment or you have rectal bleeding, be sure to contact your doctor. You may have a complication from hemorrhoids such as an infection or blood clot. You may also be suffering from a more serious medical condition such as Crohn's disease or rectal cancer.

Diet for Hemorrhoids Sufferers

Include high-fiber foods in your diet, including grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. Avoid or limit low-fiber foods such as cheese, meat, fast food and processed foods.

Read more: Foods That Help Heal Hemorrhoids and Foods to Avoid

Doctors don't recommend a fully liquid diet for hemorrhoids; however, it is important to drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps prevent constipation and allows the fiber you consume in your diet to be more effective. Coffee does not cause constipation, so feel free to have a cup as long as you are also drinking water.

Tip

Some individuals believe that coffee may help stimulate bowel movements. While older studies may have found some indication that coffee can increase the transit time of stool through the intestines, this has not been confirmed. More recent studies have shown no correlation between stool movements and coffee consumption, notes an October 2018 study published in the journal Acta Radiologica Open.

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