Dietary changes for piles
Question : I HAVE been suffering from piles for several years. The itching
and burning sensation around the anus is really bothering me. Please help.
Answer : HAEMORRHOIDS or piles are often caused by sitting for
prolonged periods, violent coughing, poor blood circulation, straining in bowel movements and lack of exercise.
Dietary and lifestyle modifications may be helpful. Eat foods that are high in fibre such as wheat bran, fresh fruits and vegetables. This
is most important in the treatment and prevention of haemorrhoids. Avoid fats, animal products, coffee, alcohol and hot spices. Red meat
and high protein diets are especially hard on the lower digestive tract. Foods such as alfalfa and dark green vegetables, which are high in
vitamin K may be beneficial for bleeding haemorrhoids. Drink plenty of liquid (at least eight glasses a day).
Ginkgo supplementation may be helpful as it has been found to enhance blood flow by dilating blood vessels and inhibiting platelet aggregation.
Antioxidant nutrients such as beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, zinc and selenium are also recommended. Beta-carotene and vitamin E
support the healing of the mucous membranes. Vitamin E also helps to keep tissues elastic and resolve blood clots. Vitamin C and zinc are vital
to accelerate wound healing.
Exercise regularly to promote circulation and regular bowel movements. Wear cotton underwear only. To take pressure off the
veins, elevate your feet by lying on the floor and resting your calves on the seat of a chair, with pillow under buttocks, a few times during the
day for 10-15 minutes. Alternatively, sit on a wet towel for 15 minutes daily, followed by an application of a salve (a medical ointment) to
soothe the aching part.