Hemorrhoids are frustrating, painful, and embarrassing, and once you have them, you will likely do anything that you can to avoid flare-ups. This might cause you to wonder if your morning coffee is part of the problem. Coffee will not cause hemorrhoids, but keep reading as we discuss how it can interact with them and how you can minimize flare-ups.
What Are Hemorrhoids?
There are many veins around the anus area, and they are not too different from the pores in your skin. When they become swollen or inflamed, the doctor will diagnose you with hemorrhoids, and you can begin treatment. Internal hemorrhoids don’t hurt, but you may notice blood on the toilet paper, alerting you that there is a problem. If your body starts pushing the affected area outward, you will begin to experience pain and more bleeding. You may also experience itching, burning, swelling, and other symptoms.
What Causes Hemorrhoids?
Coffee does not cause hemorrhoids. They often occur naturally after pregnancy, and many people also seem to experience them more frequently in old age. Frequent bouts of constipation or diarrhea can lead to frequent flare-ups. Obesity and family history can also be contributing factors.
Is Coffee Bad for Hemorrhoids?
Coffee is a strong diuretic that greatly impacts the digestive system, of which your hemorrhoids are a part. Many people find that they need to hurry to the restroom after consuming a cup of coffee, which can irritate their hemorrhoids. Drinking a large amount of coffee every day might have the opposite effect, leading to more frequent constipation. Constipation can be a bigger problem because the waste is harder and can do more damage as it exits the body. It also frequently requires much more force to eliminate, which can increase the pain level.
Can I Reduce the Effects of Coffee?
The best way to help minimize the effects of drinking too much coffee is to add plenty of water to your diet. Drinking more water can help replace the water that the caffeine removes, helping to keep you regular. You can also space your cups of coffee out to lower the amount of caffeine in your system at any time.
Other Things That Can Help Alleviate or Prevent Hemorrhoids
Adding more fiber to your diet can help prevent hemorrhoids by helping the digestive system work better. More fiber enables the body to control how much water is in the intestines, preventing both diarrhea and constipation. It also helps you remove waste from the body faster, so it has less time to cause issues like hemorrhoids.
If you have mild hemorrhoids, there are creams that you can try to get comfort and relief. A product containing 1% hydrocortisone can help heal minor damage. A doctor might also prescribe a product with 2% hydrocortisone mixed with Vaseline for even more damage control. However, while these products can bring comfort, they won’t heal the hemorrhoids, nor will they provide much relief in bad cases.
Other Foods That Can Irritate Hemorrhoids
Other foods that you will need to limit your consumption of if you suffer from hemorrhoids include milk and other dairy products. Citrus fruits, tomatoes, chili peppers, and starch can also lead to more frequent flare-ups, so it’s best to consume them in moderation.
Unfortunately, while coffee does not cause hemorrhoids, it can irritate them and make you more uncomfortable, especially if it results in more frequent constipation. The best advice is to eliminate caffeine and other irritants from your diet, but if you find it impossible to eliminate the coffee, it’s important to drink plenty of water to help you rehydrate. It’s also a good idea to space your coffee out, so you don’t consume too much caffeine at once.
Related Read: Can Coffee Irritate Your Intestines? What to Know!
Featured Image Credit: John Schnobrich, Unsplash