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Haemorrhoids and diet

Healthy eating is an important factor in preventing and treating haemorrhoids.

A balanced diet that’s high in fibre and low in sugar and fat will help you avoid constipation or weigh gain which are risk factors for developing haemorrhoids.

Eating plenty of fibre is important for preventing haemorrhoids because it keeps your stools soft and regular and minimises the amount of time you spend straining on the toilet.

High-fibre foods include:

  • fresh fruit and vegetables
  • wholegrain breads and cereals
  • nuts and seeds
  • pulses (peas, beans and lentils).

Commercial fibre supplements are also available if you think you are not getting enough of the above foods in your diet.

If you decide to increase the amount of fibre in your diet it’s best to do it gradually so your digestive system has time to adapt.

It’s also important to increase your fluid intake at the same time. This is because fibre in the stools acts like a sponge, absorbing moisture from the body.

Try to drink lots of water. Cutting down on sugary drinks will also help you to cut down on calories that cause weight gain.

More information about food and nutrition is available in our healthy eating section and from the Nutrition Australia website.

Sources: Dietitian’s Association of Australia (Constipation), Gastroenterological Society of Australia (Constipation), NHS Choices (UK (Piles (haemorrhoids) - Prevention, Piles (haemorrhoids) - Treatment), Nutrition Australia (Healthy weight) Women’s and Children’s Health Network (South Australia) (Pregnancy - Bowel care, Young adult health - Constipation)

Last reviewed: July 2015

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