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Prevention

You can help prevent the irritating and painful symptoms of hemorrhoids by following the steps outlined below.

Avoid constipation

To decrease symptoms from hemorrhoids, avoid constipation:

  • Eat more fiber. Include foods such as whole-grain breads and cereals, raw vegetables, raw and dried fruits, and beans. Limit your intake of low- or no-fiber foods, such as ice cream, soft drinks, cheese, white bread, and red meat.
  • Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. Fruit juices are another good choice. Avoid liquids that contain caffeine (such as coffee and tea) or alcohol. These liquids may cause dehydration, which can lead to constipation.
  • Stool softeners containing bran or psyllium can be helpful. You can save money by buying bran or psyllium (available in bulk at most natural food stores) and sprinkling it on foods or stirring it into fruit juice. Avoid other types of medications that affect the bowels (laxatives) because they may cause diarrhea, which can irritate hemorrhoids.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that seem to make your symptoms worse. These may include nuts, spicy foods, coffee, and alcohol.
  • Regular, moderate exercise, along with a high-fiber diet, promotes smooth, regular bowel movements.

Practice healthy bowel habits

Practice healthy bowel habits:

  • Go to the bathroom as soon as you have the urge to pass stool.
  • Avoid straining to pass stools. Relax and give yourself time to let things happen naturally.
  • Avoid holding your breath while passing stools.
  • Avoid reading while sitting on the toilet. Get off the toilet as soon as you have finished passing stool.

Modify your daily activities

Modify your daily habits in the following ways:

  • Avoid prolonged sitting and/or standing. Take frequent short walks.
  • If possible, avoid lifting heavy objects frequently. If you must lift heavy objects, always breathe out (exhale) as you lift the object. Don't hold your breath when you lift.
  • If you are pregnant, sleeping on your side will reduce the amount of pressure on the blood vessels in your pelvis. This can help keep hemorrhoids from getting bigger.

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