While diarrhea, constipation and hemorrhoids may seem like very different medical conditions, they do have one thing in common. One of the biggest causes of all three conditions is a diet lacking in sufficient fiber.
Fiber, both the soluble and insoluble kinds, is necessary for proper digestion and excretion. Usually, fiber can be obtained through foods like whole grains and fresh fruits and vegetables. Today’s prevalent diet and lifestyle habits do not incorporate enough of these types of foods, however, and diarrhea, constipation and hemroids may be the consequences.
The USDA recommends a total fiber intake of 12 to 25 grams per day, with 1/3 to ½ of that amount coming from soluble fiber. It is estimated that most Americans get only 10 to 15 grams of fiber daily. Fortunately, there are a number of good soluble fiber supplements on the market today that can help add soluble fiber to your diet.
Benefits of Adding Soluble Fiber
Adding soluble fiber to your diet can help hemorrhoids in a couple of ways. First, adding soluble fiber adds bulk to your stools, which in turn makes them easier to pass. This prevents constipation, which is itself a major cause of hemroids. When you are constipated, stools become dry and hard to pass. This can lead to straining during bowel movements, and the pressure can cause rectal and anal veins to swell and become hemroids.
Another way in which adding soluble fiber to the diet can help relieve hemorrhoids is to prevent further aggravation of existing hemroids.Stool that is difficult to pass can aggravate already inflamed hemorrhoidal tissue and even cause bleeding and pain. Soluble fiber softens stools and prevents further exacerbation of existing hemorrhoids.
Diarrhea can also cause irritation to hemorrhoids and further inflame irritated tissue. Adding bulk to the stools can relieve symptoms of diarrhea and give hemroids a chance to heal.
Besides helping to prevent hemorrhoids and relieve hemroids symptoms, there are numerous other benefits to adding soluble fiber to the diet. Getting sufficient soluble fiber in your diet can help you with glycemic issues, and can lower your need for insulin if you are diabetic. It can also reduce the risk of colon cancer and heart disease. Soluble fiber can reduce LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Fats and carbohydrates are absorbed into the bloodstream more slowly and steadily. Finally, soluble fiber prevents free radicals from forming in the body.
Soluble Fiber Options and Dosage
Soluble fiber supplements come in a couple of different forms. When used as a hemorrhoid treatment, soluble fiber can be taken in pill form, or as a powder that is dissolved in water.
In pill form, the recommended dosage of soluble fiber tablets for hemroids relief is two tablets taken anywhere from twice daily to six times per day.It is important to note that different manufacturers of soluble fiber supplements in pill form will have different recommended dosages, so the manufacturer’s instructions should be read carefully.Taking too much soluble fiber in pill form can lead to some uncomfortable side effects, such as bloating, cramps and even diarrhea.
If taking soluble fiber in powder form, the recommended daily dosage is 1/2 to 1 level teaspoon, taken two times a day. After about two or three weeks at that dosage, that can be increased to two to four tablespoons, taken twice a day.Overall, a total intake of 12 to 25 grams per day is the target range.Diarrhea sufferers should aim for the low end of that range, while those suffering from constipation and hemroids may opt to increase their fiber intake to the high end of that range.
There are a number of good fiber supplements on the market today that can be used to relieve hemorrhoids. Some of the more popular brands used for hemroids relief are Metamucil, Citrucel, Benefiber, Fibercon, Heather’s Tummy Fiber, Equalactin, Fibersure, FiberChoice, Konsyl and Fybogel. If you suffer from hemorrhoids and want to alleviate your hemroids symptoms, a nutritionist can help you find the right form of soluble fiber and dosage that is appropriate for you and your particular hemorrhoids.