Diet for Anal Fissure: What to Eat and Avoid

Anal fissure diet is an effective way to treat pain and discomfort. Eat more fiber rich foods and keep good bowel habits to prevent future problems.

An anal fissure occurs when the delicate tissue lining the anal canal experiences a tear, which usually leads to severe pain and bleeding. If you have experienced anal fissure, you will definitely want to prevent another one from occurring. An anal fissure diet can be required on your ways. You just need to make some changes on your diet, which will surprisingly help you avoid pain and discomfort effectively.

What Causes Anal Fissure?

Many medical experts feel that anal fissures are due to extra tension in the two sphincters (muscular rings) that control the anus. The outer of these two anal sphincters can be consciously controlled, while the inner one cannot. It is therefore under tension or pressure all the time. If the pressure increases to an extreme level for some reason, it may lead to spasms or a reduced blood flow towards the anus, which in turn causes a fissure. Similarly, the pressure can prevent an anal fissure from healing.

An anal fissure is typically caused by trauma or injury to a person's anal canal. This may occur in the following situations:

  • Pass a large stool
  • Feel constipated and make an attempt to pass a stool that is hard
  • Repeated diarrhea
  • Labor process
  • A rectal exam
  • A foreign object or anal intercourse
  • Crohn's disease

What You Should Include in a Anal Fissure Diet

Generally, foods that high in fiber can help you pass stool more smoothly. There are two different kinds of fiber: insoluble and soluble. Insoluble fiber is mostly found within whole grain coverings as well as skins, peels and leaves of plants, and it will go through the intestine in a form close to its original, a process that makes it easier to pass stools. You can find fiber in grains, fruits and vegetables. According to the American Dietetic Association, you should have between 25 and 30 grams of fiber each day.

In order to increase your fiber consumption, opt for whole grains (as opposed to refined grains), whole vegetables and fruits (as opposed to juice), brown rice (as opposed to white), and legumes (as opposed to meat).

Some excellent food sources of fiber include:

  • Prune juice and prunes
  • Citrus fruits
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Beans and peas
  • Whole grains (including breads, cereals, pastas, popcorn, oatmeal, and brown rice)
  • Oat bran
  • Wheat bran
  • Raw juice

Start with Raw Juices

When you first start your anal fissure diet, you should have raw juices for five straight days. Some good choices are pineapple, oranges, and carrots. You should ideally drink one glass of raw juice every two hours. Either make your juice at home using your blender or purchase it directly from your local store. Be sure to drink water in addition to the juice.

Include Unrefined Foods

Unrefined foods are also good diet choice for your anal fissure relief. Unrefined foods will be those with low sugar. When you suffer from an anal fissure, it is important to have a healthy quantity of beans, lentils, and molassesand nuts. Other unrefined foods include onions, cabbage, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables. You should also have beets and pumpkins. As mentioned earlier, whole-grain bread is also a good option for its high fiber content and related ability to prevent constipation.

What You Should Avoid

If you have an anal fissure, you will need to avoid eating certain foods.

1. White Flour and Sugar

White flour and sugar should not be included in an anal fissure diet. This means that you should not have pastries or cakesor biscuits. Even items such as preservatives, cheese, and rice may contain sugar and/or white flour. If you eat too much sugar, your body will use up large quantities of vitamin B, without which the intestines aren't able to work properly.

2. Spicy Foods

Some research shows that spicy foods can make pain and itching worse. So do not eat spicy foods when you are trying to treat anal fissure.

3. High Fat Snacks

High fat snacks include doughnuts, potato chips, cheese products (including pizza), fried foods, and marbled meats. These can lead to constipation, worsening your anal fissure and the related pain.

4. Processed Foods

Processed foods, such as packaged foods and frozen meals, will also lead to constipation and should be avoided.

Remedies Besides Diet to Relieve Anal Fissure

The following remedies can also help you relieve an anal fissure:

1. Stay Hydrated

When you are staying hydrated, your risk of constipation is reduced, as liquids will soften your stools so they are easier to pass. Ensure that you drink even more fluids if you increase your physical activity levels or it becomes warmer outside.

Keep in mind that not every beverage will help you stay hydrated and consuming excessive quantities of alcohol can actually dehydrate you. Excess caffeine may have the same effect, so it should be avoided.

2. Exercise

Constipation is also frequently due to not exercising or lack of physical activity. Aim to exercise half an hour every day or 150 minutes each week as this will help your digestive system keep moving.

3. Practice Healthy Bowel Habits

Having healthy bowel habits may reduce strain on your anal canal as well as constipation. Following these habits can lower your risk of anal fissures.

  • If you feel that you need to take a bowel movement, don't ignore the urge. If you wait too often or too long, your signals indicating when it is time to go to the bathroom can weaken. In addition, holding a stool longer may make it harder and dryer, and therefore more challenging to pass.
  • Always give yourself enough time in the bathroom to comfortably pass your bowel movement, but don't sit down on the toilet for too long.
  • Never strain when passing stools.
  • Ensure your anal area is dry.
  • Always clean yourself gently following a bowel movement.
  • Opt for wipes or toilet with soft, scent-free, and dye-freepaper.
  • Always treat prolonged diarrhea.
  • Follow treatment for any related conditions, such as IBS.

4. Ask Your Doctor About Laxatives

If you still experience constipation after taking the above steps, your doctor may recommend laxatives. The safest type of laxatives is the bulk-forming laxatives, also known as fiber supplements. These works by helping stools absorb as well as retain fluid. Other laxatives will increase the water in the intestines, lubricate stools, draw water into the colon or stimulate intestinal muscles.

Although you will see anal suppositories, creams and ointments for various anal complaints, you should not try them as they may worsen the problem by causing a local allergic reaction. Others may contain irritants, like alcohol or witch hazel.

Using ointments can also interfere with your anal seal, leading to fecal staining and incontinence. Large quantities of ointment may trap bacteria, further damaging the skin. Therefore only apply a thin layer if you use them, and only after washing.

You can try a sitz bath, but don't use soap and be sure not to expose the skin for more than one or two minutes so it doesn't pucker.

If you keep experiencing pain, your doctor may recommend various local pain medications or an injection of botulism toxin which paralyzes your anal muscles. In some cases, chronic fissures may need surgery.

Here is a video sharing some more home remedies for anal fissure:

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