The pain you feel during and after a bowel movement after an anal fissure is so bad that many people withhold their poop to avoid it. Unfortunately, not pooping may make things worse.
At Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center in Town and Country, Missouri, our board-certified family physician, Dr. Betsy Clemens, takes a holistic approach to treating anal fissures, including making changes to your diet.
Here, we want to share some of the best things to eat when you have an anal fissure.
Foods high in fiber
Adding more fiber to your diet softens and bulks up stool, making passing easier. Adults need 25 to 35 grams of fiber a day.
Some of the best high-fiber foods you should eat if you have anal fissures include:
- 100% whole-wheat bread, cereal, and pasta
- Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, and brown rice
- Beans, lentils, and peas
- Fruits such as berries, apples, and oranges
- Vegetables like broccoli, leafy greens, and carrots
- Nuts and seeds
When adding more fiber to your diet, go slowly so your digestive system can adjust. Eating too much fiber too quickly may cause gas, bloating, and constipation.
Foods that soften stool
We may prescribe a stool softener to reduce discomfort during bowel movements, but some foods you can add to your diet may have a similar effect.
Prunes and prune juice contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that your digestive tract can’t absorb. When the sorbitol reaches your large intestine, it draws in water (softening your stool) and has a laxative effect. Prunes are also a source of fiber.
If you’re not a fan of prune juice, you can try apple juice or pear juice. These juices also contain sorbitol.
You need to get plenty of fluids when you up your fiber intake. Water makes the best choice. But you can also get fluids from the food you eat.
Cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, and oranges have a high water content and are good hydrating foods. They’re also a source of fiber.
The longer food waste sits in your large intestine, the harder it gets to pass. Pooping is painful when you have an anal fissure, but not pooping exacerbates the condition. Adding fiber and fluids to soften your stool makes passing easier, potentially causing less pain.
You may notice improvements in your pain over time, but complete healing of an anal fissure can take up to 10 weeks. We recommend you continue eating a high-fiber diet to prevent future problems.
Are your anal fissures making it hard to poop? There’s no need to suffer. Call our office at 314-669-2758 today to schedule an appointment with our skilled and compassionate physician.