Dietary tips to get relief from anal fistula

Anal Fistula, is a very painful and troublesome condition in which a small, infected channel develops between the anal canal — at the end of the digestive tract — and skin around the anus. As a result, people suffering from this condition often experience a lot of pain, and even bleeding, when they pass stool. Proper diet in Anal Fistula can help cure nearly 90 percent of the cases, while surgical intervention may be required in 10 percent cases.

Since Anal Fistula leads to an infected channel between the skin and the anus, this painful condition is commonly a result of collection of pus and infected fluid — that is, anal abscess. When anal abscess is not treated properly, a small gland develops on the inner side of the anus and gets infected with bacteria.

The main cause of Anal Fistula is strain on the anal canal or some kind of injury to it. This can occur in some specific situations which typically include: – constipation, frequent occurrences of diarrhoea, passing a large stool, a rectal examination, labour process, anal intercourse, and Crohn’s disease.

Intake of proper diet in Anal Fistula can ease the pain and discomfort experienced by the sufferers of this condition. Specifically, a balanced diet can keep the digestive tract healthy and effectively treat this condition without surgery.


Patients of Anal Fistula should be very careful about what kinds of foods they eat because diet plays a crucial role in treating this painful condition. Since constipation can worsen this condition, the ‘recommended diet’ in Anal Fistula typically includes certain foods which should be consumed by the patients, and foods which should be avoided.

The diet which is typically recommended for Anal Fistula patients is explained below.

High-fiber foods

High fiber diet

Regular consumption of high-fiber foods can be extremely beneficial in treating Anal Fistula. A high-fiber diet increases the amount of stool in the intestines, cleans the colon, and helps avoid constipation.

Some of the high-fiber foods which Anal Fistula patients should add to their diet include: brown rice, wheat germ, brown bread, whole wheat pasta, barley, cereals, oatmeal, oat bran, nuts and seeds, peas and beans, citrus fruits, and a lot of other foods which have high fiber content.



Diet in Anal Fistula should also include certain vegetables. The intake of these vegetables can ensure that you have a balanced and nutritious diet while dealing with the discomforting condition.

The vegetables which are mostly recommended for Anal Fistula patients are: cabbage, bitter gourd, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, tomatoes, carrot, spinach, green pepper, radish, and other green and leafy vegetables.



Some fruits are also very effective in treating Anal Fistula. These fruits should be an important part of the diet of Anal Fistula patients, so as to avoid constipation by cleaning the bowel.

The fruits which Anal Fistula patients should consume on a regular basis include: papaya, banana, orange, amla, apple, and pear. These fruits not only have high nutritional value, but can also help in preventing the occurrence of Anal Fistula from the anal abscess.

Onion and Garlic Soup


Another important component of diet in Anal Fistula is onion and garlic soup. This soup is considered an excellent remedy for treating Anal Fistula; and its regular intake can give patients the much-needed relief from anus swelling and pain in the anus area.

The key reason why the addition of onion and garlic soup is recommended in the dietary plan of Anal Fistula patients is that onion contains sulphur, while garlic is widely known for its anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties. A combination of onion and garlic, in the form of soup, can heal anal fissure.

Juices and water

It is also very important for Anal Fistula patients to consume raw juices and lots of water to remain well-hydrated. In fact, raw juices are the most significant part of the diet for Anal Fistula patients during the first five days of the treatment process.

Some of the juices recommended for Anal Fistula patients are: carrot juice, raw cabbage juice, pineapple juice, amla juice, and orange juice. Along with these juices, it is also recommended that patients should increase their intake of water to clear the channels and eliminate toxic products from the body.

Finally, along with sticking to the recommended diet in Anal Fistula, patients should also ensure that they avoid certain foods which can aggravate their condition. These foods include spicy foods, wheat flour, sugar, high-fat snacks, fried foods, and processed foods like frozen meals and packaged foods.

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Dr. Vikram Chauhan is MD in Ayurvedic medicine and an expert Ayurveda consultant from Chandigarh and practicing in Mohali, India. He has vast experience of herbs and their applied uses. He has been on various national/international TV channels for interviews and has written articles for various health columns in international newspapers. He has presented papers and given lectures at various national and international forums and congresses and offers free ayurvedic consultation to online patients.