An article on a website claims that mixing cow milk with lemon juice will cure piles completely. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False.
On a number of online forums including Quora and Medindia, users claimed that ‘lemon and milk can cure piles’ and it is a ‘sure shot’ cure. A few YouTube videos and regional media houses have also published similar claims. A media website published an article titled ‘Efficacy of Cow Milk and Lemon Juice in curing piles problems!’. One of the screenshots is attached here:
What is Piles disease?
Haemorrhoids are commonly called piles and are recognized by swollen veins in the anus and rectum. This condition leads to inflammation/swelling in the nearby tissues to affect larger areas. Piles cause severe discomfort due to symptoms like anal itching, anal pain, lumps near the anus, bleeding from the rectum or hemorrhoid falling through the anal opening.
Piles disease occurs due to increased pressure in the lower rectum. The pressure stretches the blood vessels near the anus and rectum to cause piles. Conditions such as chronic constipation, lifting heavy weights, chronic diarrhoea or straining while passing stool induces piles. Moreover, risk factors for piles disease also include pregnancy, age, weight and diet.
Can diet cure Piles?
To a certain extent. Medical experts often suggest diet modifications to cure or manage piles. Eating foods rich in fibre makes the stool soft and easy to pass. Also, drinking water and liquids can help fibre in the diet pass stool better. With piles disease, it is essential to ask the doctor about how much fibre and drink each day is feasible based on body mass index, health status, activity level and geographical location.
We asked Dr Sharad Malhotra, Gastroenterologist, to explain the role of diet in curing piles disease. To this, he said, “Diet may not cure piles but can help in symptom improvement. Helpful diets should include whole grains, legumes, fruits with peel and fibre in any form to avoid constipation. Food rich in processed fats and carbohydrates should be avoided because they decrease the intestinal motility and aggravate constipation.”
Dr Malhotra further informed that the “treatment for piles include fiber-rich diet, incorporating laxatives or stools softener, avoiding other medications or food causing constipation, medicines for decreasing pressure in veins of the anal canal, endoscopy guided injection therapy or banding and surgery to remove diseased venous column.”
Can a mixture of lemon and milk cure Piles?
No. There is no evidence about the fact that lemon and milk can cure piles. In fact, milk is often added in the list of “not to have” if you have piles due to its tendency to cause constipation.
Though none of the claims elaborate on the proportion of the each ingredient in the mixture, we took into consideration that in certain proportion lemon and milk will result into buttermilk – a popular summer drink for Indians. Buttermilk, also has been suggested as a home remedy for piles in many blogs but once again doesn’t have any scientific evidence to back the claim.
Dietician Kamna Tank says “Diet cannot cure the pile disease but it can reduce the symptoms. Eating food that are high in fiber can make stool softer and easier to pass. This can make piles less painful. Drinking water and other liquids can help the fiber in your diet works better.”
There is no evidence that confirms mixing lemon juice with milk can cure piles completely. On the contrary, lemon juice will separate the milk curd from the liquid content the moment both ingredients are mixed and becomes difficult to drink.
THIP Media further searched for evidence that shows whether lemon and milk individually have curative effects against piles disease. In the case of lemon, we found some evidence that shows lemon juice can strengthen capillaries and blood vessels. Such a property may reduce piles disease. Another research paper recommended the topical application of lemon on piles.
What can be the dangers of trying to cure piles through home remedies and not seek medical advice?
Piles is comparatively a common disease in adults and most of the time do not cause major problems. However, they can sometimes burst or cause bleeding. In such cases, it can be dangerous to not seek medical attention and keep trying out home remedies.
In context with milk, the available evidence recommends avoiding it. Because milk does not have fibre, it can cause constipation to aggravate the condition rather than reduce the extent. Still, some people might remain unaffected after drinking milk.
Trying to treat piles with home remedies without understanding the underlying cause can leave piles untreated. Such a condition can cause anaemia and trap piles in the anal muscles to cause a painful condition called gangrene, which leads to the death of tissues.
THIP MEDIA TAKE: No evidence confirms mixing lemon and milk cures piles completely. People with piles disease can individually consume lemon and milk along with the ongoing treatment only when recommended by a doctor. Hence, the claim is Partly False.
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