When Eating Fibre Can Make You Even More Bunged Up: Patients Struggling To Go To The Loo Are Often Given Wrong Advice By Doctors
- Two million people in Britain currently suffer with severe constipation
- Tammie Cherry was told to eat more fibre, which made it much worse
- After being admitted to hospital, she finally discovered the solution…
19:57 EDT, 15 August 2016 | Updated:
Sweating profusely and crippled with excruciating stomach pains, Tammie Cherry feared she was seriously ill and took herself to A& E.
As well as the stomach pains, her lower back hurt and she felt sick.
My stomach was so bloated I looked pregnant, says Tammie, 41.
Initially, doctors thought she had appendicitis, but a scan revealed the real cause: Tammie is one of the two million Britons who suffer with severe constipation they have fewer than three bowel movements a week or difficulty passing stools.
And the conditions not just about a bit of discomfort in 2014, 666,287 people ended up in hospital.
Two million Britons who suffer with severe constipation, fewer than three bowel movements a week or difficulty passing stools. Many are told to eat fibre as a solution
I was just sent home and told to eat more fruit and high-fibre foods the same old advice Id been getting for years, says Tammie, a former nursery nurse from Gravesend, Kent. Unfortunately, it didnt work.
For many people, an occasional bout of constipation can be cleared this way by eating more fibre, drinking more fluids, taking more exercise or trying the odd laxative.
But for others this wont help and can actually make things worse.
How To Help Relieve And Prevent It
To help stay regular in the poo department, O’Hanlon recommends upping your fibre and water intake.
“The best way to keep our digestive health in check is to eat enough dietary fibre each day and drink plenty of fluids, mostly water,” she said.
“Overall, the best way to ensure we’re getting enough dietary fibre is to choose foods in their most natural state — fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.”
“Grains are such an important source of fibre, which is why diets that exclude grains such as Paleo or low carb can be worrying, as they may increase the risk of bowel complications.”
According to O’Hanlon, whole grains like rolled oats, whole grain bread, brown rice and quinoa are the best grains to choose.
“Whole grains contain three important components — the bran, endosperm and germ, which not only provide dietary fibre but deliver over 26 nutrients which nourish the body and help reduce the risk of disease,” O’Hanlon said.
O’Hanlon also recommends regularly eating legumes which are packed with dietary fibre.
“For example, eating baked beans on grainy toast for breakfast is a wonderful way to kick-start your digestive system,” she said.
“Another hot tip is, wherever possible, don’t peel your vegetables. Interestingly, the skins actually contain a lot of insoluble fibre, and just under the skin is where a lot of the antioxidants are hidden. So don’t peel your carrots or potatoes, keep the skins on for better digestive health.
Potato Chips Crackers And Other Processed Foods
Processed foods including potato chips, saltines, and some breakfast cereals are stripped of their nutrients and can prolong constipation. Ziegelbaum recommends choosing whole grains instead of refined and buying whole grain bread that has at least three grams of fiber per serving. If youre feeling constipated, try replacing breadcrumbs with oats when cooking dishes like turkey burgers, casseroles, or breaded chicken. Oats are an excellent source of fiber and can prevent constipation from getting worse. You can avoid foods that cause constipation and eat these 7 ancient grains instead.
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Eat Foods High In Insoluble Fiber
Speaking of fiber, it’s often the other puzzle piece needed to get things moving down the track. You’ll want to be cognizant of what kind of fiber you’re eating, however: Both soluble and insoluble fiber are good for you, but it’s insoluble fiber that will really help to alleviate constipation.
“Fiber promotes motility, or movement of food through the digestive tract,” says Wilson. You want to aim to get 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. But be careful, she cautions. “If you’re getting too much fiber, you may feel overly bloated, full, or gassy, so start slow with 20 grams the first week and increase from there, making sure your water increases as well.”
Where to get insoluble fiber from food? Naturally, you’ll get a lot of insoluble fiber from whole grain bread, cereals, legumes, nuts, fruits, and vegetables.
Fruits and Veggies
Although some veggies and fruits are higher in fiber than others, don’t get too caught up in that, Wilson advises. “Don’t focus excessively if an orange is a better source of fiber than an applebut rather focus on getting five servings of fruit and vegetables every day,” she says.
With breads and grains, make healthy swaps to your typical grain game. Choose whole grain breads, quinoa, oats, and brown rice, and even swap in legumes for meat every now and then to keep you more regular.
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1. Daher S, Tahan S, and Sole D et al. Cows milk protein intolerance and chronic constipation in children. Pediatr Allergy Immunol, 2001, 12 339-342
2. Muiller-Lissner SA, Kaatz V and Brandt W et al. The perceived effect of various foods and beverages on stool consistency.Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol, 2005, 17: 109-12
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Whole Wheat Breads Cereals And Pastas
Whole wheat products are an excellent source of insoluble fiber, which adds weight to stools and speeds up the flow of materials through the intestines.
To get the most nutrients from whole wheat products, eat them raw or lightly cooked.
Whole wheat breads and cereals that also contain nuts and seeds pack even more fiber into each serving.
Eat Foods With Natural Sorbitol
There’s a reason why grandma always told you to drink prune juice or eat a few prunes if you were constipated. It’s because prunes contain sorbitol, a sugar alcohol that’s naturally in certain foods. Note that you’ll want to avoid anything where sorbitol is an additive and too much sorbitol can cause diarrhea. But you may need some in moderation to give your system a much-need push.
“[It’s a natural way to get a bit of a laxative effect,” Dr. Arastu says of foods containing natural sorbitol. You can get your fix from fruits such as:
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Foods That Cause Constipation Avoid Them For Better Digestion
Your dietdoesnt just impact your weight loss and fitnessgoals. It can also create problems in your digestion process leading to constipation, especially if it doesnt contain enough fibrethat can be obtained from fruits and vegetables, or probiotics like yoghurt. While fast foods may seem to be the most obvious cause of constipation, it is not the only culprit.
Here are 10 foods that you should avoid to prevent constipation:
* Caffeine: While caffeine can lead to more bowel movements as it is a stimulant, if you are dehydrated, it can worsen your constipation. And its not just coffee, even black tea, colas, and chocolate can contain caffeine.
* White rice: White rice is polished and its husk and bran is removed which means the fibre content is less. That can lead to constipation. Instead, opt for brown rice which still contains the husk and bran.
* Red meat:Red meatis high-fat and takes longer to digest. It also has tougher protein fibres that may not be easy for the stomach to process.
* Chocolate:Chocolatesmay be delicious but they also slow down the digestion process. It is not recommended for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome .
* White bread: White flour is notorious for constipation. Avoid cakes, biscuits, white bread and crackers as these are low in fibre and high on starch. Instead, opt for whole grains.
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Processed And Frozen Foods
Processed and frozen foods may be convenient, but they are dangerous for you in every way. Foods like salami, sausage, frozen dinners, and ready-to-eat foods are loaded with preservatives, are high in sodium or sugar content, and have added flavor and color. To digest all of these complex and artificial additives, the digestive system has to work extra hard. This, in turn, weakens the digestive system, leading to various gut problems, including constipation. Stop consuming these foods right now.
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It Can Improve Gut Health
Choosing high fiber, 100% whole grain bread can improve gut health “because the soluble fiber found in some whole grains is fermented by the good bacteria in the gut to produce short-chain fatty acids,” explains registered dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus, MS, RDN, founder of NutritionStarringYOU.com and author of The Protein-Packed Breakfast Club. “These short-chain fatty acids are gold standard fuel for the cells in the colon and they can improve the gut barrier, decrease inflammation, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.”
Surprising Side Effects Bread Has On Your Gut Says Science
Although bread gets shunned by many, choosing the right type of bread can have positive effects on your gut. Of course, the opposite can possibly be true as well. Here is a rundown of five surprising side effects bread has on your gut. Read on, and for more on healthy eating, don’t miss 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
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Worst Foods That Cause Constipation
Constipation is typically having three or fewer bowel movements in a week, with a hard, dry stool that is painful and difficult to pass.
Most people who experience constipation feel bloated and full and usually lack energy. There are people who think they have constipation if they dont have a daily bowel movement. However, bowel habits vary from person to person.
The major factors that could cause a disturbance in bowel movement are the food we eat, the water and fluid intake we have and the exercise or physical activity we are engaged in. Every person gets to experience constipation, at one time or another. In the majority of cases, it lasts for only a short time and may not be serious.
There are a number of different constipation relief options. However, with these constipation relief remedies, one can also work to help the body be less likely to develop the symptom of constipation. With the major factors mentioned that cause constipation, a change in lifestyle is one of the options to help prevent and cure constipation.
For now, it is best to know the 10 worst foods to eat that are known to cause constipation. There are a variety of foods that are good for digestive health but there are still more that are very bad and can cause digestive health problems.
Here is the list of the top 10 foods to avoid preventing experiencing constipation.
White Rice and Rice Noodles.
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How To Prevent Constipation On The Keto Diet
One way you can prevent constipation is by introducing the keto diet gradually.
For instance, you can start off with a daily carb intake on the higher end, around 50 grams, and then slowly reduce your carb intake as your digestive system adjusts.
This approach can take a bit longer for you to reach ketosis. But you may be more likely to stick with the diet if you have fewer side effects.
Another way to prevent constipation with the keto diet is to make sure the fats and proteins you eat come from whole foods. Eating a lot of processed meals and fast foods can put extra stress on your GI system.
Processed foods usually dont provide much nutritional value. Also, theyre typically low in fiber, which you need to keep your gut in good working order. Finally, its important to make sure you drink enough water.
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Curb Meat And Dairy Consumption
When Dr. Arastu has patients complain of constipation, she often has them eliminate dairy for two-weeks to see if anything changes. “Both meat and dairy consumption can often cause constipation,” adds Wilson. You don’t need to completely eliminate these foods, as they’re a good source of protein, but you should be cognizant of how much you digest.
You can either try to replace animal-based proteins for plant-based proteins altogether . Or even just reduce the amount of meat and dairy on your plate and supplement with other plant sources of protein to stay full .
There Are Certain Foods That May Cause Constipation When Eaten In Excess Or At The Wrong Time Have A Look
- NDTV Food Desk
- Lack of fiber, dehydration or a lack of exercise causes constipation
- Too much caffeine can cause constipation
- White bread is high on starch and can lead to delayed digestion
According to Delhi-based Nutritionist Dr. Tapasya Mundhra, “Taking supplements for calcium and iron can also cause constipation in some people. Therefore, always make sure that you add a lot of fiber from fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet if you’re taking these supplements to avoid constipation.” Besides this, there are certain foods that may cause constipation when eaten in excess or at the wrong time. Have a look.
1. Unripe bananas
You may have heard that bananas are full of fiber and help in relieving constipation, but we are talking about unripe bananas here. According to Dr. Tapasya Mundhra, “Unripe bananas with the green skin can cause constipation as they are high in starch which makes your body work harder to digest then and therefore, they move sluggishly through the digestive tract.”
Unripe banana takes more time to digest, thus leading to constipation.2. Caffeine
Can’t get through your day without too many cups of tea and coffee? It’s time to make a few changes. Too much caffeine can cause constipation. “Caffeine stimulates your colon but too much of it can also cause dehydration which can leave you constipated,” explains Dr. Tapasya Mundhra.
Too much Caffeine can cause dehydration.3. White bread4. Refined flours and grains7. Chocolate
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Foods And Laxatives To Relieve Constipation
To solve or prevent intestinal transit disorders, it is often recommended to supplement ones diet with probiotics, which naturally restore gut flora. But what does gut flora do? Why is it important to eat fibre every day? And what are probiotics?
Why fibre is important for fighting against constipationDietary fibre, derived from plants, comes from our diet. It is more or less fermented in the colon by the bacteria that feed off it and thereby contribute to the proper development and balance of gut flora. Plant fibre can be categorised into soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble dietary fibre, which is more fermentable than insoluble fibre, more effectively contributes to the nutrition and growth of bacteria contained in gut flora and indirectly provides energy for cells that make up the colon lining. All these actions combined improve intestinal transit and help relieve constipation. A high-fibre, balanced diet contributes to the proper functioning of the colon and is made up in 50% of soluble fibre and, in the other 50%, of insoluble fibre. OptiFibre® is a way of supplementing your diet in fibre and thereby improving your bowel movements. In addition to its short-term laxative effect, OptiFibre® has a long-term effect of restoring gut flora thanks to its composition comprising guar gum, which is particularly fermentable.
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Processed Foods And Frozen Dinners
Along with fast foods, processed foods contain little nutrition and usually a lot of fat. Many contain a lot of salt as well. Examples of foods to avoid include
- white bread,
- hot dogs.
All of these foods can cause constipation by slowing down the digestive system. Try snacking on fruits and veggies and foods in their whole natural form, and make sure to drink enough water to help keep the digestive system working normally.
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Does Whole Wheat Bread Cause Constipation
Whole grain bread for constipation reliefWhole grains have lots of fiber, which is a good choice not only for the bowels, but also the heart. Researchers at the University of Finland in Helsinki found whole grain rye bread to be better than wheat bread and laxatives for relieving constipation.
Secondly, what should I eat to avoid constipation?
- whole grains, such as whole wheat bread and pasta, oatmeal, and bran flake cereals.
- legumes, such as lentils, black beans, kidney beans, soybeans, and chickpeas.
- fruits, such as berries, apples with the skin on, oranges, and pears.
One may also ask, does bread cause constipation?
White breadWhile whole grain breads may help relieve constipation, white breads can cause or worsen it. Unlike whole grains, white flour has no fiber. These foods are heavy on starch, and can back you up.
Why can’t I poop when I eat bread?
“Bread has low fiber and can help with loose stools or diarrhea,” Dr. Caguiat says. “Eating lots of it can cause constipation. In patients who have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity this can lead to abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea.” So if you’re a little runny, white bread toast might be the answer