Why Is Having Too Much Fiber Bad For You Best Sources Symptoms And Treatment
Having rich fiber food items can also be harmful for your body. Check out the best sources and symptoms of consuming too much fiber.
As much as taking nutrients is important for your body, overconsuming is also not a good thing. Intake of too much amount of any supplement like carbohydrates, fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals is not the best for your body. Consuming more than required can give issues to your health and cause many diseases too. Taking too much fiber in your daily diet can cause bloating, gas, and constipation too. A person can relieve this discomfort by making lifestyle changes like increasing their water consumption, exercising, and making meal changes. In this article, we will talk about about the best sources of fiber and symptoms and treatment of having too much fiber.
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Dos And Donts Of Constipation Relief
Diet and lifestyle can be a major cause of constipation. Getting relief can be as simple as making a few tweaks to your meals and habits.
Gradually adding fiber-rich foods to your diet can keep you regular.
Weve all been there: sitting on the toilet needing to go, but nothing comes out. The same goes for the unsatisfying plink of what looks like rabbit pellets dropping into the toilet when you know your bowels need emptying.
It should come as no surprise that what comes out of our bodies is linked to what goes into them.
As a nation, were really awful at getting enough fiber and hydrating, says Rabia De Latour, MD, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Health in New York City.
Fortunately, constipation can often be treated with a few changes to your diet and then maintained with some healthy habits.
Its very easy to treat with some dietary changes, before we need to turn to laxatives or prescription medicines, says Dr. De Latour.
But there is an important caveat: Diet may not be everything. Chronic constipation may stem from an underlying issue such as a medical condition, medication side effect, or anatomical problem like a pelvic-floor dysfunction.
While constipation may have a variety of factors, the first step is to look at diet and supplements, says Suzie Finkel, RD, a dietitian at New York Gastroenterology Associates.
Surprising Things That Can Cause Constipation
Anyone who has ever been constipated before knows the struggle can be all too real. Its not only uncomfortable, but it can also be painful and seemingly never ending for some. A lack of fiber, certain medications, and health conditions are some common causes behind why you may be constipated. But according to experts, there are also some surprising causes to be aware of.
According to the U.S. Department of Health an Human Services, constipation is pretty common across all ages and tends to affect women more than men. Its basically a condition in which someone has difficulty emptying their bowels, usually due to hardened stool. As Jeffrey Kim, MD, FAAFP, family medicine physician at Loma Linda University Health, tells Bustle, it can affect each person differently and may cause abdominal pain, bloating, discomfort and feelings of unease or distress.
According to Dr. Kim, constipation can be caused by a number of different things. For instance, not drinking enough fluids or eating enough fiber are pretty common causes. Sometimes underlying medical conditions such as hypothyroidism, colon cancer, or other medical disorders can cause constipation, he says. Certain medications such as opioids are also a common cause. In older patients, the cause can be multi-factorial. Some patients who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome may have higher rates of constipation.
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Almonds Versus Almond Milk
The nutrition in almonds does not compare with almond milk. Almond milk is mostly water.
One ounce, or 23 almonds supplies 160 calories, 6 grams of protein, 0 grams of sodium, 12 grams of healthy fat, and 3.5 grams of fiber.
Almonds furnish protein and fiber, but almond milk contains negligible amounts of these nutrients.
A one-cup serving of unsweetened commercial almond milk furnishes 40calories, 1 gram of protein,189mg sodium, only 2 grams of healthy fat, and less than 1 gram of fiber. The milk is fortifiedwith calcium, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin A to help offer similar nutrients found in dairy milk. Still, its significantly lower in protein. It only has 1 gram compared to 8 grams of protein in dairy milk.
Different brands fortify with varying amounts of these nutrients, so your best bet is to read the nutrition facts panel or ingredient list for guidance.
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When Is The Best Time To See A Medical Provider
Incorporating more fiber-rich foods in your diet could improve your health in many ways.
If youre suffering from symptoms of constipation that are mild, including more fiber in your diet can be a great first step in your search for the best solution at home.
Gradually increase the amount of fiber you consume Drink plenty of fluids Avoid processed and fast foods to ensure that your bowels are regular once more.
However, changing your lifestyle or diet will not always be enough to ease constipation.
In the event that youre experiencing constipation thats persistent that doesnt seem to go or go away, its vital to contact your doctor for assistance whenever you can.
In certain instances, persistent constipation may be an indication that something is more severe.
If constipation isnt responding to a change in your diet fiber intake or other treatment be on the lookout for more serious symptoms.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Stools made of black, tarry
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Can Too Much Fiber Cause Constipation
Researchers from Singapore studied the effect of reducing dietary fiber on patients with idiopathic constipation. For this purpose, they explained the role of dietary fiber in the gastrointestinal tract to 63 patients.
During the first two weeks, all participants had to adhere to a no-fiber diet. After that, however, patients could reduce their fiber intake to an amount they deemed appropriate.
Then scientists split them up into zero, reduced, and high fiber diet groups. However, at the beginning of the study, all participants suffered from constipation and distension opening symptoms.
During the six-month study, the different groups each progressed in distinct directions:
- High-fiber diet: all five symptoms in the group increased throughout the study. Also, subjects in this group maintained an average of only one bowel movement per week.
- Reduced-fiber diet: In this group, symptoms of chronic constipation systematically decreased. Thereby, bowel movements frequency increased from one per 4.2 days to one every other day.
- No-fiber diet: Surprisingly, all symptoms disappeared in the group that had eliminated fiber from the diet. Furthermore, bowel frequency increased from one bowel movement in 3.75 days to one per day.
In summary, the study provides evidence that reducing fiber intake also reduces constipation and its symptoms.
Some Other Probable Causes
Milk and other dairy products are damp forming foods. The digestive system doesnt like these types of foods. As a result, dairy causes constipation and digestive problems.
Some other causes of constipation include lack of fiber in the diet, stress, dehydration, and medical conditions like hypothyroidism, diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome .
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It Can Relieve Constipation For Many People
If youre constipated and have a low fiber intake, eating more of it could help.
Studies have shown that increasing the amount of fiber you eat could increase the number of stools that you pass .
In fact, a recent review showed that 77% of people with chronic constipation found some relief by increasing their fiber intake .
Moreover, two studies have found that increasing dietary fiber intake could be as effective as the laxative lactulose for relieving constipation in children (
Most people dont eat enough dietary fiber. Those who lack fiber in their diet may experience relief by increasing their intake.
Tips For Avoiding Constipation While Increasing Fiber
You now know that you need to increase your fiber slowly and drink fluids when adding more fiber to your diet, but you should also consider where your fiber is coming from.
It might seem convenient to get extra fiber by simply taking a supplement or eating a food product with extra fiber added in, but dietitian Megan Byrd, RD, recommends focusing on whole foods first.
“There are so many ways to get enough fiber in using whole, natural foods. Add chia seeds to your yogurt, flaxseed to your salads or kale to your smoothies.”
Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans and seeds are all going to add to your fiber day. Here is an example of how to reach your recommended amount of fiber per day:
- One medium banana: 3 grams
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Foods To Avoid When Constipated
High-fat foods those rich in oil, butter and grease can contribute to constipation.
If you are chronically constipated, overeating fried food, processed meats, commercially baked goods and other high-fat items may be responsible. Slattery cites cheese as a particular constipation culprit.
Really high-fat foods slow down digestion, she says. Fats are tricky to digest, and take a long time for the body to break down. Also, most high-fat foods are low in fiber and delay motility.
Eating More Fiber Can Help You Poop Regularly Unless Youre Making These 2 Mistakes
If you’re dealing with constipation, upping your fiber intake is one of the first lines of attack dietitians recommend.
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After all, a staggering 95 percent of Americans are not getting enough, according to January 2017 research in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. And FYI, women should get 25 grams of fiber every day while men should get 38 grams, per the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Are You Getting Enough Fiber?
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Fiber helps maintain a functioning and healthy digestive tract and it helps the bowels work the way they should â that is unless you make some rookie mistakes when adding more fiber into your diet.
You never know how much you value regularity until something goes awry, so before you go scooping spoonfuls of fiber powder into your water glass, make sure you’re increasing your fiber the right way â and your gut will thank you.
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Q & A: Diet And Constipation
Q. If someone is constipated, does it matter when they eat?
A. There is not much research around this. But, we know the process of eating stimulates the digestive system end to end, so at least theoretically, keeping a regular daily meal schedule could support regular bowel movements.
Q. Are there particular diets that cause constipation?
A. The keto diet, with its high levels of fat, can definitely cause constipation. If you are on a ketogenic diet for health reasons and become constipated, work with a dietitian or doctor to balance your dietary needs with some low-carb fiber sources, such as leafy greens.
The BRAT diet bananas, rice, applesauce and toast is one we recommend for a range of digestive issues, and it can help with both constipation and diarrhea.
Intermittent fasting can have variable effects on bowel movement regularity since there are so many different schedules to choose from.
If you have questions about constipation and diet or any other aspect of nutrition and how it might affect your health, consult a clinical dietitian or a doctor.
How Can Fiber Supplements Help Occasional Constipation
Can you remember the last time you pooped? Regularly going #2 can mean anything between three times per day to three times per week. You may be constipated if youâre well past your regular schedule and feel pain when you try to pass stool. But youâre not alone. Approximately 20 percent of the worldâs population is affected by constipation.1
Youâve probably been told to eat more beans, oats, or leafy green vegetables. Fiber is the power ingredient in these foods that makes you poop. Evidence shows that increasing dietary fiber can help constipation in children and adults.1
Increasing your fiber intake is the most common behavioral modification recommended to help with constipation because the right fiber improves your stool frequency and consistency.2
Fiber is present in lots of foods, so it may sound easy to just add more fiber to your diet. However, less than 10% of Americans reach the daily recommended fiber intake.3 Thatâs where fiber supplements can come in to help bridge the gap between recommendations and real-world diets. And some, like Metamucil, can help with occasional constipation to keep you regular.*
Find out how fiber supplements can help your occasional constipation.
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Fiber Is Generally Good For Digestion
Dietary fiber is the name given to the non-digestible carbohydrates in plants. It can be found in all plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds.
Its usually categorized into two groups, based on solubility:
- Insoluble fiber: Found in wheat bran, vegetables and whole grains.
- Soluble fiber: Found in oat bran, nuts, seeds, beans, lentils and peas, as well as some fruits and vegetables.
That said, most fiber-rich foods contain a mixture of insoluble and soluble fiber in varying proportions.
Even though your body cant digest fiber, eating enough of it is thought to be very important for your gut health. This is partly because dietary fiber increases the size of your stools and makes them softer.
Larger, softer stools help keep you regular, as they move more quickly through your bowels and are easier to pass .
These two types of fiber help with this in slightly different ways.
Insoluble fiber bulks up your stool and acts like a brush, sweeping through your bowels to get everything out and keep things moving.
The soluble variety absorbs water and forms a gel-like substance. This helps your stool pass smoothly through your bowels and improves its form and consistency.
The fermentation of one type of soluble fiber, known as prebiotics, in the large intestine can also help maintain a healthy gut by increasing its number of good bacteria .
This could also improve your health by decreasing your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity .
What Is Insoluble Fibre
This slowing down effect of the digestive system is usually overridden by insoluble fibre. It does not absorb water and speeds up the time that food passes through the gut.
Insoluble fibre includes cellulose, hemicelluloses and lignin, which make up the structural parts of plant cell walls.
A major role of insoluble fibre is to add bulk to faeces and to prevent constipation and associated problems .
Good sources of insoluble fibre include:
- bran wheat bran, corn bran, rice bran
- the skins of fruits and vegetables
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Best Beans And Legumes For Constipation
Beans and legumes offer a great mixture of soluble and insoluble fiber. They are also an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, and many other important vitamins and minerals.
Even so, beans and legumes have the potential to cause gas and bloating. This is caused in part by a complex sugar known as raffinose which produces hydrogen, carbon dioxide, and methane gas as it is broken down in the digestive tract.
As nutritious and beneficial as beans and legumes are, start slowly and increase your intake gradually to avoid these common side effects.
Among the beans and legumes that can help ease constipation are:
What Are The Symptoms Of Constipation
Constipation is usually defined as having fewer than three bowel movements per week. Even if youre going to the bathroom somewhat regularly, trouble passing your stools may be another sign of this condition.
The symptoms of constipation include:
- infrequent bowel movements
- straining to have bowel movements
- feeling blocked up or like you cant fully empty your bowels
- needing help to empty your rectum, such as with your hands or fingers
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The Bottom Line: Will Fiber Make Me Poop More
Ah yes, the golden question that we all came here for. Sadly, there is no one right answer for this question, I know, lame, but health is complicated. The most plausible answer is that if you are not currently meeting your fiber needs , then fiber can make you poop more, especially if youre looking to relieve constipation.
But for many, fiber isnt notorious for making you poop more, it is known to make you more regular. Regularity simply means having more consistent and predictable bowel movements. For many who struggle with disordered and irregular bowel movements, like those with IBS or chronic constipation, increasing fiber is a typical recommendation from doctors. However, it might not benefit everyone, and it is something to discuss with a healthcare professional.
In any case, take it easy as you ramp up your fiber content. Increasing fiber too quickly can bring out some pretty uncomfortable side effects, like bloating, gas and pain. So, when it comes to adding fiber, it is best to start low and go slow. And always remember to drink plenty of water!
If youre looking to add more fiber into your diet, check out the best foods to eat when constipated or consider adding Holy Crap cereal into your diet! Holy crap cereals contain super seeds, which are loaded with a mix of soluble, insoluble and prebiotic fibers, to get your gut in the shape of its life. Never mind strength training, have you tried gut training? Now thats a 2021 trend we can get behind!