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#1 tmf1

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 03:12 PM

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Hi guys, basically I'm wondering if it's possible to have too much fibre in your diet? I have been constipated for around a year or so and have tried various laxatives prescribed by my doctor in an attempt to fix this, but to no avail. I am attempting to pinpoint the cause of my constipation and I believe that the problems seemed to start around the same time as I started eating more "healthily". I am a vegetarian (always have been) but I started to eat brown pasta, brown bread etc. My fibre intake increased from normal levels to probably around 70/80g a day. I do drink a lot of water (probably at least 6/7 pints a day easily) so I don't think that is the problem. Is it feasible to think that this increase in fibre caused my chronic constipation? I have been planning my diet for the last week or so so that I am eating around 30g of fibre, will this help me? Thanks.


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#2 BQ

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 06:51 PM

Yes it IS possible to have too much fiber and have that cause constipation. You are currently ingesting twice the suggested daily amount. I would suggest you cut it back and see if that helps the constipation.
Please remember this is a group of folks seeking support on how to live with and manage IBS. THESE ARE ONLY MY OWN THOUGHTS. IF YOU WANT AN EXPERT OPINION, ASK A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL.

#3 IBS50years

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Posted 15 July 2011 - 10:00 PM

Hi guys, basically I'm wondering if it's possible to have too much fibre in your diet? I have been constipated for around a year or so and have tried various laxatives prescribed by my doctor in an attempt to fix this, but to no avail. I am attempting to pinpoint the cause of my constipation and I believe that the problems seemed to start around the same time as I started eating more "healthily". I am a vegetarian (always have been) but I started to eat brown pasta, brown bread etc. My fibre intake increased from normal levels to probably around 70/80g a day. I do drink a lot of water (probably at least 6/7 pints a day easily) so I don't think that is the problem. Is it feasible to think that this increase in fibre caused my chronic constipation? I have been planning my diet for the last week or so so that I am eating around 30g of fibre, will this help me? Thanks.

I've personally had a problem with fibre when I drink too much water. The water makes the fibre swell up and causes me to bloat, and that makes my constipation worse. I discovered this when it was very hot and I was drinking lots of water. I became very constipated, and once the weather cooled down and I stopped drinking so much water it came right.

#4 tmf1

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Posted 16 July 2011 - 07:17 AM

Yes it IS possible to have too much fiber and have that cause constipation. You are currently ingesting twice the suggested daily amount. I would suggest you cut it back and see if that helps the constipation.

Ok thanks. My doctor told me to sprinkle pure wheat bran on some of my meals each day, which probably made things even worse. I'm now making sure that my fibre to between 25g and 30g, so hopefully that will work. I've been doing it for a week now and not much progress, but I know it will take a while to improve if it does.

#5 alpha66

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:10 PM

I eat about 28g of fiber a day. But it does not do damn thing with my constipation...Do I have weak bowel movement? Should I stop taking fibers???

#6 Kathleen M.

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 02:53 PM

Usually the maximum dose for fiber recommended is 50 grams a day. More than that and it can make someone uncomfortably full and may be hard to keep it all wet enough to move well.28 grams may not be enough for some people, may be too much for others (and you might try 35 grams a day to see if that is better or worse). Sometimes people need osmotics (keep the stool wet) rather than more fiber.
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#7 alpha66

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 03:45 PM

Usually the maximum dose for fiber recommended is 50 grams a day. More than that and it can make someone uncomfortably full and may be hard to keep it all wet enough to move well.28 grams may not be enough for some people, may be too much for others (and you might try 35 grams a day to see if that is better or worse). Sometimes people need osmotics (keep the stool wet) rather than more fiber.

How do you know if you need osmotics or fiber?I take 2 large cups of prune juice everyday but still my stool is rather hard.I recently started to take (like I said) 28g of fiber daily but seeing no improvements at all.When this constipation started last year, I took 6g of fiber daily and with only such a small amount of fiber, I had a lot better BM.After all that fiber effect faded away and now I take 28g of fiber but makes absolutely no effect.Should I keep taking it? Or stop it? It's been little over a week since I started taking 28g of fiber. Should I wait more to see the real effect of fiber????Also I can probably make my stool more soft by drinking more prune juice but still, the urge I get is very weak. Why is that???? Any clue???

#8 vickster31

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 04:11 PM

I tend to eat 13g and at the most 20g....I find if I eat any more than that my tummy becomes bloated and very gassy and than I am blocked up for 10 days.....I am currently trying peppermint oil to see if that makes a difference as well as the movicol and senna....I suppose it depends on what your body is telling you...if it works with less than that's not an issue but from experience the more fibre you eat equates to blockage and than all the symptoms associated with that......Vickster x

#9 aaltimas1

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 06:31 PM

Like everbody has said everybody is different but I know for myself I stopped taking all the fiber supplements and eat a lower fiber diet I have been having a bowel movement daily but I need to take Milk of Magesium or Miralax. I was doing the whole fiber thing for a long time because it seemed like everybody was saying that if your constipated you need more fiber and water. I ate tons of fiber for a long time with lots of water and really I was bunged up all the time, I even had to do ennemas for a period of a month, I really didn't enjoy that at all. I don't have the anwswers I am still experimenting I am so happy to be able to use the bathroom daily it has been a real miracle for me. I have had large soft stools when eating realitivy low amounts of fiber, was supprised to be honest. I still have large amounts of gas and pain, so I keep trying and having hope.YOur friend Andrew

#10 alpha66

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 06:40 PM

So should I still wait and see more? I've been eating fiber for a week without seeing any positive effect.... Do I need to give it a more time?

#11 Kathleen M.

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 08:45 PM

I'd recommend doing about a 2 week trial of a new amount of fiber and see how that goes, unless, of course it is making you much more uncomfortable than usual. Depending on how that goes you could try upping or lowering the dose after the 2 weeks to see if you can find the level that works for you.Fiber is pushed as a "cure all" for constipation and typically at the milder end of constipation it can be helpful, but it really depends on your body and how it reacts and what it needs. I wish there was a test for that, but there isn't really away to know.
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#12 alpha66

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Posted 19 July 2011 - 11:18 PM

I'd recommend doing about a 2 week trial of a new amount of fiber and see how that goes, unless, of course it is making you much more uncomfortable than usual. Depending on how that goes you could try upping or lowering the dose after the 2 weeks to see if you can find the level that works for you.Fiber is pushed as a "cure all" for constipation and typically at the milder end of constipation it can be helpful, but it really depends on your body and how it reacts and what it needs. I wish there was a test for that, but there isn't really away to know.

Sorry if i am being too ignorant. But what do you mean by midler end of constipation?

#13 Kathleen M.

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Posted 20 July 2011 - 06:00 PM

Milder end, may not be all the time. Typically have at least 3 BM's a week or more, consistency is dryer than normal. Some people may only go 3X a week but have normal easy to pass consistency and that is not constipated.More severe (and at this end it is severe enough people need to avoid fiber and up osmotics to allow any movement to have stool wet enough to move) 2-3 BM's a month or even less
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#14 tmf1

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 07:05 AM

Milder end, may not be all the time. Typically have at least 3 BM's a week or more, consistency is dryer than normal. Some people may only go 3X a week but have normal easy to pass consistency and that is not constipated.More severe (and at this end it is severe enough people need to avoid fiber and up osmotics to allow any movement to have stool wet enough to move) 2-3 BM's a month or even less

See I have usually one BM a day, but I would still say I was at the more severe end of things. I have reduced my fibre intake from between 70g to 80g down to around 30g a day, but have seen no marked improvement yet. I've started drinking prune juice for the osmotic effect which you describe, as I feel that my problem is to do with the stool being wet enough. No luck yet though. Any tips?

#15 alpha66

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 09:56 AM

Milder end, may not be all the time. Typically have at least 3 BM's a week or more, consistency is dryer than normal. Some people may only go 3X a week but have normal easy to pass consistency and that is not constipated.More severe (and at this end it is severe enough people need to avoid fiber and up osmotics to allow any movement to have stool wet enough to move) 2-3 BM's a month or even less

When you say 3 BMs a week, is that what counts under no laxative use? What I am saying is that 3 BMs with laxative use and 3 BMs with no laxative use are different...

#16 Kathleen M.

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 01:23 PM

Alpha--I usually look at without laxatives. Most people who will go almost a month passing no stool of any kind at all don't let that happen very often. For this even a few rabbit pellets counts as a BM, this is not between satisfying easy to pass BM's.However if you go from 2X a week to 5X a week with a stool softener or 300 mgs of magensium or 1-2 prunes a day then TMF-1So you go every day, but the consistency is hard, dry, hard to pass or like rabbit pellets? You can go every day and have discomfort that has nothing to do with still being constipated all the time.
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#17 tmf1

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 01:31 PM

Alpha--I usually look at without laxatives. Most people who will go almost a month passing no stool of any kind at all don't let that happen very often. For this even a few rabbit pellets counts as a BM, this is not between satisfying easy to pass BM's.However if you go from 2X a week to 5X a week with a stool softener or 300 mgs of magensium or 1-2 prunes a day then TMF-1So you go every day, but the consistency is hard, dry, hard to pass or like rabbit pellets? You can go every day and have discomfort that has nothing to do with still being constipated all the time.

Yes, on the whole I will go once a day or so. But I ALWAYS have to strain to do so, and the stools are small, hard and like rabbit pellets yes. I've seen several doctors, and they've all said too much fibre being bad is a myth and told me to take fibre supplements and wheat bran etc, but like I say I've switched to eating around 30g of fibre daily now.

#18 alpha66

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:04 PM

Alpha--I usually look at without laxatives. Most people who will go almost a month passing no stool of any kind at all don't let that happen very often. For this even a few rabbit pellets counts as a BM, this is not between satisfying easy to pass BM's.However if you go from 2X a week to 5X a week with a stool softener or 300 mgs of magensium or 1-2 prunes a day then TMF-1So you go every day, but the consistency is hard, dry, hard to pass or like rabbit pellets? You can go every day and have discomfort that has nothing to do with still being constipated all the time.

I pretty much go everyday with some help of laxatives. Without laxative, I don't know. Ive'never waited more than 2 days because I can't take the risk of re-tearing my fissure (Had fissurectomy recently) If it's more than 2 days, I use enema.With osmotic laxatives I get long and with hardness like rubber stool. With stimulants (and if it works well) I get normal stool.With osmotics, I don't feel the urge so I have to strain. Sometimes, I strain a lot and sometimes strain very little.With stimulants (when it works well), I get strong urge and feel everything is normal.When stimulants works fine, I feel urge and after successful BM, I feel like some adrenalin spread over my tummy which makes me feel like in heaven. It almost feel like I had some narcotics injected over my belley.Am I the only one who feels this or is everyone like that????I've been like that all the time until I developed this constipation. During my normal days, I always had this great feeling after BM over my abdomen. This is all depends on how strong urge I get before BM. If the urge was strong, this good feeling is strong too. If no urge, there's no this good after BM feeling.Anyway good BM depends on how good urge I get. If I get weak or no urge, I don't feel great after BM (by straining).But if I felt good urge, then after BM I feel great...Is this normal thing?

#19 Kathleen M.

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 05:52 PM

It may be worth seeing if they'll do some testing on the pelvic floor to see if there is a reason for the straining.Some people tense up when they should be relaxing. I'm not sure if the stimulant laxatives over-ride that, but it may be worth checking to make sure everything down there is doing what it should when it should.
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#20 pencil

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 08:21 PM

See I have usually one BM a day, but I would still say I was at the more severe end of things. I have reduced my fibre intake from between 70g to 80g down to around 30g a day, but have seen no marked improvement yet. I've started drinking prune juice for the osmotic effect which you describe, as I feel that my problem is to do with the stool being wet enough. No luck yet though. Any tips?

Have you read the book Fiber Menace? The author argues that too much fiber is not good, and can cause constipation. I switched to a low-fiber diet and definitely feel a lot better. It kind of makes sense, since fiber makes poop bigger, but doesn't necessarily move things along. Fats stimulate, so my tip would be to eat A LOT of fat.





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