Low fibre / Low residue diet

Hi. I am 19 years old and have had chronic constipation for the last 5 years. I also get extreme bloating and flatulence.

I've just started to try out a low fibre / low residue diet, to see if this might help my symptoms, but am finding it a little hard. I was just wondering whether anyone might be able to share any experience they've had with this?

Any tips, advice, recipes or insights that you have would be hugely appreciated.

Thanks so much, snowdrop15 x

31 Replies

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  • I had a wee look and came up with this webmd.boots.com/ibs/guide/d...

    you might have read all this stuff before, but if not I hope it helps.

  • And look into the FODMAP diet too.

  • Hi jimtom,

    Thanks for your reply. I had not come across that particular article before, so thanks for giving me the link. Unfortunately, I have previously tried the remedies that were mentioned and have sadly had no luck with them.

    I have also tried the fodmap diet before, and although I found it helped me with bloating and wind, it didn't seem to ease my constipation. I'm definitely considering giving it another go though, if the low fibre diet doesn't work.

    Thanks again for taking the time to respond. I really appreciate it.

    snowdrop15

  • You are welcome, I hope things get better for you, we just need to keep trying.

    Yakult, actimel, coconut oil help me a fair bit, exercise and lots of water also.

  • Yes, I'll definitely keep trying! Coconut oil sounds likes a good one, I'll definitely give that a whirl.

    Thanks and wishing you all the best,

    snowdrop15

  • Look into everything before you try it just so you know if it's for you or not.

    Good luck.

  • Yakult is really good for constipation

  • Is it? Didn't know that.

  • Glad it worked for you. It didn't for me - but definitely worth a try:)

  • sorry it didnt. it worked for me and a friend. hope u find something else that helps. fibogel also very good - fibre supplement if u can tolerate high fibre?

  • Hi alicemarsh,

    I haven't heard about Yakult for constipation before, so thanks for sharing!

    At the moment, I am avoiding dairy, due to following the low residue diet. But if I have no luck with that, I'll definitely give it go!

    Thanks, snowdrop15

  • I have to take porridge with prunes , chia seeds , blueberries every day. If I get too badly constipated I have really bad flatulents, too many prunes can cause this. It hard to get the balance right.

    I also eat sweet potato and chicken or fish.

  • Angie try having one or two kiwi fruit with your breakfast. Simply peal them, slice & add to cereal, porridge is ideal. They are a gentle effective laxative.

  • I shall add Kiwi to my ever growing list, thank you so much for the tip.

  • Hi Charlesowen,

    That sounds like a good idea! Also, kiwi's are low in fructose and fodmaps, so might be a good solution in helping the flatulence problem that prunes cause.

    Will definitely be trying that, if the low fibre diet isn't successful.

    Thanks again,

    snowdrop15

  • Hi Angie11,

    I completely understand the flatulence problem! I find that too, especially when I eat dried fruit such as prunes. It's such a nightmare isn't it!

    Thanks for your suggestion of sweet potato, chicken and fish. I love those, and being low fibre I should still be able to enjoy them whilst on the low fibre / residue diet (as long as peel the spuds!).

    Thanks so much, snowdrop15

  • Read the information at gutsense.org. I've had IBS-C for 39 yrs & this is working for me. I use the recovery 4 pack.

  • Hi hensonne,

    Thanks so much for your reply.

    I've just had a good look at the gutsense website and found it really really interesting!

    I originally decided to try the low fibre / low residue diet due to reading about the work of Professor Whorwell, an ibs specialist in the UK. He also recommends reducing fibre intake to help with constipation, so seems very similar to what the gutsense website suggests. I've already ordered the 'Fiber Menance' book off amazon and look forward to reading it.

    It's so good to hear that this is working for you and thanks so much for the advice. It'll be great to have some more information about this diet, and I'm keeping fingers crossed that it'll work!

    Thanks again, snowdrop15

  • It makes more sense than anything I've ever read or tried. It actually has worked for me and believe me I've tried a lot of things. It is a bit pricey to use the recovery pack but I'm telling you it's worth it! I've spent far more on other things. I also have FiberMenace and it is an interesting read. He adds humor to make it interesting. Let me know if you try it. I know there isn't one answer for everyone but I'm pretty sure that high fiber isn't the answer. I felt that the recovery pack healed my gut including restoration of the correct gut bacteria/flora. The hydro -c is wonderful. Let me know!

  • Hi Snowdrop,

    As well as food intake, are you getting the right sort of exercise? sickofibs.com/well-being/ib...

    And enough water?

    Alison

  • Hi AlisonfromSickofIBS,

    Thanks for your reply. I have to admit..... I'm already an avid reader of your blog! It was recommended to me by another Ibs sufferer and it's such a comfort to read about someone else's experience. The advice you give is really helpful, so thank you.

    Exercise is something I have thought about before. I was previously a competitive swimmer, and used to train up to 18 hours a week. However, due to my condition, I became unable to keep up with training because of the pain and discomfort, so was forced to give it up about 3 years ago.

    Now, I just do some running a couple times a week, and some short at home workouts in between. So nothing too intense, but still keeps me moving.

    It has worried me before though, that perhaps pushing my body to such an extent with the swimming may have contributed to causing my digestive issues, but I try not to think about that too much.

    I also drink about 2-3 litres of water/ herbal teas everyday.

    Unfortunately, I haven't found a solution yet, but will keep trying!

    Thanks for responding to my post, and also all the information you share over on your blog.

    snowdrop15

  • Sorry for this late reply, Snowdrop. And thank you for your kind words about my blog. I'm glad you are finding it of some use.

    I have found IBS to be set off by an accumulation of multiple factors, not just one. So don't beat yourself up about the competitive swimming.

    You may find that your reactions to stress, and to perform, are part of your IBS puzzle. If you think that might be the case, and you may have stress triggers operating in the background, you may find magnesium and breathing techniques can help with this.

    Alison

  • I found the best thing for me is Sunsweet Prune juice..It works wonders!

  • Hi Jaycey62,

    Thanks so much for your suggestion.

    Unfortunately, I have tried this before, and personally I didn't have any luck. I find that drinking lots of fruit juice can make me quite windy and bloated, and sadly doesn't help the constipation issue either. I think that my dodgy system might have a bit of a problem with fructose, but that's just me!

    Thanks for sharing though, even though this might not be for me, hopefully it might help someone else. I'm really glad it work's wonders for you :)

    Thanks again,

    snowdrop15

  • Hi Snowdrop

    That's a shame, the Prune juice isn't any good for you. ..is I'd definitely the Sunsweet make that you've tried, in a dark brown bottle? this is specifically good for constipation. I have also been a lot better since having Allbran for breakfast every day.. I sometimes have a lot of wind, but thing this can also be when I haven't eaten enough... My stomach is a lot better than it was, as this latest flare up of IBS has lasted over 3 months, yet the most I ever had one before was 5 weeks...It's a horrible condition to live with and hard for people without it to understand. .Mine definitely caused through stress...Hope you start to improve real soon... Jaycey

  • Hi Jaycey62,

    Really sorry for my really really late reply!

    I definitely know what you mean about others finding it hard to understand. It just makes the whole thing even worse when you can't properly talk to people about it. Please feel free to message me if your ever need someone to complain too, I'd be happy to listen.

    I hope that your flare up has calmed down now and you are feeling better. Stress is a really hard thing to manage, especially when having a flare up just makes you feel worse! I hope you've been able to relax and find balance again.

    Yes, unfortunately the prune juice isn't for me. But I have found some relief in the low fibre diet I've been trying, so am going to continue on this and see how this goes.

    Wishing you all the best,

    snowdrop15

  • yakult does help as it is fermented by good bacteria , it helps with constipation and i do still avoid milk, but it is more digestible. i only need one small bottle a day.

  • Hi alicemarsh,

    Oh right, good to know that it's more easily digestible than other milk products. I'll have a better look at it.

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply, I really appreciate it.

    snowdrop15

  • Hi, I'm on low fibre/low residue and low gas producing foods because I have a chicane in my hepatic flexure or a stenose. I've been doing this diet for a few months now and I feel great. No more bloating and I'm able to pass gas by turning on my right side, then my back, tilt pelvis to the sky and massaging the traverse colon.

    Stool come in little, soft pea sized pebbles. Because my problem is early in the colon, where water is not yet taken out. If your stool is hard it spends more time in the later part of the colon and solutions should focus on that.

    I eat chicken stock and gelatine on a slice of white bread. I juice two lemons but put it through a tea sieve first to take out the pulp. I eat chocolat (milk hazelnut which I have to chew very very very good). Cod with sour cream.

    Does this give you some ideas? Dairy is very bad because it feeds the bacteria that reside at the start of the colon. Sorbitol is very bad. Any fruit or vegetable. Onion is the worst. Potatoe feeds my bacteria crazy. You've got to test and try and find out what your bacterial colonies are like.

    So there's food, there's insight in where your colon is bucking specificly, there's the mechanical side of things (exercise, massage, gravity) and there's motility. Dopamine makes the colon slow (causing constipation), serotonin makes it move (diarreah and Crohn's if too much). There must be a balance. You can increase serotonin by taking 5-htp and with anti-depressants. But you better study this subject first before ordering bottles of pills.

  • Hi WoolPippi,

    Thanks for your response and sorry for my late reply.

    I'm sorry to hear about your condition, but am so glad that you have found some methods to help ease your symptoms.

    I've now been doing the diet for 6 weeks and although it has helped with some aspects (bloating and flatulence), unfortunately my constipation is still really bad.

    At the moment, I am planning on continuing on it for a bit longer, so thanks so much for sharing the types of food that you eat. It's a real help as I have found it difficult to ensure I am sticking to it rigidly. I was thinking about trying to add back some foods into my diet, but am still researching what the next best course of action will be.

    I've never heard of dopamine causing constipation before, so thank you for mentioning that. I'm going to look into it further and learn more about it.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience and knowledge with me.

    Best of luck with everything,

    snowdrop15

  • Hi everyone,

    Just thought I would post a quick update, in case anyone finds it useful. I trialed the low fibre/low residue diet for roughly 6 weeks. This consisted of :

    - No wholegrains (Only white foods such as, white rice and white sourdough bread)

    - No fruit (apart from a little bit of seedless jam)

    - Severely reduced vegetable intake (Just the flesh of potatoes, and carrots which had been both boiled and peeled)

    - No nuts

    - No pulses

    - No dairy (I still had dairy free substitutes such as soya yoghurt)

    - Lots of meat and eggs!

    - No Caffeine or Alcohol

    After my trial, I have concluded that for me personally this diet did really help with reducing my symptoms of bloating and flatulence. However, it did not help with my main issue of constipation, and I still did not have natural bowel movements.

    Moving forward, I have decided to continue with elements of this diet, but not to follow it strictly. This is because, as mentioned it didn't actually help with my main issue, and i want be able to eat in a more balanced way. However, it has been useful in helping me to cope with everyday life and manage my symptoms.

    I am now eating a diet which consists still of mainly lower fibre foods, but does cut out or restrict anything particular. I simply eat things in moderate quantities, and in general stick to lower fibre options. For example, white foods and fruits and veg which have a lower fibre content. I consider the way I eat now to be fairly balanced, but it seems to still be helping me manage my symptoms a bit better whilst I continue to try and find a solution.

    Thank you to everyone who helped me and offered suggestions. I really appreciate it and hope that someone else may find this post useful.

    Thanks and best wishes, snowdrop15 x

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