Problems taking linseeds

I`ve had IBS for years and at the moment the main proble is incomplete evacuation and a tendency towards constipation. I saw an NHS dietician 2 weeks ago who told me to take 1 tablespoon milled linseeds per day. I built up to this gradually but after 3 days of the full amount I`m feeling no better at all and today actually feel worse. I don`t know whether to persevere with the linseeds or give up. Any advice would be appreciated

22 Replies

  • I suffer from IBS Constipation. Went to a dietitian 10 days ago and was asked to follow the fodmap diet. My symptoms have gone after 20 years of misery. She also told me to take linseed. I used to without seeing much difference. Have you not been told about the FIDMAP diet. For me, it’s a miracle.

  • Yes I`ve been following it for about 2 years but I can`t say it has made much difference. The dietician has now told me to stop all dairy and all processed meats for a couple of months as well.

  • Hi Im on the fodmap diet, been on it for 3 months, it has made a difference but if I stray from it, Im in agony, have you noticed a lot of the gluten free foods have onions & garlic in them! Also eating out is a nightmare, when you tell the staff you are on the fodmap diet they say “ oh yes we have gluten free!” Some staff are interested others think you are just being awkward 🙈

  • Linseeds are hailed as the golden ticket for IBS sufferers - this is sometimes not the case at all. They make my symptoms much much worse.

  • That`s interesting binks. All of last night and this morning I have had problems with trapped wind - much worse than it usually is

  • Sounds familiar - linseed also gives me serious pain! Dieticians seem to love them!

  • Linseed alone doesn’t help for me. You need to take a high amount of magnesium citrate or oxide. About 800mg. I have had Ibs c almost my whole life and am now in my fifties. This is the best natural supplement to take for this condition and I have tried many. Even my consultant recommended it. I take it every day. You must take it on an empty stomach just before bed with lots of water. I would start with a high dose initially just to clear you out. Even if it means taking a few capsules. I sometimes take 6 200mg capsules. Capsules are the best not tablets and it has to be citrate or oxide as these are the ones that work for constipation. There is a lot of information about constipation and magnesium on the internet. The ones I take are either Now foods Magnesium citrate, Solgar Magnesium Citrate or Life extensions. I get mine from the US on a site called iHerb, but you can get them on Amazon. There are other magnesium oxide products specifically for colon cleansing called Mag 07, Colosan and Oxypowder. They are a bit expensive but are amazing. I use these in between. No cramps no bloating, just relief. You can get these on Amazon as well. By the way I also follow a low fodmap diet through a dietician but this alone does not help constipation.

  • I used to take Magnesium Citrate (I only needed a low dose) but over the summer had about 4 months of diarhoea type IBS and so stopped, but I think I will have to go back to it now. I`m going to persevere with the linseeds over the weekend and if I`m not better I will try to contact the dietitian for further advice. Consultants and GP seem to have run out of ideas and are keen for me to work with this dietitian so I feel I shouldn`t give up too quickly.

    I wish I had asked her about Magnesium now (she seemed mainly interested in linseeds, trying counselling and getting more exercise!)

  • If you are constipated then I would take some magnesium.

  • Yeh i have ibs c and i use magnesium 100mg x 3 a day and it works a treat for me

  • Magnesium is only helpful for a particular type of constipation. If a person’s issue is slow transit constipation, the magnesium may will make matters worse, causing nausea and vomiting and other difficulties. Unfortunately, we are not all the same and therefore our remedies are different as well.

  • I have slow transit constipation and it works for me. Better than taking stimulant laxitives that are addictive and give you cramps. But I agree that we are all different. Magnesium is a natural supplement and my consultant recommended it.

  • Do you soak the linseeds first? They used to work wonders for me (sadly not anymore), but I took the whole linseeds, not milled, and had to soak them in water first. I used to mix them with mashed banana - not the nicest but it got them down!

  • I have the same problem with incomplete evacuation and, as for others who have replied, linseeds did me no favours.

    I agree with Pat1 about colon cleansers - they're so much more effective than laxatives. However, magnesium didn't work for me so, on the advice of another forum member, I now use Aloe Pura Colon Cleanse tablets. As I'm not very big, I just take 1 of these a night instead of the recommended dose of 2 and the difference they've made has been incredible; they're available from Holland & Barrett and are very reasonably-priced.


  • Thanks Pagan - I will investigate the Aloe tablets. I`ve now decided to stop the linseeds immediately as I am so much more "windy" than before I started them and actually seem to be getting worse each day I continue them.

    It`s a shame that the medical experts aren`t as well informed as the people on this forum!

  • Yes, I agree about the medics not having a clue, but the only people who can ever really understand what IBS (whatever that is!) is really all about are those of us who actually have it.

    I wish you well with this.


  • Bear in mind that those who have FODMAP issues may not be able to use Aloe Pura . It does contain aniseed, licorice and rhubarb.

  • I know chia seeds can have a laxative effect too, plus if you soak them overnight they burst and create a gel like substance. I know a friend who uses this as a thickening agent instead of flour in gravy type dishes or put them in with gluten free overnight oats, salads etc

  • You could also try looking at the Fast Tract diet. There's a book called Fast Tract digestion, an app and there's also a website and a Facebook group. I used to follow low FODMAP which sort of worked and I took linseeds but this Fast Tract diet has been a revelation and although I'm not perfect it is so much easier and my life has changed over the last year. It is like the FODMAP but reduces the amount of fibre and carbs. It works on a point system and I try to keep my points to 20 a day. Linseeds are 3 points per tablespoon therefore eat into your allowance for the day. After a while you don't need to count the points and can reintroduce things. For example last night I was able to have a burger and bap at the fireworks with no adverse consequences. Good luck. Also agree that we're all different so what works for one won't for others.

  • Thanks I`ll look at that

  • I find yakult works very well for constipation.

    I would ask for a specialist opinion if it goes on as the doctor can refer you.

    Also you may find it helpful to put your feet up on a platform - you can use books either side of the loo to help. This helps the bowel evacuate more naturally. There is a thing called a squatty potty which is just a platform (not a potty) you put your feet on but is does help evacuation for adults. Google it to see the reviews - ignore the silly cartoon which is selling a serious product.

  • Keep talking to the dietician that is treating you. Eventually you will find a solution that suits you as an individual.

    Incidentally linseed works for me but only in combination with all the other adjustments my NHS dietician made to my diet.

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