Increased fibre causing extreme constipation a... - IBS Network

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Increased fibre causing extreme constipation and abdominal pains


I have had a somewhat unhealthy diet most of my life (fast food a few times a week, not so many veggies etc). I decided to change my diet completely and quite drastically incorporated a lot of fruit and veg into my diet. I went from an average of 10g of fibre a day (no issue with constipation) to 25g of fibre a day. I have been suffering from extreme constipation and abdominal pains (which I assume is due to the sudden change) but 6 weeks on and its still just as bad. My GP has said its probably IBS (which I do not agree with since I have never had an issue before this) and so I adopted a low FODMAP diet to no avail. I am at my wits end because the useless advice I've been getting from professionals is "increase fibre and water intake"............ I'm already having between 25-30g of fibre a day and drinking 2.5l of water minimum. I have had to resort to using senna or movicol many times but I am reluctant to use these often due to the fear of becoming dependent. The main thing that also relieves my constipation is a morning coffee. However, when my constipation is relieved, its almost always extremely loose stool. Has anyone else had an experience like this? what should I do? I will try to reduce fibre intake however what is a good reduction per day or week?

14 Replies

I agree with your doctor. I never ever had a problem until ONE day and I have never been right since. I think it's like a time bomb inside you waiting to happen and then something just ignites it. In your case, the change in diet. Mine started when I was working at a place where I got free lunches. I loved food more than anything else. Used to be able to each as much as I wanted and never put on weight. I do remember thinking how lucky I was. BUT when I reached late 20's, when I started this job with the free canteen, I started putting in weight and somebody asked me if I was pregnant and I thought, time to eat from the salad bar. Fairly soon after the IBS started overnight. I often wonder if it was the salad (maybe not washed thoroughly, or the cold cuts of meat they used to serve (there was talk of them putting it back in the fridge overnight when it had been sitting on the counter for a few hour!)). I didn't know this when I decided to eat HEALTHY!

That sounds rough! I hope you have found a way to manage your symptoms

ling in reply to yonce1245

Totally agree with Maureen and your doctor.

The same thing happened to me last year. Olive oil and vinegar in one meal practically every day. Never used to be a problem. Then suddenly one day, my intestines turned upside down, with a year's ensuing nightmare, and somewhere along the way, IBS developed : (

Try lowering the fibre and water intake see how it goes then increase it slowly.

Are you active, do you exersise at all?

yonce1245 in reply to Jimtom

I’m just unsure on how much to reduce it and over what period of time. No I don’t unfortunately because of lockdown!

Jimtom in reply to yonce1245

Try half of what you are taking now and work from there.

I have ibs but its under control most of the time, I take probiotics and ginger which helps a lot, lactose free milk worked for me too. You could try going walking or running, it works wonders for the digestive system.

Hi there I also have been eating a so called healthy high fibre diet for years resulting in chronic constipation , impaction , piles , anal fissure . Eating lots of fibre in some people can bulk the stools up so much and if your transit is slow they can dry out making it difficult to pass. I’ve found eating low fibre and taking a fibre supplement not fybogel is working for me . Also if your already constipated badly adding more fibre will make it worse ! X

I feel for you I'm the same I've tried everything and I'm still getting constipation, it's a nightmare changing your diet and still bunged up it's a problem I cant seem to resolve either. Every evening I'm uncomfortable also the only relief I get is when I'm lying in bed first thing in the morn before I get up , then it's back to square one again 😔hope you find some comfort soon x

Pansy2 in reply to Kdw1

Night time is the worst I agree x

I experience a similar issue, the healthier I eat the more bloated I get, I already avoid most fruits but I still eat relatively safe vegs often; I try to eat mostly plant based but it’s very difficult and noticed animal proteins are the macro I can always get away with 😐gluten is also well tolerated 🤷🏼‍♀️ it’s sad but try to eat fish ( baked or boiled, not fried nor richly cooked) or grilled meat with a smaller side of greens, parmigiano cheese is also good to get nice calories with no side effects , and I think ...stop counting fibre grams and such? There’s no magic recipe, Just play it by ear and listen to your body’s response . I know it seems counterintuitive but I too experience no issues with some higly processed stuff ( eg packet biscuits) while I suffer if I eat a nice bowl of steamed kale ... frustrating but what can you do?

Cut out the excess fibre, it just blocks you up more if you are already constipated. There are 2 types of fibre, soluble and insoluble. Take something like flaxseed/linseed on cereal, this is soluble. Not going to bung you up as much

Some brief tips which have helped me: I also have IBS-C & am on low FODMAP

* sip water over the day rather than downing large glasses

* keep fibre in your diet with ground linseed & chia seeds. Introduce or swap to these slowly, starting with 1 tsp/day

* Go for a morning walk - even just 5 mins.

* try a Probiotic like Alflorex which might help rebalance your gut.

I have found too much fibre a problem for me. Try kiwi fruit , clementine or similar also ground linseeds, available in Aldi in sachets. This has helped my constipation.

I find for me there is a right amount of fibre. Too little , constipation; too much, especially water soluble, and get constipation, and stool that is very difficult to pass. I tried metamucil and, although it helps many, had the opposite effect on me - too much bulk! And I, like others have said, never had a problem until one day I did.

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