Constipation...can eating MORE fiber actually make it WORSE?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by RedHeadEMT, Dec 11, 2006.

  1. RedHeadEMT

    RedHeadEMT New Member

    After I posted a recent message and got quite a response, I thought that some important info that I posted may get lost in the slew of replies, so I decided to repost the more important info here....

    CAUSE OF CONSTIPATION (in most cases):
    Constipation is usually caused by a slow-moving bowel and when the colon absorbs too much water from the stool.

    To understand constipation, it helps to understand how the colon (large intestine) works. As food moves through it, the colon absorbs water while forming stool. Muscle contractions in the colon push the future BM toward the rectum. By the time stool reaches the rectum, it is solid because most of the water has been absorbed.

    The hard and dry, pellet-like, stools of constipation occur when the colon absorbs too much water from the stool. This happens because the colon's muscle contractions are slow or sluggish, causing the stool to move through the colon too slowly.

    A common cause of the sluggishness could be narcotic pain meds (which causes the intestines to slow down in its functions, making the waste stay in the colon LONGER, causing even MORE water to be absorbed from the waste-making it even harder and more difficult to pass) and other medications, such as antacids, muscle relaxants, antidepressants, iron supplements, diuretics, and anticonvulsants used to treat epilepsy.

    PROBLEMS WITH TAKING MORE INSOLUBLE FIBER WHEN YOU ARE ALREADY BACKED UP:

    Fiber -- soluble and insoluble -- is the part of fruits, vegetables, and grains that the body cannot digest.

    Soluble fiber dissolves easily in water and takes on a soft, gel-like texture in the intestines.

    Insoluble fiber passes almost unchanged through the intestines. The bulk and soft texture of fiber help prevent hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.

    HOWEVER, if you are already constipated and start packing in more insoluble fiber, you can imagine that you would only be adding to the backup...

    So, please, if you plan on increasing your fiber intake, do so in a gradual fashion! Don't just eat 35 grams of fiber in one day, when you have always gotten 10 grams in the past!

    Please please please also drink WATER, fluids, fluids, water!! I really can't stress this enough.

    Hope this info is helpful to some folks!

    Take care,


    K

    [This Message was Edited on 12/11/2006]
  2. Lynna62

    Lynna62 New Member

    good info, thanks K.

    Lynna
  3. Clay2

    Clay2 New Member

    Huckfinn, the pain meds definitely do this to me.

    I believe it was Dr Mayhill's site where she talked about taking enough magnesium. She suggests just (SLOWLY) taking more and more until you achieve a decent stool.