Fiber and Constipation
Is Fiber Good or Bad?

Fiber and constipation. Constipation is simply having hard, dry stool that is difficult to pass.

The cause of constipation is not having enough water in the stool. Fiber is helpful because it holds 5 times it’s weight in water, plus it is a source of food for bacteria that help alleviate constipation.


One of the best ways to increase the amount of water in your stool is to take a good magnesium supplement.

Magnesium adds water to the stool. My experience is that in many cases constipation can be eliminated with magnesium alone. Plus, magnesium is helpful in other ways, too. However, getting enough fiber is also crucial for the immune system, plus bacteria which feed on fiber produce the B complex of vitamins.


How Fiber Helps With Constipation

Stools should be at least 75% water. When this falls even to 65%, constipation problems can begin. So, if you are constipated, it is because you need more water in your stool.

This is where fiber can help

  • Since fiber holds 5 times its weight in water, a stool with more water will more easily pass through the colon.

  • Fiber is also the food of beneficial bacteria. These bacteria can comprise up to 50% of the stool. Beneficial bacteria are water magnets. They make the stool wetter, more porous, and slicker.

  • Fiber gives bulk to the stool. A bulky stool produces the urge to go. There is an important link between fiber and constipation relief.

Americans Don't Get Enough Fiber

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, Americans eat on average between 5 and 14 grams of fiber each day. This is far below the 20 to 35 grams a day recommended by the American Dietetic Association.

With our diets of processed foods, we just don’t get enough fiber.

Shortcut to good fiber

Are you ready to correct your fiber shortage? Just eat 4 cups of fresh vegetables and fruits a day.

However, if Candida and other yeast have taken over your intestines, you need to repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria. Increasing your consumption of foods high in fiber when yeast is in control can cause bloating, gas, abdominal pain and cramping.

How Yeast Takes Over Our Guts

But how does yeast get a foothold in our bodies?  There are a number of possibilities. If at some time in the past week to 10 years☺you took a course of antibiotics or perhaps some other medication, it may have wiped out your gut flora.

If you didn't repopulate it by consuming cultured foods or drinks, yeast probably took over. When present, good bacteria hold yeast in check.

  • Many individuals consume a diet high in sugar and salt. This creates an environment where yeasts thrive and good bacteria can’t compete.

  • You can correct the problem by cutting down on sweets, and on processed foods that are high in sugars and salts, and by repopulating your gut with good bacteria. Consuming cultured vegetables, Kefir, Kombucha or a probiotic supplement is an easy way to do this.

Never Too Much Fiber

When beneficial bacteria are dominant in the digestive tract, they consume all soluble fiber and half of insoluble fiber. So if you have good gut flora, it is hard to get too much fiber.

Once bacteria break it down, not that much fiber remains in the stool. Just a lot of bacteria, which make stools easy to pass.

Don't deny the urge to go

When stools have a longer transit time, they will still dry out in spite of the link between fiber and constipation relief. So when the urge to go comes, don’t deny it. That urge may not come back till the next day, and when it does, the stool probably won’t be as easy to pass.

Ok, you can get too much fiber

However, without beneficial bacteria to consume it, add a lot of fiber and constipation may linger. More fiber may only mean a much bulkier stool.

Yes, fiber does draw in water, but a large amount of stool can mean longer transit times, which means drier stools. Also, although fiber can hold 5 times it’s weight in water, bacteria are even better at keeping the stool moist.

So without beneficial bacteria to break it down, eat a lot of fiber and constipation might be even more of a problem.

Fiber and Dehydration

Another way that adding more fiber might not be helpful is if you are dehydrated. This can happen by not drinking enough water, or drinking caffeinated liquids and sweet drinks that function like diuretics. These can cause the kidneys to flush too much water from the body. 

When a person is dehydrated, added fiber can produce stools that are drier, harder AND bulkier. This slows transit times, which should be no longer than 16 to 24 hours. Beyond 24 hours, stools become larger, more formed, harder, and dryer. Hello painful elimination.

So address dehydration before adding more fiber, so that you don’t make constipation problems worse.

(Return from Fiber and Constipation to Best Constipation Remedies)

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