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The solution for constipation is LOW fibre
Eat more fibre…….
For years we’ve been told, dietary fibre is an important part of a healthy diet and if you’re blocked up – the solution is to EAT MORE FIBRE.
Since straining to poop, accompanied by abdominal bloating and pain, is one of your health problems, you load up your trolley with high fibre items, this includes
- whole wheat bread,
- whole grain cereal
- bran muffins and
- digestive biscuits
When high fibre is NOT enough
When this high fibre diet, let’s you down and it does on a regular basis – you take a specially formulated fibre supplement.
Let’s be honest – your high fibre is not the perfect solution.
Actually, it might not be the solution at all.
This is what a team of Singapore researchers found, when instead of prescribing MORE fibre to a group of constipated patients, they prescribed LESS. A lot less. When the patients followed this rather contrarian advice, bowel movements happened.
Making bowel movements happen
In fact, they went from making a poop, once every 3.75 days, to once a day poopers.
And as they became more regular, all the pesky problems, such as
- Anal bleeding
- Strain in bowel opening
- Abdominal pain
Who did it work for ?
Mindful that constipation can be a sign of BIGGER TROUBLES, the team were very cautious in giving the GO LOW FIBRE diet recommendation.
People with idiopathic constipation, visiting the Seow-Choen Colorectal Surgery in Singapore, between May 2008 and May 2010 were screened for colon and/or thyroid problems. Colon screening was done through colonoscopy.
NOTE : Low thyroid levels are often the cause of constipation.
Only people whose colon’s and thyroid’s had been given a clean bill of health, were included in the study. 63 people made the cut…..16 males and 47 females. The patients ranged in age from 20 – 80 years, but most of them were middle aged, the median age being 47 years.
Going low fibre
All of the patients were following the “standard” dietary advice – they were eating LOTS of fibre and/or taking fibre supplements.
The team gave a quick biology lesson on the ins-and-outs of fibre and then advised the patients to exclude ALL fibre from their diet for 2 weeks and then to continue with as little fibre as they were comfortable with, long term.
Long-term was 6 months.
Armed with poop diaries, the team check up on what had happened at the 6 month mark.
At the 6 month mark…………those that followed the advice – were cured.
Those that didn’t, and there were quite a few, weren’t.
But fibre is supposed to help constipation !
The fibre myth
Fibre will make MORE poop.
But constipation is not happening because there is a shortage of POOP. It is happening because the POOP in the rectum, is not moving through.
Now to move out, POOP has to slide through the anal sphincter.
Sphincter ? This is a biological term to describe a VERY NARROW passage. You have quite a few sphincters dotted around your body, including this one, which marks the end of the gut.
It is NARROW
Now when something is NARROW – what is going to pass through ? Something small and thin or something big and fat ?
Small and thin. Dah !
Mmmm…………….. but if you’re eating LOTS of fibre, specifically insoluble fibre, you’re BULKING up the stool i.e. making it BIGGER.
So you’re trying to move something BIGGER, through a small hole.
STRAINING. PAIN. BLEEDING.
These are the symptoms of CONSTIPATION.
You’re not fixing the problem, you’re making it worse !
What were the health gurus thinking ?
It makes the STOOL wetter
And wet stools are more pliable and so they’re more able to “slide” through.
The wetness of a stool is not determined by the amount of water you drink or the amount of fibre you consume. It is dictated by physiology ! It’s typical set to 70-75 % water.
It is impacted by gut transit time.
And if your POOP, get’s stuck at the sphincter – it’s going to be there for a lot longer !
Oh dear !
Try a low fibre diet
After all, if there is a traffic jam, would you send in more cars ? I don’t think so. You’d be doing your best, to decrease the numbers cars involved.
Going on a low fibre diet, will decrease congestion, so go on give it a try for a few weeks, you have NOTHING to lose.
The fibre you want to limit, is insoluble fibre – otherwise known as roughage. Think bran, whole grain cereals, wholewheat “whatever”, brown “whatever”. Keep the soluble fibre, the fibre that comes with vegetables and fruit. This fibre won’t bulk up the stool and vegetables and fruits, do more than just provide fibre.
If you want to make a mouse fat, just feed it MORE FAT. But fat is now not supposed to make you fat, so what gives ? These high fat diets are missing something
Granny Smith apples contain lots of UNDIGESTIBLE BITS, and it is the UNDIGESTIBLE BITS that matter, they encourage “skinny” bacteria to move into your colon
Exactly who is living in your gut matters, that said, who shows up, doesn’t change much from day to day UNLESS you take somekind of trip…
Want to discover more ways to create BETTER BODY CHEMISTRY ?