Myths and Facts: Why Fiber Isn’t Always the Answer for Constipation

By Hannah de Gruchy / Lifestyle / May 9th, 2023

What causes constipation?

What causes constipation?

There are a number of different reasons why we might become constipated. Lifestyle is one – not drinking enough water, eating a poor diet, being inactive and for some people, not eating enough fibre, can all lead to infrequent bowel movements.

Some medications, including some antidepressants and painkillers that contain codeine can cause the same. As can some medical conditions including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease and in some cases, diabetes.

But constipation with an unknown cause, is called idiopathic constipation. It’s this form of constipation, where it isn’t caused by a lack of fibre, that can be made worse by increasing your fibre intake.

If you or your doctor can rule out lifestyle, medications and disease as a cause, and you already eat plenty of fibre-rich foods, then your constipation is probably idiopathic.

Therefore, in light of these studies, reducing or avoiding fibre altogether may well be the answer you’re looking for. Speak to your doctor for advice on eating a low or no fibre diet and see how you fare after a few weeks or months.

Also Read: 10 Best Remedies For Irritable Bowel Syndrome


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