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Can Fiber Actually Cause Constipation?


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#1 ukw

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Posted 09 March 2019 - 12:56 AM

As you probably know fiber is praised as something that *relieves* constipation. So my question is counterintuitive: can fiber actually *cause* constipation?

About a year ago I started a very healthy high-fiber diet. I had daily servings of beans (usually white Navy Beans), broccoli, and kale every day. For a while everything was OK. Then after about a year, I suddenly started having rock-hard stools that were immovable, with no change in diet. Bowel movements were so traumatic that I saw some doctors and their advice to me was (1) drink more water -- fiber can actually make things worse with dehydration, and (2) in the winter when people turn their heating on, dehydration can occur. In both cases, their instruction was to drink more fluids.


But after I followed their advice of more water I didn't see any improvement, stools were just as hard as before -- it's just that I was urinating more.


(Note: there was no constipation at any time; my interval was always regular, it's just that the stool itself was rock-hard, and somehow too large to pass.)


I only realized the cause when I stopped eating beans and broccoli. That's when the hardness went away. After I again briefly reintroduced beans into my diet, the problem reoccurred.


I suffered serious consequences as a result of this well-intentioned high-fiber diet. After several months of this trauma, while I still couldn't figure out the cause, I developed anorectal bleeding and an anal fissure.


So is it possible that the action of fiber to "bulk up" stools and extract moisture from them can actually be destructive and traumatic? I've never seen anything bad written about fiber, in fact people recommend it against bowel issues.

Edited by ukw, 09 March 2019 - 01:02 AM.

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