If you're frequently having problems having a full bowl movement frequently or without straining, there’s a good chance you have constipation. This condition is uncomfortable and can lead to further complications like rectal prolapse and hemorrhoids.
Luckily, for many people, constipation is an easily treatable problem fixed by adding more fiber to their diet. Learn from constipation specialist, Thomas Nguyen, MD, from Nguyen Medical Group in Boynton Beach, Florida, how to get more fiber in your diet and stop constipation in its tracks.
What is fiber?
Dietary fiber is a substance that, unlike other nutrients, your body is unable to digest. Instead, it goes through your body in a similar composition to when you ate it.
Fiber is categorized as either soluble, which means it dissolves in water, or insoluble, which means it doesn’t dissolve in water. Eating a balanced diet of both kinds of fiber is good for your overall health as well as your digestion and bowel movements.
The link between fiber and constipation
Fiber is one of the most important food components for a healthy gut. Eating enough fiber is critical for keeping your bowel movements regular.
A diet that contains enough fiber softens bulks up the stools in your bowel movements, which makes it easier for you to have and pass regular bowel movements. In addition, a high fiber diet can help prevent problems with your colon and hemorrhoids.
Foods filled with fiber
There are a number of delicious foods filled with fiber. To get started increasing your quantity of fiber, try eating these foods:
- Whole grains
You can also buy some foods, such as breakfast cereals, that have added additional fiber.
How to eat a high fiber diet
The amount of fiber varies based on your age and gender. On average, men under 50 need 38 grams per day, while men over 50 need 30 grams.
Women under 50 need 25 daily grams, and women over 50 need 21 grams. Our team can give you a personalized recommendation based on a consultation and exam.
You can increase the amount of fiber in your diet by making a focused effort to eat a diet with a variety of high fiber foods incorporated in every meal. In addition, make your snacks high fiber by choosing to eat foods like nuts, popcorn, or fruits between meals.
If you aren’t currently eating much fiber in your diet, it’s important to slowly increase the amount you eat to help your body adjust. You should also drink plenty of water and other fluids with your high fiber diet.
Our team can support you in developing a personalized diet that helps you eat plenty of high fiber foods you love while reducing or preventing constipation. In addition, we can help you make further lifestyle changes that help with reducing constipation.
Making changes like being more active and scheduling more exercise into your routine help improve bowel movement consistency alongside changing your diet. Learning how to pass a bowel movement as soon as you feel the urge to go also helps reduce constipation.
If chronic constipation is making life difficult, our team can help you make lifestyle changes like adding fiber that improves your gut health and bring back your regular bowel movements. Contact us to get started with your treatment.