Let’s face it. When you can’t “go,” you can experience all kinds of uncomfortable symptoms, such as feeling bloated, having cramps, and having hard, dry stools when and if you have them. If you’ve tried eating a high-fiber diet, and you’re still having issues, we can help.
Here at Imperial Digestive Health Specialists PLLC, Dr. Oforbuike Ewelukwa and our team are constipation specialists who can determine the root cause of your problem and help you get the relief you need for this common issue.
Fiber is an essential nutrient required for optimal digestive health. It helps keep your gut regular by promoting the formation of stool and aiding in its elimination through the colon. If you struggle with constipation, you’ve probably been advised to increase your fiber intake. However, it’s possible to consume more fiber but not get the results you need.
If you’re eating plenty of fiber but still experiencing constipation, there could be several reasons for this. Here are some possible explanations:
Inadequate water intake
When you increase your fiber intake, it’s important to drink plenty of water to help soften and bulk up the stool. Fiber absorbs water as it moves through the digestive system, which can help prevent constipation.
Without adequate water, the fiber can become dry and hard, making it difficult to pass stools. You should drink at least 8-10 glasses a day and consume fiber-rich foods alongside fluids.
If you eat a lot of high-fiber foods but experience slow digestion, you may still feel bloated or constipated. The slower your food moves through your digestive tract, the more time it has to absorb water and create hard, difficult-to-pass stools.
To improve digestion, try to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, and avoid large meals — especially before bedtime. Incorporating regular physical activity into your daily routine can also help stimulate digestion and promote bowel movements.
Lack of variety
While fiber is essential for digestive health, it’s important to remember that there are different types of fiber. If you eat the same types of high-fiber foods every day, you may not be getting a diverse range of fibers that can help promote bowel movements.
Be sure to incorporate a variety of fiber-rich foods into your diet, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts, and seeds. Eating different types of fiber can provide a broader range of digestive benefits.
Certain medications can cause constipation as a side effect. For example, opioid pain medications, antacids containing aluminum, and antidepressants can all slow down bowel movements and lead to constipation.
If you take any medications that can cause constipation, talk to Dr. Ewelukwa. He can provide possible alternatives or ways to manage this side effect.
In some cases, chronic constipation may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hypothyroidism, and diabetes can cause constipation.
If you’re consistently constipated despite increasing your fiber intake and making other dietary changes, let us know so we can rule out any underlying medical conditions.
While fiber is essential for digestive health, increasing your intake alone may not always relieve constipation. By considering factors such as hydration, variety of fiber, digestion, medications, and underlying medical conditions, you can better determine the root cause of your constipation and make the necessary adjustments to improve your digestive health.
To book an appointment with our expert team, call us at 281-305-0423 at our practice in Katy, Texas, or book an appointment online. You can also reach out via text at 832-639-5725.