Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Constipation in Adults
IBS fiber recommendations
Almost all of us can afford to increase the amount of fiber we are getting in our diet. Since it passes through your bowel undigested, all fiber helps to enlarge the stool. Larger masses of stool are easier for the colon to push against and to propel forward. Many people have temporary symptoms of increased gas or bloating when they first increase their fiber, so it is not practical to judge your benefit in the first few weeks.
Increase your soluble fiber
Soluble forms of fiber are able to mix evenly with water, forming a soft gel. This fiber type can improve every symptom of an irritable bowel. Soluble fiber gel thickens stool that would otherwise cause diarrhea, and it prevents constipation by softening and hydrating stool. It may be helpful to make a food high in soluble fiber the first thing on your plate that you eat. Good sources include:
Over-the-counter fiber supplements. Examples include psyllium (Metamucil), methylcellulose (Citrucel), and calcium polycarbophil (Fibercon). These fiber preparations are sometimes named "bulk laxatives."
Emphasize insoluble fiber only if it is right for you
The straw-like materials and binding matter that give vegetables and other plants their pulp and structure are found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Insoluble fiber does not mix well with water, instead remaining as a stringy or bulky material that mixes into your stool.
Insoluble fiber can help or hurt your symptoms if you have irritable bowel, depending on your bowel activity. If you have pain or diarrhea in between episodes of constipation, it is possible that this fiber may cause increased symptoms. On the other hand, insoluble fiber improves constipation because it encourages movement of the colon and adds to the weight and bulk of the stool that you form. Good sources include:
Drink plenty of fluid! Your stool will be softer if it contains more water. Increasing your water intake is especially important if you increase your fiber with diet or supplements.
- Abdomen and Pelvis
- See also:
- Acid Reflux Treatment
- Blood in the Urine in Men
- Causes of Impotence
- Colon Cancer Screening
- Constipation in Adults
- Difficulty Passing Urine
- Intestinal Gas Guide
- Loss of Control of Urine in Men
- Lumps or Pain Within the Scrotum
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Painful or Frequent Urination in Men
- Penis Pain, Sores, Discharge or Lumps
- Rectal Bleeding
- Rectal Pain or Itching
- Recurring Abdominal Pain
- Sexual Problems in Men
- Treatment of Impotence
- Understanding New and Severe Abdominal Pain
- Understanding PSA
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