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Don’t fear the fiber!
Just be picky with it.
A lot of functional health practitioners have written about how fiber, particularly insoluble fiber, can be rough on the intestines for people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome and other bowel issues like SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth).
And they were right because I did not feel good after eating foods high in fiber or prebiotics. I couldn’t eat fruits, grains, legumes, and don’t even get me started on raw veggies. So, I was left with meat, fish, a tiny bit of white rice or white potato, and some cooked vegetables. Oh, and occasionally some blueberries, because those are pretty benign. I felt good on this diet, physically. Not so much mentally. After years of this diet in varying degrees, my poop got better but then worse again.
I’d get hard, lumpy poops then ones that would crumble when they hit the water as if there wasn’t enough binding them together. Neither made my gut feel good. I was doing all the other recommended treatments like: magnesium, eating more fat, exercising, drinking more water etc.
But I realized I wasn’t eating enough fiber because I’d been afraid of it for so long. Eating more fruit or starches wasn’t an option, because I still had a limit I couldn’t cross without bloating. And eating more vegetables wouldn’t work because they had too much insoluble fiber. So, I decided to be brave and try “extra fiber” once again. Mostly I followed Dr. Grace Liu’s advice. I altered it to fit my body.
Here’s what I did:
I started with 1/4 tsp of Acacia Fiber (it’s a soluble fiber, which is easier on the gut), 1/4 tsp of Psyllium Husk (this bulks up my stool nicely) and 1/8 tsp of Konjac Root in a bunch of water. I sipped this concoction slowly. SLOWLY BEING KEY! I did that for about a week, then upped the dosages of each until I started to have fantastic poops!
I’ve leveled out at:
I’m still on a relatively low carb diet, because that’s just how my gut stays happy right now. I can’t eat more than 4 oz of starches per meal, and stick to only white rice, white potatoes, soaked oatmeal, and occasionally some Tapioca, Arrowroot or Millet flour in things I bake.
I also still avoid most fruits because their sugar content does not mesh well with my bowels at certain levels. Like, I can eat a small kiwi and be fine, but if I ate a whole peach, I wouldn’t feel so good. I can eat most berries in larger quantities (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries) but only if they’ve been cooked.
But thanks to the addition of these three fibers, my poops are better than they’ve ever been. So, yeah, don’t shut out the idea of extra fiber to help your gut, especially after you’ve gone through some bad-bacteria eradication treatments (AKA herbal antibiotics) and feel confident your bloating is under control.
Heal on, my friends. Heal on.
Dr. Grace Liu: