One of the most common misconceptions about fiber is its relationship to constipation. Does it relieve or cause it? Since one in 5 people in the U.S. suffer from constipation, it’s important to understand how food affects regularity.1
Before trying to remedy your constipation, make sure that you even have it. While digestive habits and norms vary from person to person, if using the bathroom is a struggle or if you go less than three times a week, you may be constipated. If you consult a doctor, she may recommend a laxative for treatment and a daily fiber supplement to help support regularity.2 In general, fiber is beneficial for digestion. But will it relieve your tummy troubles? Well, that depends.
Fiber is typically classified as either soluble or insoluble, and they help your body and digestive system in different ways. Insoluble fiber, like that found in some fruits and vegetables, wheat bran, and whole grains, adds bulk to the stool. Soluble dietary fiber, which is found in some fruits and vegetables, nuts/seeds, and beans, absorbs water in the gut and can become a gel-like substance in your digestive tract. This helps bowels move more smoothly and easily. Fermented soluble fiber—prebiotics—can feed the good bacteria required for proper digestion and bowel movement.
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet may help with irregularity by bulking up the stool (insoluble fiber), getting it moving (soluble), and enhancing the digestive environment (prebiotics). However, it’s very difficult to get the recommended amount of daily fiber from food alone. In fact, most Americans only get half the daily fiber they need.2
Fiber Choice, a soluble, prebiotic fiber, is made with inulin, the same fiber found in many fruits and vegetables. With just two, or four, or six tasty tablets or gummies per day, you can get the general benefits of fiber in a delicious and convenient way! Learn more about how Fiber Choice can help close the Fiber Gap and help support regularity.
1 Higgins PD, Johanson JF. Epidemiology of constipation in North America: a systematic review. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004 Apr;99(4);750-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2004.04114.x.
2 Yvette TC. Fiber Supplements: Health Benefits & Side Effects. Pharmacy Times website. https://www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/2014/july2014/fiber-supplements-health-benefits-and-side-effects. July 11, 2014. Accessed September 5, 2018.