Can a Lack of Fiber in the Diet Cause Constipation?

People who ignore the need to defecate may, over time, stop feeling that urge. A diet that is low in fiber and fluids and high in fat can contribute to constipation. Fiber absorbs water and makes stools larger, softer, and easier to pass. Research has shown that a low-fiber diet increases the risk of constipation.

To investigate this further, a prospective longitudinal case study was conducted to assess the effect of decreasing dietary fiber in patients with idiopathic constipation. However, most of the patients with chronic constipation treated by the authors were already eating a high-fiber diet without their symptoms improving. Two studies have found that increasing dietary fiber intake could be as effective as the laxative lactulose in relieving constipation in children (8). This article is a preliminary study that analyzes the effects of dietary fiber on symptoms of constipation in a small cohort of cases.

The results of this study have confirmed that the previous firm belief that the application of dietary fiber to help constipation is nothing more than a myth. Increasing both water consumption and fiber intake have been shown to be more effective in treating constipation than increasing fiber intake alone. Fiber supplements can cause side effects such as bloating and gas, and some types can make constipation worse. This type of fiber helps food move efficiently through the digestive system, promotes bowel regularity, and prevents constipation. If you have constipation, you can try increasing your fiber intake to see if this helps ease your symptoms.

Increasing fiber intake through fiber supplements also seems to be helpful in improving symptoms of constipation. In conclusion, contrary to popular beliefs, reducing or stopping dietary fiber intake improves constipation and its associated symptoms. However, if you have chronic constipation or experience symptoms such as pain, wind, bloating and gas, it may be best to opt for a non-fermentable soluble fiber supplement (22, 23, 2).

Norma Hoofard
Norma Hoofard

Hey, I'm Norma, and as a mom who has dealt with constipation in my own kids, I know how tough it can be. That's why I'm passionate about sharing my knowledge and tips for improving gut health and finding relief. It's not always an easy topic to discuss, but I believe it's important to bring attention to this issue and help others who may be struggling. Join me on this journey towards a happier, healthier gut - let's beat constipation together!