does fiber help upset stomach

(photo: commons.wikimedia)
(photo: commons.wikimedia)

Are you confused by fiber?

Should you take soluble fiber, insoluble fiber, bran fiber, or some other fiber? Is there a magic fiber that will solve your problem? What about all of those fiber products on the market? Should you take one of those?

Which one is best? Aren’t they all the same?

People with digestive problems, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), are almost always told that they need more fiber. It’s an easy “out” for your doctor. It gives them something to say and you something to do. But telling you to take fiber is a lot easier said than done.

Fiber does have the potential to help you feel better, whether you have diarrhea or you have constipation. And although usually when you take fiber you are just treating your digestive symptoms and not addressing the reason you have a digestive problem, once in a while it does make a big difference.

However, fiber doesn’t always help you. In fact, there is a dirty little secret about fiber that is usually ignored. Adding fiber to your diet can just as easily make you feel worse rather than better. And it’s not a little worse, it’s a lot worse. Many patients report that when they take fiber they feel horrible. It feels like it is literally tearing them up. The pain is worse, the gas is worse, and they immediately stop their fiber and feel better.