Fibre warning: Three signs in your bowel movements that can indicate you’ve had too much

Fibre is considered part of a healthy, balanced diet and most adults are advised to eat an average of about 18g a day. It ensures you have regular bowel movements and good overall digestive health. It also helps keep you fuller for longer and is great for looking after cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels and can help to reduce chances of getting diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and bowel cancer. There are two types of fibre you should have in your diet. This is soluble fibre, which dissolves in the intestines and helps food move along the digestive tract. Second type is Insoluble fibre, which moves through the intestines without being absorbed. This adds bulk to bowel movements and helps to reduce constipation.

Too much fibre can affect a person’s bowel movements, according to chief medical officer of Now Patient Andrew Thornber

But what happens if you have too much fibre? 

Too much fibre can affect a person’s bowel movements, according to chief medical officer of Now Patient Andrew Thornber. 

He says you may experience: 

  • Bloating and gas 
  • Constipation 
  • Diarrhoea 

A person may also experience weight gain and abdominal pain. 

How can you have too much fibre? 

Dr Thornber explained: “Usually if you eat too much food which is high in fibre, like bananas, wholegrain cereal, wholegrain pasta, nuts and seeds, broccoli, potatoes with the skin on, berries, carrots, peas and pulses.

“But these are the best ways to get fibre.” 

To make sure you’re not getting too much, you should follow recommended guidelines for intake. 

Dr Thornber explained: “Guidelines produced by the government say we should be about 30g a day.

“Children under the age of 16 don’t need as much fibre in their diet as older teenagers and adults, but they still need more than they get currently.” 

  • 2 to 5-year-olds: need about 15g of fibre a day 
  • 5 to 11-year-olds: need about 20g 
  • 11 to 16-year-olds: need about 25g 

When should you see a doctor? 

“If you’re suffering with any bowel or digestive issues such as constipation, diarrhoea, loose stools or wind, then it may be worth making an appointment with your GP to discuss your concerns,” advised Dr Thornber. 

Taking too much vitamin C can also trigger certain symptoms.

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