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Stomach Pain when eating fiber?


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Okay, so all of last year, starting from January 1st to December 30th, my doctor was trying to get me to eat more fiber. I went from taking in about 15-20 grams to about 50 grams per day. In the beginning I knew I was going to have gas and abdominal pain. No biggie. Cept, I couldn't move. It hurt so much to do anything, even walk. I couldn't sleep, tried different foods. For 364 days straight, this was the case. Pain when walking, sleeping, eating, in my back, roughly where my kidney was (they thought it WAS my kidney for about 6 months!) it radiated heat. There was a lump, a noticable lump where my kidney was. No doctor could figure out what was going on. It didn't hurt before I ate, but as soon as I ate, BAM! pain. I'd cry, I almost got fired from my work, I would sleep like crazy, no one could figure out what the hell was going on. I was gaining weight even though I wasnt eating, I couldn't have a bowel movement, it was horrible.


So starting in 2009, I told my boyfriend I wasn't going to listen to the doctors anymore. They were all quacks it felt. So I started Weight Watchers to lose that final 15-20 lbs. After a week, I felt better. I looked over my fiber intake, and well, it was low. About 10-15 grams per day. I started being able to make bowel movements, the lump went away, and the heat was gone. Not to mention, NO PAIN.

My question is, what the hell is wrong with me? Am I allergic to fiber or something? I was drinking about a gallon of waters, teas, etc. Anything to alleviate the pain. But now, everything is back to normal, and I'm losing weight, I'm feeling WONDERFUL, I was even able to walk a mile without feeling like I was going to die from it. Please, tell me SOMEONE has an idea of this. I feel like I went crazy last year.

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#1  
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Did they check your gallbladder? I had mine removed about 9 months after giving birth to my first child. Your gallbladder is on the right side and many people have pain soon after eating. I would vacillate between having diarrhea and being constipated. May not be the prob. w/you at all, but thought it was worth mentioning.

 

-L

50 grams? Did your doctor give you that number, specifically, to go up to, or was it your choice? I take a fiber supplement, and on the back of the bottle it says that the average american should be consuming 25-30 grams daily. It also says that when you're increasing your fiber intake, you should do it gradually so that the body has time to react to the change.

Now, I'm not ruling out that it was something more serious. But those two factors put together sound like they could be a problem!

Were you getting your fiber from supplements or mostly from foods?  Could you be allergic to some of the higher fiber foods you were consuming but no longer are? Maybe gluten?

When my doc finally said, lets give you a supplement, in july mind you, i was already intaking 30 grams on my own with no issue. So he wanted me to take more.

 

My gallbladder is fine, they checked for that in january, march, august and november. I was at the doctors office at least once a week to try to figure this out with them.

I think 50g was simply too much for your system.  The recommendation is 25g.  Speaking as someone that eats a lot of vegetables and other fibrous foods my fibre count is often 30-35g or so and I've been eating that way for years.   So if you'd not been used to it I should have thought that was the basis of the problem.   The 'lump' could have been a blockage or inflammation of some kind... especially if you were constipated at the same time.  Some types of irrritable bowel syndrome are made worse with extra fibre. Neat fibre taken in supplements is a different thing to fibre in food. 

If you were to increase your consumption of fruit and vegetables (vegetables being 'free' on the WW plan) and swap simple starches for a few more wholegrains then you'd probably find that you increased your fibre intake slightly but that you didn't find yourself doubled up in pain again.

#6  
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As someone who suffers from IBS, 50g sounds like a lot of fiber for any colon.  I would eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, note if any of them cause you pain, and I would think one fiber pill a day would be more then enough.

What was the purpose of increasing your fiber to that level?  I've also found probiotics to be helpful.

if you were eating a lot of whole wheat, you could have an intolerance to gluten (celiac). there's a test that the doctors can run (although i think you need to be consuming a lot of gluten foods before you take the test).
if you were eating a lot of whole wheat, you could have an intolerance to gluten (celiac). there's a test that the doctors can run (although i think you need to be consuming a lot of gluten foods before you take the test).
if you were eating a lot of whole wheat, you could have an intolerance to gluten (celiac). there's a test that the doctors can run (although i think you need to be consuming a lot of gluten foods before you take the test).
9 Replies
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