Fiber is a natural substance that is found in fruits, vegetables and grains that we eat. Fiber plays an essential role in a healthy digestive system. We always hear how positive a high fiber diet is for your health, but too much fiber can cause many health problems. Anything in extreme is bad. And that includes fiber. Some of the side effects may be physically noticeable while others may not be immediately noticeable.
High Fiber Side Effects That Can Occur
Cramping – Cramping occurs due to the fact that the body can not properly break down fiber. If an individual consumes too much fiber then the digestion of food can slow down or even completely stop. This can lead to intestinal cramping and discomfort.
Gas – If too much fiber is eaten in a short amount of time, then an individual can experience gas and bloating. This happens because of the reaction from the natural bacteria in the digestive tract. Bacteria works on the fiber which releases gas. To avoid this side effect gradually increase the fiber intake so the natural bacteria can adjust to the fiber.
Diarrhea - Diarrhea occurs when fiber consumption is too sudden and the body did not have enough time to adjust. One of the benefits of fiber is the increased speed of food moving through the digestive tract. Taking too much fiber at once can increase the likelihood of diarrhea.
Mal-absorption - Eating too much fiber can interfere with how you absorb certain minerals. This can lead to the body lacking the ability to absorb calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Constipation – By eating too much fiber without drinking an adequate amount of water will cause constipation. The digestive tract requires fluids to move the food materials through and out the body. If an individual does not have enough fluids in their body, then the intestines will not function right and will cause constipation making it hard to have a bowel movement.
Intestinal Blockage – An intestinal blockage is considered one of the worst side effects that can occur. This happens when an individual eats too much fiber and does not intake six to eight glasses of water. The intestinal blockage causes food not to pass through, which can cause serious health problems and normally requires surgery.
You can avoid these side effects by gradually increasing the fiber intake. When increasing the fiber consumption you have to make sure to increase the water intake. It is highly recommended to drink six to eight glasses of water a day.