Monthly Archives: May 2016

Fibre and your Bowel


The fibre content of your diet refers to the part of what you eat that is the carbohydrate fraction of your diet resistant to the digestion and absorption in the small bowel. Some types of fibre are called polysaccharides, oligosaccharides and lignins. The dietary fibre part of our diet promotes actions that are laxative (increasing movement of bowel contents) ,improve our bodies blood glucose response after eating, lower blood cholesterol as well as promoting the action of gut bacteria to make substances that improve bowel health.

Fibre types vary in the degree to which they will be fermented in the large intestine by the action of the bacteria there so some result in a lot of wind production and others less so. Because of this the use if high fibre diets or fibre supplements to treat constipation may cause bloating and pain if the fibre type is a fermentable one such as wheat bran or psyllium. The low FODMAP plant foods and the non-fermentable fibres found in the Sterculia plant (Normafibe supplement) and Methylcellulose (Citrocel) can improve symptoms of constipation more gently.

Those with diarhoea-dominant bowel symptoms may need a total lower fibre intake and some other dietary modifications to slow the transit of gut contents.

Modifying the types of fibre in your diet can assist to control your bowel symptoms and sorting out which diet and supplement best suit your condition can be very helpful.


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What are FODMAPs ?

FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-saccharides, Di-saccharides, Mono-saccharides and Polyols!!! These are a large groups of mostly naturally occurring carbohydrates which can be poorly absorbed in the small intestine and fermented in the large intestine by the bacteria there. You may know them by names such as fructose, lactose, Sorbitol, Mannitol or Isomaltose to name a few.

Research suggests limiting the diet in FODMAP-rich foods can reduce the symptoms that plague sufferers of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) including reducing the altered bowel habit(diarrhoea/constipation or both), bloating, excessive wind and abdominal discomfort/pain. With the help of an Accredited Practising Dietitian(APD) a low FODMAP diet trial can be arranged to suit your individual lifestyle so that you can comply with the recommendations and see if this approach offers you symptom relief.

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