Dietary Fiber for Constipation | Sooyun Chun, M.D., Gastroenterology – The Corvallis Clinic

Hi, I’m Dr. Chun, a gastroenterologist at
The Corvallis Clinic. I want to talk about a common problem that
people face in digestive health; constipation. Constipation can be defined by bowel movements
that are too hard, too small, too hard to get out, or happening less than three times a week. There are many causes of constipation, including
from side effects of certain medications, or digestive diseases, or from a diet low
in fiber intake. Today I’m going to focus on one of the more
common causes of constipation, which is poor diet. If I can highlight one thing, it’s that fiber
is your friend. What is fiber? Fiber is a substance found in fruits, vegetables,
and grains. Fiber can help regulate your bowel movements
and change texture so that stools are softer to pass. The recommended daily fiber is about 25 grams
of fiber for women, and 35 grams of fiber for men. A good example of fiber content is an apple
with the peel, which can be about five grams of fiber. About five apples can be equal to the daily
amount of fiber you need. Of course, I’m not recommending that you eat
five apples a day. However, I do recommend a mix of fruits and
vegetables that will equal to about 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day. An added bonus of eating fiber is that it
can lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. It can also help you avoid hemorrhoids and
fissures. Hemorrhoids are blood vessels that can cause
pain and discomfort with straining, and fissures are paper cut like areas that can happen with
pushing and straining. One word of caution about fiber. If you’re not used to having fiber in your
diet, you should gradually build up your fiber intake. A sudden increase can cause bloating and discomfort. For example, you can start with one apple
a day for a week, then gradually build up one more serving per day each week. Make sure you incorporate eight to 10 glasses
of water throughout the day for hydration. Thanks for taking the time to watch. I hope that you will increase fruits and vegetables
in your diet for a healthier future. For more information about digestive health
concerns, please contact me at The Corvallis Clinic.

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