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Too Much Fiber? The Symptoms and What to Do About Them!

Not sure if eating vegetables will cause flatulence and bloating? Find out how to get the right balance so that you can feel your best!

20 to 40 grams of fiber daily are an essential part of a healthy diet! But if you're starting to eat more fiber, you may be experiencing some digestive distress. This week we'll cover what to do when you have too much fiber.

If you haven't yet read the specifics about fiber, be sure to read Part One: Too Much Fiber? The Wrong Kind of Fiber? Body Ecology Answers Some Important Fiber Questions to get an overview about why fiber is so important for digestive health and preventing disease.

Too Much Fiber?

Gas and bloating can be a common by-product of upping your fiber intake.

Add fermented foods and drinks to the mix, and you might even say that your symptoms are worse, not better!

Making healthy changes takes time, and symptoms like gas and bloating could initially be part of your healing process. In fact, flatulence and bloating can be caused by too much OR too little fiber.

If you are adding fermented foods and drinks like raw, cultured vegetables and Coco-Biotic to your diet, you could also experience flatulence and bloating due to the action of healthy microflora battling the pathogenic microflora in your intestines.

Of course, it always helps to have some guidance on why things might be happening. This is especially true when you experience gas pain and bloating. Keep in mind that while some gurgling in your stomach and intestines is normal, you don't have to be in pain!

Leonard Smith, M.D., is a renowned gastrointestinal, vascular and general surgeon and an expert in the use of nutrition and natural supplementation. As a surgeon, Dr. Smith has first-hand experience of the problems associated with faulty digestion and the surgical necessities they can cause.

For the past 20 years, Dr. Smith has investigated many holistic medical programs, including nutrition, exercise, chelation, stress management and the relevance of mental and spiritual attitudes in healing. Acknowledging the effectiveness of whole organic foods and nutritional supplementation, Dr. Smith strives to stay on the leading edge of research and breakthroughs in the field of functional nutrition.

Read What Is That Gurgling Noise Inside You? And Is It Actually a Good Thing? to learn about what's normal and what's not when it comes to decoding your belly's noises.

If you think that your digestive distress is more than just normal gurgling, then read on. I'll outline some solutions to help you slowly make positive changes with minimal discomfort.

Fiber Rich Foods and the Body Ecology Principles

The Principle of Step by Step

Any time you begin something new (like eating more fiber rich foods, trying fermented foods and drinks, or starting to exercise) it's very important to go slowly and make small changes over time.

The Principle of Step by Step encourages you to gradually increase your fiber intake over a period of time. If you currently get 10 to 15 grams of fiber per day, try to increase your daily intake by 2 or 3 grams and see how you feel. If you have no digestive distress, go ahead and add another 2 or 3 grams of fiber to your diet.

Before you know it, you'll be getting a full 20 to 40 grams per day with minimal gas and bloating!

The Principle of Balance

Remember, too, that your body will always seek balance. Honor your body's own wisdom and physical cues. It wants to heal and has the ability to do so, if you step out of its way and listen.

Some days you might eat more fiber, and some days you might eat less. Trust that your body will let you know what it needs for healing and nutrition.

The Principle of Uniqueness

Every person is unique and has different nutritional needs, regardless of established guidelines. You may find that you need more or less fiber than someone else, and that's OK! You are an "experiment of one," and you may need some time to find out what exactly works for you. Even more interesting, your body's needs may change over time.

If you want to introduce fiber and fermented foods and drinks at the same time, make sure you give your body time to adjust and take it step by step.

Learn the easiest ways to incorporate immunity-building microflora into your diet and read Is It Possible to Get TOO Much Fermented Food in Your Diet?

Keep in mind these principles and you'll give your body the nourishment it needs to stay healthy and strong.

Ready, Aim, Fiber!

So, you're ready to add fiber rich foods (slowly) to your diet and want to do it without having digestive pain or bloating?

Here are some guidelines to get you started:

  • Gradually build up your fiber intake.
  • Increase your water intake as you increase fiber consumption.
  • Exercise more to encourage peristaltic action in your colon. Yoga, walking and rebounding all help your colon function.
  • Try colon hydrotherapy to hydrate your colon and teach your colon how to contract again.
  • Too much soluble fiber can cause flatulence. If you're eating a lot of nuts, flax seedsand carrots, then you might experience excess gas.
  • If you experience constipation then try a magnesium supplement. Peter Gilliam's CALM or Magna Calmare two powders that can be taken by adults and children to help with optimum bowel function. 

Other types of magnesium supplements that Body Ecology recommends are: magnesium chloride from the Pain and Stress Center in Texas and Magesium Asparate capsules from your health food store. Take 400-1600 mg per day to help you relax and to help your bowels move on a regular basis.

Fiber Is Your Friend

Fiber rich foods help ease elimination, enhance detoxification and can protect you from cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

And you don't have to be afraid of getting too much fiber. But as you start to add fiber rich foods to support your healthy lifestyle, you can do it in a way that is comfortable and nourishing.

To learn more about the fiber rich foods of the Body Ecology program for health and healing, be sure to read The Body Ecology Diet by Donna Gates.

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  • Jesus Saves

    I found, incidently, that persistence and patience eventually cured my ills with the bloating and gurgling. I went 99% whole foods, while balancing protein and fats, making up the calorie gap in foods that tend to be high fiber and calorie, like beans and tubers. This made me gassy and bloated and gastrically miserable for a number of weeks. But I just kept at it, eating what I need to eat, and my body adjusted. Now I can eat 60+ grams of fiber in a day without any issues. If I eat say a big bowl of rice and beans for a meal (fiber OD when you look at the rest of my diet for the day), I may become bloated for a day or so, but after that, back to normal, and no other issues, just abdominal distention that goes away relatively quickly.

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  • Linda Burns

    How Do I get rid of gurgling in my stomach, it can last for a couple of hours .

  • Rayca

    Ridiculous. Is that what cavemen did? Carried water bottles and made sure they ate plenty of fruits/veg.? No wonder apes have such bloated stomachs. Everytime I have ever added fiber, it's bloat, bloat, bloat. It doesn't matter if it's gradual or not. Makes no difference. And if you cut down for a few days to a few weeks and start eating that fiber again, you have to go through the whole process again. We're all getting some fiber. Anything that makes you jump through hoops to "get used to it" is suspect, imo. And you forgot to mention chewing. If you don't chew until it's like applesauce, you're really doing yourself harm. That sludge will sit there. That should have been your first piece of advice. And I don't see empirical evidence proving just how much is enough.

  • Don

    I need immediate relief from the symptoms of too much fiber. What can I do?

  • Lee

    Ken is my new hero!

  • df

    Yeah as someone who just ate way too much fiber, this article wasn't helpful. I wish I could go back and slowly add fiber but it's too late for that!

  • Casey

    I find this article somewhat helpful. I'm a 20 year old Type 1 Diabetic in college and it is extremely difficult to consume fiber-rich foods on a constant basis on campus, especially in the midwest compared to my california roots. From my own fiber diet, I would recommend mixing extreme fiber with hot tea (calms the stomach and helps gurgling and digestion). Any type works. Also, from my own recent findings in regards to blood sugar levels, you do need SOME sugar in your diet, especially if you are working out on an everyday basis. Whether this is orange juice, or a small vegan cookie, the little amount of sugar will help counteract the gurgling. Also, you can mix differing varieties of fiber rich foods- try garbanzo beans, kidney beans, black beans, quinoa* (this i especially recommend), brown rice, etc...adding balsamic vinegar and olive oil will help digestion of fiber rich foods and within reason cause you to eat less by signal to the brain you have got enough fat. Hopefully someone finds this helpful!

  • Terri

    For about a week I have had gurgling,in the stomach,diareha,and abdominal cramps,I have been on a high fiber diet to help lower my cholesterol,is there a chance I may have over did it?If anyone out there has been through the same thing or has any advice I am all ears. e-mail me at

  • Janis

    I am starting a new health regimen and trying to make the transition to vegeterian. however, when I eat a lot of nuts and raisins and beans my digestions system has a lot of gas cramping and only time heal it. Should i just give up the nuts and how much beans and rice per serving?
    I am trying to lose weight for health reason also. Where do I start ?

  • Alan

    This article did not answer the question "How much fiber is too much fiber". I get 70-80 grams of fiber a day in my diet and I was wondering if that much fiber can have an adverse effect.

  • Ken

    This was VERY helpful. it had so much fiber information...i crapped my pants

  • Kelly

    This was NOT very helpful. It doesn't provide any immediate symptomatic remedies.

  • Tracie

    This was VERY helpful. Thank you very much for posting it.

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Information and statements regarding dietary supplements/products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only and is a result of years of practice and experience by the author. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this website for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal, or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your healthcare provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read on this website.

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