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How Much Fiber Should I Eat a Day to Treat IBS Constipation?

Though some reports say that high fiber intake may cause problems in patients suffering from IBS, fibrous food can help you get relief from constipation. If your diet contains enough fiber fluids you may be relieved from IBS Constipation. One must keep in mind that the amount of fiber, fluids and size of the meal taken will affect IBS Constipation.

Muscles spams in the colon may either lead to diarrhea or constipation. Irritable bowel syndrome or IBS causes irregular bowel patterns. If you find that there is difficult is passing of the stool through the colon and you have rough hard and dried stools regularly, you may be suffering from IBS Constipation. If the stool takes a lot amount of time to be pushed through the tract then the colon absorbs most of the water from the stool making it hard and dry. Increasing fiber intake in your meal along with taking in lots of water and fluids may ease you of the IBS Constipation.

How Much Fiber Should I Eat a Day to Treat IBS Constipation?

How Much Fiber Should I Eat a Day to Treat IBS Constipation?

There is no specific upper limit in how much fiber should be eaten every day but if you plan to increase the quantity of fiber then it has to be incremental over a period of time and not at once. The type of fiber you eat is also important of you have IBS constipation. The studies at the University of Pittsburgh show that food with fiber may resolve IBS Constipation. You must inculcate habits like:

  • Increasing 20 to 30 grams of fiber intake at regular intervals.
  • Snacking on fresh fruits.
  • Reduce food with fats and replace meat with beans.
  • Avoid junk and fried food. Choose your breakfast of bananas and oatmeal instead of cheese and doughnuts.

Which Type of Fiber is Good for IBS Constipation?

There are 2 kinds of fiber, soluble and insoluble. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, insoluble fiber like wheat bran may give rise to adverse effects in people suffering from IBS Constipation. Even though wheat and some vegetables that contain insoluble fiber may help you get relief from constipation by bulking up the stool and causing stimulation in the colon, these can also give rise to bloating, gas and diarrhea. Citrus fruits, apples and whole grains contain soluble fiber which dissolve in the digestive tract (unlike the insoluble fiber) and form a jelly like substance that helps to relieve you of IBS Constipation without causing any bloating.


According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse, wheat may trigger abdominal pain in patients suffering from IBS Constipation. If you suddenly increase your fiber intake, the constipation may worsen. You must therefore slowly increase the fiber intake along with increasing your water intake. Develop a practice of taking in five small meals a day. Notice if there is any kind of pain or discomfort while taking in fibrous food. Choose whole grains instead of wheat as they contain soluble fiber and will help you get relieved of constipation without flaring up any pain or other symptoms of IBS Constipation. Gas causing vegetables like cabbage and lettuce may also help you relax from the abdominal pain.

You can also go for fiber supplements and laxatives to ease and speed up the stool transit through the colon. Even though fibers can help you deal with IBS Constipation, it will provide no relief to the abdominal pain. Also a massive change in diet can cause adverse abdominal issues. The antispasmodic medication that you might be taking to control the stool spasms may also worsen your case of constipation. For relaxing intestinal muscles in such cases, you might have to take in more medicines. Before changing your diet or taking any medication always consult with your medical personnel to understand what will meet your needs the best.

Tips for Adding Fiber to Your Diet When You have IBS Constipation

Even if you make small changes in your diet which have additional nutrients, the nutritional value of your daily diet shall improve. Develop a habit of trying new vegetables and new recipes which contains a fair amount of fiber.

  • Eating vegetables is good for IBS constipation. If you cook in microwave you can save both time and nutrients. As for vegetables to retain their nutritional values, cook only till they are tenderly crisp.
  • Beans are good for IBS constipation. Develop a habit to having soaked beans and peas instead of meat in salad. If you cook presoaked beans in fresh water, beans are easily digestible since the gas producing ingredients in the beans get washed out. Remember to cook in fresh water and not with the water used for soaking the beans.
  • Always choose a slow cooker to cook bean soups and stews.
  • Fruits have good soluble fiber for IBS constipation. Try our new and seasonal fruits like pineapple or mango or kiwi. You can have fruits anytime, anywhere. It is better to dispose the peelings of the fruits when possible. Add fresh fruit to your other snacks like muffins, pancakes, toppings for frozen yogurt and quick breads.
  • Another good fibrous food for IBS constipation is grains. You can create a habit of including whole grains like muffins, English muffins, breads and bagels in your daily diet. Make a habit of having fresh pasta in place of dried pasta. When you are making a pasta salad, make a quick salad of pasta with slightly cooked vegetables.


  1. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases – Treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) with Constipation: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/irritable-bowel-syndrome/treatment
  2. Mayo Clinic – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/irritable-bowel-syndrome/symptoms-causes/syc-20360016
  3. National Institutes of Health – Increasing Fiber Intake: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/patientinstructions/000193.htm

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 8, 2023

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