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Insoluble Fiber?
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Hi all

Long story short: for 18 months post diagnosis (celiacs + microscopic colitis) my biggest problem has been regulating diarrhea and loose stools (using Pepto Bismol when needed).

Over the last two months, my bowel movements suddenly changed to much more like a "normal" person--less frequent visits, firmer stools etc.

Unfortunately, perhaps because my body is so not used to regular stools, I have tended towards bouts of mildish constipation and resultant hemorrhoids (you just can't win!).

I have been taken fiber until it is coming out of my ears, but I am increasingly aware that the fiber most available is SOLUBLE (ie tends to slow down motions, bulk up stools).

What I really want is--for when the constipation strikes--some quick-fix INSOLUBLE fiber to get my bowels moving. I want a breakfast cereal to replace All Bran, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat. Unfortunately, most of this kind of fiber comes from wheat.

Any ideas???

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Do you like sweet potatoes or yams? Those are a great source of both soluable and insoluble fiber. They are my go to for regulation. I like them best just cut up and boiled till soft then drained with some butter and brown sugar thrown on but they are also good baked or done as an oven fry.

There are also some good gluten free granolas out there. Udi's makes one and I like Bakery on Main if your looking just for a cereal.

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Prunes and mandarin oranges work for my boys.

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Thanks. I am eating all of these, along with beans, oats, veggies, nuts and fruit.

What I would really like to know is there a quick-fix (like a breakfast cereal) that is the equivalent of Al Bran, with massive doses of insoluble fiber.

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Maybe All Bran used to work so well for you because the wheat was attacking your intestine....

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No. I just want to find an equivalent (cereal) with the same high dose of insoluble fiber. That's all.

If you check out lists of high soluble foods, unfortunately wheat-based products rule. There seems to be little else that touches it.

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Hi all

Long story short: for 18 months post diagnosis (celiacs + microscopic colitis) my biggest problem has been regulating diarrhea and loose stools (using Pepto Bismol when needed).

Over the last two months, my bowel movements suddenly changed to much more like a "normal" person--less frequent visits, firmer stools etc.

Unfortunately, perhaps because my body is so not used to regular stools, I have tended towards bouts of mildish constipation and resultant hemorrhoids (you just can't win!).

I have been taken fiber until it is coming out of my ears, but I am increasingly aware that the fiber most available is SOLUBLE (ie tends to slow down motions, bulk up stools).

What I really want is--for when the constipation strikes--some quick-fix INSOLUBLE fiber to get my bowels moving. I want a breakfast cereal to replace All Bran, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat. Unfortunately, most of this kind of fiber comes from wheat.

Any ideas???

With my other diagnosed allergies, I can't eat most gluten free dry cereals. However I love cooked cereals to which I add rice bran (Ener-G Foods) and/or ground flax meal. I like Bob's Red Mill's Mighty Tasty (gluten-free blend) or Buckwheat. Sometimes I get bulk Amaranth cereal at Whole Foods and mix it with the Mighty Tasty and Buckwheat. I cook those cereals in nut milks (almond or Hazelnut) and add almond butter (for extra fats) and chopped fruit (pears, strawberries, blueberries).

However, I've read just the opposite about soluble vs. insoluble fiber. Soluble tends to soak up liquids and keep stools softer. Whereas insoluble fiber can create very hard, but also fibrous stools.

You may have other autoimmune problems which cause your constipation, now that you don't eat gluten. I ate tons of soluable and insoluble fiber for years and struggled with constipation until I was diagnosed with (and treated for) authoimmune (Hashimoto's) hypothyroid disease. Many celiacs also have autoimmune diseases. Ask your doc for thyroid blood tests (TSH, free T3, free T4 and TPOab). Most docs just do the TSH, but use the outdated 'normal' scale for TSH. So you can have abnormal TSH and thyroid problems, but docs will misdiagnose you as normal, based on that outdated scale.

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With my other diagnosed allergies, I can't eat most gluten free dry cereals. However I love cooked cereals to which I add rice bran (Ener-G Foods) and/or ground flax meal. I like Bob's Red Mill's Mighty Tasty (gluten-free blend) or Buckwheat. Sometimes I get bulk Amaranth cereal at Whole Foods and mix it with the Mighty Tasty and Buckwheat. I cook those cereals in nut milks (almond or Hazelnut) and add almond butter (for extra fats) and chopped fruit (pears, strawberries, blueberries).

However, I've read just the opposite about soluble vs. insoluble fiber. Soluble tends to soak up liquids and keep stools softer. Whereas insoluble fiber can create very hard, but also fibrous stools.

You may have other autoimmune problems which cause your constipation, now that you don't eat gluten. I ate tons of soluable and insoluble fiber for years and struggled with constipation until I was diagnosed with (and treated for) authoimmune (Hashimoto's) hypothyroid disease. Many celiacs also have autoimmune diseases. Ask your doc for thyroid blood tests (TSH, free T3, free T4 and TPOab). Most docs just do the TSH, but use the outdated 'normal' scale for TSH. So you can have abnormal TSH and thyroid problems, but docs will misdiagnose you as normal, based on that outdated scale.

Really helpful. Thanks a million--you have given me just the kinds of tips I need.

I agree that I may have over-simplified the differences in fiber, though I think there is some validity to what I say. I eat LOTS of fiber, but I do believe most of it happens to be soluble (oats, fruit, beans, veggies). Most of the time that is fine, as I tend towards diarrhea. For the occasional bouts of constipation, it is useful to have some alternative sources of fiber . . .

I don't think I have another condition. Part of my problems stem from that fact that I already have both celiacs AND microscopic colitis; the latter is very unpredictable, and tends to come and go on its own accord.

I shall pay a visit to Whole Foods and take a good look at their cereals. Thanks again.

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I've just seen the Mighty Tasty Cereal Mix online--it looks like a great alternative to oats (my usual). I have never noticed it--do they sell it at Whole Foods?

Also, does flax meal tend to be gluten-free? I note that Bob's Red Mill carry this product, but wonder about cross-contamination?

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Really helpful. Thanks a million--you have given me just the kinds of tips I need.

I agree that I may have over-simplified the differences in fiber, though I think there is some validity to what I say. I eat LOTS of fiber, but I do believe most of it happens to be soluble (oats, fruit, beans, veggies). Most of the time that is fine, as I tend towards diarrhea. For the occasional bouts of constipation, it is useful to have some alternative sources of fiber . . .

I don't think I have another condition. Part of my problems stem from that fact that I already have both celiacs AND microscopic colitis; the latter is very unpredictable, and tends to come and go on its own accord.

I shall pay a visit to Whole Foods and take a good look at their cereals. Thanks again.

Drop those oats for a bit and see if that helps. There are quite a few of us who don't tolerate those and they may be behind the issue you are having.

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the trick to fiber is to also ensure you are getting plenty of water. Fiber doesn't work properly without water. Especially if you're eating flax, or psyllium to try to keep yourself regular. 2 to 3 litres of water per day should help (coffee & tea can be counted in this, but not colas or artificially flavoured/sweetened drinks). High sugar fruits and juices will most likely contribute to more diarrhea rather than be helpful.

For extra fiber I eat flax meal (whole flax seeds are not digestible), and lately I've been putting chia seeds in my protein smoothie drinks. I also eat a lot of veggies. Per serving, the fiber content of vegetables and low sugar fruits is higher than grains. Avocado is a yummy source of fiber and lots of healthy fats and vitamins too. Bob's Red Mill Mighty Tasty Hot Cereal per serving has only 4g of fiber, whereas an avocado 13.5g, plus it has 34% of your RDA of vitamin C!

Don't fall into the old fallacy that grains are the only source of fiber, because they really aren't. Vegetables and low sugar fruits are, and always have been, a much better source. Most grain products these days are so highly over processed that their natural nutrition and fiber content are gone, and have had to be added back in. Any time you see "enriched" anything on an ingredients list means that during the manufacture of this product, they've taken all the good healthy stuff out, and then had to put it back in with fake replacement stuff that they want you to believe is good healthy stuff.

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Helpful advice folks. It seems I am on the right tracks, but I have also found some useful alternatives to think about. I really appreciate your replying.

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Quinoa is another option. You can buy quinoa flakes to take the place of morning cereal/oats and it is high in insoluble fiber (about 1:3 soluble:insoluble) from what I understand.

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You mentioned you use Pepto Bismol. I just wanted to mention that Pepto works great for me when I have heartburn or a stomach ache BUT it tends to make me constipated and have harder stools (again great for D not so great if you tend towards C). So if you are taking it frequently it could be messign with your system too. I also agree with the PP advice about cutting back on carb-laden gluten-free foods and trying to go for more natural sources of fiber such as fruits and veggies with a healthy dose of good fat (avocado, coconut olive oil, etc). And try cutting out oats. Even the gluten-free ones bother some people with celiac.

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I had the same problem you have.. what I have found works (and isn't too terrible) is Enjoy Life crunchy flax cereal. I mix in some nuts, craisins, and honey. Also I eat a lot of Trader Joe's fiberful bars.

What I really want is--for when the constipation strikes--some quick-fix INSOLUBLE fiber to get my bowels moving. I want a breakfast cereal to replace All Bran, Weetabix, Shredded Wheat. Unfortunately, most of this kind of fiber comes from wheat.

Any ideas???

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I had the same problem you have.. what I have found works (and isn't too terrible) is Enjoy Life crunchy flax cereal. I mix in some nuts, craisins, and honey. Also I eat a lot of Trader Joe's fiberful bars.

Thanks. I have purchases some flaxmeal and have added it to my gluten-free rice krispies! I'll look for the Enjoy Life, but I do tend to find these kinds of cereals overly sugary for my taste.

My healing trajectory is really interesting.

I had a year and a half of mainly loose stools with bouts of diarrhea (hence my periodic use of Pepto Bismol). Then, very suddenly, I normalized. However, I don't think my body remembers normal, hence I now seem to tend towards constipation if I am not careful to drink lots of water.

I eat tons of fiber--I have always been a lover of veggies and I make myself eat fruit--so I have a very well-balanced diet. It's just that I discovered soluble fiber seems to be easier to acquire than insoluble, least in my diet.

I would rather take a natural laxative (ie breakfast cereal) than laxative tablets--hence my search for higher fiber gluten-free products.

One lesson that has come out of all this is to remember that gluten-free processed foods such as bread, pasta (and perhaps cereal) are often poor substitutes for whole grain wheat in terms of fiber. I eat very little bread now, and no pasta.

So generally, thank God, I am doing much better. But it took me a year and a half, and I have to be prepared for my tummy to go mad again at any point (perhaps because the microscopic colitis part is beyond much of my control).

I still eat oats most mornings. I can't give oats up! But my last antibody levels were fine, and my tummy has a life of its own whatever I eat.

One last point of interest. The turnaround for me was returning to the UK for a month. Something about the diet--possibly because I ate out far less than in the States--turned my diarrhea around. Within two weeks I stopped taking the Pepto and couldn't believe I was no longer loose. This has continued for the most part on my return Stateside (about two months ago).

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