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Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Angela Dowden

Posted 13 Jun 12

Why am I constipated?

I have been eating porridge every morning but I seem to be constipated. I drink water and have fibre in my diet. The last time I went to my doctor she said to have plenty of fibre, eat wholegrain and drink lots of water. I It has become regular for me to be constipated for days and I feel it is affecting my weight loss. I am a waitress and on my feet all day, that�s my exercise, as well as walking a total of 40 minutes to and from work.

Our expert says...

Unfortunately, some people do just tend to suffer more from constipation than others, so it may be that you need higher amounts of fibre than normal to help things along.


Porridge is really healthy and great for keeping you full and keeping cholesterol levels in check. But the largely soluble fibre it contains is not necessarily so good for helping your bowels move, so I suggest you try an alternative higher in insoluble fibre, such as bran flakes, or, especially, All Bran.


Drinking lots of water is really good (so keep that up!) and although you say you already do so, it’s worth reiterating the importance of making sure that the grain foods you eat are wholegrain – so wholewheat pasta, brown rice and wholemeal bread for example. Fruit and veg provide fibre too, so the more the merrier!


If you’re still struggling, you could give your system a gentle helping hand with some ispaghula husk (e.g. Fybogel), though it's best to chat this through with your GP or pharmacist. Activia yogurt could also be worth a try (it contains a bacteria that increases food transit time in people with constipation-dominant IBS). Or prebiotic supplements such as Bimuno, which boost levels of good Bifidobacteria in the gut are also worth a look.



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