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Vegetarian and Constipation
musicfactory posted:
I'm a 24 year old male. I have been a vegetarian now for 3 full months and I've been having problems with constipation. I'm pretty sure I'm having minor issues with hemorrhoids, too. I've read a lot of material on the internet about this and keep hearing about fiber and drinking plenty of water. I have started making sure I drink at least 64 oz of water per day, and I'm trying to get at least 25-30 grams of fiber per day. I have also been on a strict diet for the past several months where I consume roughly between 1200-1500 calories per day. I know some people think it's low...but it's also a big part of the reason I've lost over 50 lbs. :) Obviously there are days where I go over and consume closer to 2000 calories. I do NOT want to go back to eating meat, but I am upset because I never noticed any problems in constipation when I was eating meat. I'm debating on whether to go see a doctor but I thought I would try this first. If anyone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate it!
Louise_WebMD_Staff responded:
Did you increase your fiber suddenly? When people first go vegetarian (or go on diets), I have noticed (but I am not a health professional) there sometimes is a problem with constipation because of harder to digest foods and fewer fats and oils. I am guessing with the calorie restriction, you have ditched a lot in the way of oils and perhaps fruits. You might want to consider something like ground flax seed and healthy oils to your diet. Fruits might help as well. Also, check your protein, new vegs often over do it with the vegetable based protein and it can constipate as well. But, if your constipation continues, definitely see your doctor. It could be unrelated to change in your diet. Here is more info on Constipation that can help.
musicfactory responded:
I have been upping my fiber intake since I've been hearing that can help with constipation. I've also been drinking tons of water but after I read your response I did some searching on that and I did read that when you add fiber you should do it in moderation....which I might not be doing. Honestly, it's hard to keep track of how much of what you need in a day. Since I do have a calorie restriction I definitely choose my foods I eat based on the amount of calories, not nutrition in most cases. I definitely feel I eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, but will definitely look into the ground flax seed. Thanks for your help!

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