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Anyone know anything about Gut Sense/Fiber Menace Info?

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  • Anyone know anything about Gut Sense/Fiber Menace Info?

    I saw someone mention it in a recent thread but I am curious to know more about this info. Since I have had a series of digestive issues (and have been following primal now for 3 weeks very seriously) I am always looking for ways to improve. He believes fiber is what causes constipation and a host of other digestive problems, my question is does that mean vegetables too? He recommends white bread over whole grain (I know we don't eat bread here) but does that info even make sense? Anyone try this out- very low fiber, atkins style diet- to improve their gut?

  • #2
    I have tried following his protocol, but I believe I has bacterial dysbiosis (my gut bacteria is out of whack/reduced) so I'm not having great results. Yes, veggies count too. I think BestBetter (did I get that right?) has more experience following a low-fiber diet longer term to help with IBS symptoms.
    Depression Lies

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    • #3
      I started lowering my fiber intake after a nasty ER visit and some high-dose antibiotics. It had been an ongoing problem that was finally pushed over the edge. I used to get moderate cramping after eating a decent sized dinner, and I don't get that anymore. Obviously, I'm not making ER trips, or I wouldn't be in the cheering section for it.

      I read Fiber Menace and I have been on the Gutsense website a number of times, but it's not like I even give fiber much thought. I just choose lower fiber over something higher when I have a choice, and I DEFINITELY don't go looking for fiber.
      Durp.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by VeggieLover View Post
        I saw someone mention it in a recent thread but I am curious to know more about this info. Since I have had a series of digestive issues (and have been following primal now for 3 weeks very seriously) I am always looking for ways to improve. He believes fiber is what causes constipation and a host of other digestive problems, my question is does that mean vegetables too? He recommends white bread over whole grain (I know we don't eat bread here) but does that info even make sense? Anyone try this out- very low fiber, atkins style diet- to improve their gut?
        I am not a fan of his claims at all and addressed many of them here:

        Addressing "The Fiber Menace"

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        • #5
          I haven't read the book, but have checked out the site to get an idea of where he is coming from, I think he has a good message, but either he has missed the point or not put it across clearly.
          My take is:
          Fibre does not cause constipation, digestive problems, Microbiota imbalance, Inflammation from Gluten & Lectins etc cause constipation, but using fibre to fix it can be dangerous.
          So if you have a digestive problem then you do need to be wary of overloading your system with fibre as you may cause permanent mechanical damage, particularly insolouble fibre like wheat bran. If you are constipated, then loading more volume behind the blockage will only make the problem worse, you need to take a laxative, natural or not, even an enema if required to clear the blockage, and then gradually begin to introduce solid foods and let your gut heal and the appropriate microbiota to re-establish. I think the GAP's protocol is more on the right direction to support this process, ie. only liquid foods to start with and taking 12 months at least to get to a normal dietary approach.
          But if your GI tract is healthy, then normal intake of solouble fibre through good fruit and veg in your diet, even high fibre stuff is not an issue, your GI tract was designed to process it and does so quite effectively.
          "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

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          • #6
            The kind of fiber in bran definitely stops me up. The kind of fiber in lettuce definitely moves things along. I think the Gut Sense guy would tell you not to stuff yourself with lettuce to move things along. You don't need THAT much.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              I'm no fiber expert, but I believe it's the TYPE of fiber that's important (soluble vs insoluble). Soluble feeds the good bacteria in your gut, while the insoluble is just a stool bulkener (<- made-up word, you know what I mean).

              Fun With Fiber: The Real Scoop | Mark's Daily Apple
              Last edited by Bosnic; 09-11-2012, 07:16 PM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Omni View Post
                I haven't read the book, but have checked out the site to get an idea of where he is coming from, I think he has a good message, but either he has missed the point or not put it across clearly.
                My take is:
                Fibre does not cause constipation, digestive problems, Microbiota imbalance, Inflammation from Gluten & Lectins etc cause constipation, but using fibre to fix it can be dangerous.
                So if you have a digestive problem then you do need to be wary of overloading your system with fibre as you may cause permanent mechanical damage, particularly insolouble fibre like wheat bran. If you are constipated, then loading more volume behind the blockage will only make the problem worse, you need to take a laxative, natural or not, even an enema if required to clear the blockage, and then gradually begin to introduce solid foods and let your gut heal and the appropriate microbiota to re-establish. I think the GAP's protocol is more on the right direction to support this process, ie. only liquid foods to start with and taking 12 months at least to get to a normal dietary approach.
                But if your GI tract is healthy, then normal intake of solouble fibre through good fruit and veg in your diet, even high fibre stuff is not an issue, your GI tract was designed to process it and does so quite effectively.
                I would agree with that, especially when you're going under the assumption of a Paleo or Primal diet that doesn't include things like whole wheat bread and Fiber One bars.
                Durp.

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                • #9
                  It definitely makes sense to me about fiber vs not eating fiber. I guess I will have to experiment but so far I really feel that when I eat strictly protein and fats it doesn't really sit in my stomach, as I begin to add more fibrous vegetables, then it just sits in my stomach for a longer period of time. Perhaps I have a hard time digesting. I am really trying to take this all seriously right now to get good results so any help/past experiences help.

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                  • #10
                    My main motivation for going primal was to find a natural way to cure my digestive issues, specifically chronic constipation. I’ve had issues off and on my adult life. The worst was the 4 years following a year of constant antibiotics. I felt ready to say goodbye to my colon. Everyone is different, what works for some may not work for others. This book is one of the most helpful books I’ve read. If you suffer like I did, I highly recommend at least reading it to see if anything sounds familiar. For me, constipation from lack of hydration is CONVENTIONAL WISDOM. For several years, I ate all fibrous foods, beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, lentils, apples, prunes, brown rice, fiber, fiber and more fiber. I drank liters of water, chugged aloe vera juice, stretched and exercised, took Metamucil, psyllium seed, flax seed, tried vitamin C flushes, ANYTHING conventional to regulate me. The result? My issues were worse, up to 6 days without elimination, usually once every 4 days, for years! Laxatives were all that helped, which of course really make the problem worse long term.
                    My biggest take aways were to stop forcing fiber through myself and to stop overhydrating. Fiber is important, but there are many types of fiber, they need to be balanced in the diet. Excess fiber, fiber supplements and fiber in grains shred my intestines and halt the digestion process. It’s like passing cement. There’s been blood and clogged toilets. TMI? Well I wish someone would have shared the info in this book with me 10 years ago and saved my intestines from trauma and myself from discomfort. Excess water doesn’t help me. It flushes essential minerals from my body, like magnesium and potassium, both of which are critical to hydrate the colon and keep digestive muscles responsive.
                    In the past year and a half since I read this book and made changes, my digestion has definitely improved. I immediately stopped taking fiber supplements, and I only drink liquids before meals, or when I’m truly thirsty. I choose white rice over brown rice. Like RitaRose, I don’t go looking for fiber. I also supplement with daily multivitamins, magnesium and I regularly eat fermented vegetables or drink kombucha. I try to eliminate wheat, barley, oats, and other grains as much as I can. The result? Regularity…..at least to my standards. I have occasional problems, but it’s usually self-induced, from eating the wrong foods.
                    I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong, but I feel that I’m living proof that Fiber Menace has some truth.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Columbia View Post
                      I’m not trying to prove anyone wrong, but I feel that I’m living proof that Fiber Menace has some truth.
                      It's not that reducing fibre may benefit some people, it's more the way that the book is presented as "all fibre is a menace", this is a blatant misrepresentation, the fact is most individuals benefit from having fibre in their diet, but the issue of constipation needs to be treated properly, not just the standard "eat more fibre line".
                      So in that way the conventional wisdom and fibre menace are both wrong, the truth lies somewhere inbetween.
                      Now you say the worst time you had was after a year on antibiotics, well that would have decimated your gut flora and possibly allowed an overgrowth of Candida which may have done further damage to your GI tract, one would expect you would have had a hard time, what should have happened is a gradual process to ease your gut into the full digestive process, appropriate probiotics and monitoring of your bowel movements.
                      The Gut Flora are more important than just about anything else regarding intestinal health, this is where the focus should be.
                      "There are no short cuts to enlightenment, the journey is the destination, you have to walk this path alone"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Columbia View Post
                        For several years, I ate all fibrous foods, beans, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, lentils, apples, prunes, brown rice, fiber, fiber and more fiber. I drank liters of water, chugged aloe vera juice, stretched and exercised, took Metamucil, psyllium seed, flax seed, tried vitamin C flushes, ANYTHING conventional to regulate me. The result? My issues were worse...but I feel that I’m living proof that Fiber Menace has some truth.
                        I had a similar experience. I have 6+ years of IBS experience. I actually had only 2 BM in 2.5 months a couple summers ago. I missed my cousin's wedding because I was so bloated that I couldn't fit into my dress and had so much pain that I couldn't walk. Like Columbia, I tried every so-called remedy out there, no matter how ridiculous. I saw 2 gastroenterologists, accunpuncturists, herbalists, naturopathic doctors...took a shit ton of probiotics, tried colon hydrotherapy...nothing helped. I wasn't able to heal myself until the information in Fiber Menace gave me the missing piece of the puzzle. For me, it was a godsend.

                        I cured my IBS using a protocol I developed by gathering info and suggestions from a variety of resources. Basically, what I did was:

                        1) Eat very low fiber (in the beginning, as close to zero as possible, now less than 10g/day)
                        2) supplement with probiotics and fermented/cultured foods
                        3) drink lots of homemade bone broth
                        4) supplement with L-glutamine for about 2 months
                        5) eat smaller meals

                        It took several months for me to improve, but once I did, it was like being a new person. I had been Intermittent Fasting for months, sometimes eating just one huge meal per day. While I think the science behind IF is sound, and is great for people with functioning digestive systems, I was surprised to realize that eating too much at once was actually a big IBS trigger for me.

                        Now that I'm significantly improved, I find that my system can handle a little more than it used to. When I was having flares, eating dried fruit was a trigger, and so were berries or any fruit with the skin. Even pureed pumpkin made me stopped up and bloated, which in theory doesn't make sense, because supposedly soluable fiber is good for the system. But mine just couldn't deal with it then and it was a source of misery. Now, I can eat dried fruit, the occasional unpeeled fruit/veggie, and stuff like pureed pumpin is no longer a problem. Now that I'm functional, I don't avoid soluable fiber, but I do avoid insoluable fiber as much as possible.

                        Also, I used the Hydro-C supplement from the gutsense website. I was a little wary about trying yet another thing to ease my constipation that wouldn't work, but this was the one and only ting that ever worked for me. There was no bloating, cramping, or dependency. Healing your guts is a long process, and I found this stuff to be helpful in keeping things moving along during the process until I got to where I don't need to rely on it anymore. It works like clockwork for me, and since I now only tend to get stopped up when travelling, I bought an extra bottle to travel with, and it is such a lifesaver for me!
                        Last edited by BestBetter; 09-12-2012, 02:24 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by BestBetter View Post
                          I had a similar experience. I have 6+ years of IBS experience. I actually had only 2 BM in 2.5 months a couple summers ago. I missed my cousin's wedding because I was so bloated that I couldn't fit into my dress and had so much pain that I couldn't walk. Like Columbia, I tried every so-called remedy out there, no matter how ridiculous. I saw 2 gastroenterologists, accunpuncturists, herbalists, naturopathic doctors...took a shit ton of probiotics, tried colon hydrotherapy...nothing helped. I wasn't able to heal myself until the information in Fiber Menace gave me the missing piece of the puzzle. For me, it was a godsend.

                          I cured my IBS using a protocol I developed by gathering info and suggestions from a variety of resources. Basically, what I did was:

                          1) Eat very low fiber (in the beginning, as close to zero as possible, now less than 10g/day)
                          2) supplement with probiotics and fermented/cultured foods
                          3) drink lots of homemade bone broth
                          4) supplement with L-glutamine for about 2 months
                          5) eat smaller meals

                          It took several months for me to improve, but once I did, it was like being a new person. I had been Intermittent Fasting for months, sometimes eating just one huge meal per day. While I think the science behind IF is sound, and is great for people with functioning digestive systems, I was surprised to realize that eating too much at once was actually a big IBS trigger for me.

                          Now that I'm significantly improved, I find that my system can handle a little more than it used to. When I was having flares, eating dried fruit was a trigger, and so were berries or any fruit with the skin. Even pureed pumpkin made me stopped up and bloated, which in theory doesn't make sense, because supposedly soluable fiber is good for the system. But mine just couldn't deal with it then and it was a source of misery. Now, I can eat dried fruit, the occasional unpeeled fruit/veggie, and stuff like pureed pumpin is no longer a problem. Now that I'm functional, I don't avoid soluable fiber, but I do avoid insoluable fiber as much as possible.

                          Also, I used the Hydro-C supplement from the gutsense website. I was a little wary about trying yet another thing to ease my constipation that wouldn't work, but this was the one and only ting that ever worked for me. There was no bloating, cramping, or dependency. Healing your guts is a long process, and I found this stuff to be helpful in keeping things moving along during the process until I got to where I don't need to rely on it anymore. It works like clockwork for me, and since I now only tend to get stopped up when travelling, I bought an extra bottle to travel with, and it is such a lifesaver for me!
                          I have just been through a couple of months of trying to help my 11yr old daughter with her constipation problems. She was going every five days!

                          I have tried prunes, water, cutting out wheat with no effect. It wasn't until I read gutsense website last week that the lightbulb went off and I started her on probiotics. After 7 days she "went" without pain two days in a row. That is unheard of and when I think back its been going on for years. She had a lot of antibiotics for ear infections and scarlet fever when she was younger. I wish I had put two and two together.earlier.
                          Last edited by Rueben; 09-12-2012, 05:26 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by namelesswonder View Post
                            I have tried following his protocol, but I believe I has bacterial dysbiosis (my gut bacteria is out of whack/reduced) so I'm not having great results. Yes, veggies count too. I think BestBetter (did I get that right?) has more experience following a low-fiber diet longer term to help with IBS symptoms.
                            Have you checked out the gutflora.com website? They mention dysbiosis and even though it's likely you already know/are doing everything they recommend, it's a pretty good resource, if you haven't come across it yet:


                            Effect

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                            • #15
                              Ruben, that’s awesome, my parent’s probably think I was a hypochondriac.

                              The name is misleading. The title cites fiber as the menace, but the book details many other factors as well. Ah yes, probiotics, I left those out. So rounds of antibiotics from UTIs, respiratory infections, female infections, and ear infections definitely wiped out my gut flora, I don’t disagree there. I didn’t know this at the time and I trusted my doctors, oops. During several visits I can remember the doctors feeling the around the lumps in my abdomen, questioning when I’d last used the bathroom, then sending me home with milk of magnesia, along with my antibiotics and pain relievers. Never once did any of them connect antibiotic abuse to my problem.

                              Unfortunately for me, re-populating my gut was very challenging. I feel like I wasted money on probiotics because at the time I took them, I think my insides were too damaged to house them. Good probiotics are expensive too, and at the time I didn’t see results to justify the expense. The chronic constipation was broken up by spells of severe diarrhea too. Again, TMI, I know, but I hope sharing this will help someone. After being stopped up for almost 7 days, then I’d have the opposite and be on the toilet 7 times a day, sometime laxative induced, sometimes food poisoning, sometimes diet irritation (hot wings). In retrospect, everything stopped up in me was probably poisoning me too, and my body would finally release. This was always a relief compared to the chronic problem, but the timing was always inconvenient, and I think every time I had those “relief” days, whatever flora I had built up was wiped out again.

                              On a related note, here’s a link to a recent article in USA Today about C.Diff. Thank heavens I never contracted this, but it goes to show how difficult it is to fix a gut flora problem once damage has been done. Since going primal, I’ve had the mentality that our bodies have evolved with germs, so exposure helps keep our immune systems strong. My experience pales in severity and this article terrifies me, I’m now more germphobic:

                              Far more could be done to stop the deadly bacteria C. diff

                              Let’s see, what else. FODMAPs may have helped too, but now I feel healed enough that I can tolerate the restricted foods. Not sure what I’d do without onions and avacados! GAPs seems like a great approach too, had primal not worked, or had I not read fiber menace I probably would have resorted to that. Both would have been difficult for me to implement. I now travel constantly, meals tend to be a focal part of work trips, not to mention family events and life in general. Bone broth just isn’t an option most of the time, but I do enjoy it when I can. I took glutamine too, I assume it’s helped. To manage my unprimal lifestyle (my own fault I know), I’ve found IF to be a great tool as well. Luckily it’s something that was natural for me anyway, I didn’t know it had a name before MDA. My life’s too unpredictable and erratic to eat at consistent times. Years ago when my problems peaked, that probably didn’t help my irregularity. Now I think it definitely helps me and allows my intestines to rest peacefully, especially now that they’re not suffocated by crap, sorry for the pun. When not traveling, at work I’m labeled the one who eats “weird” foods, in conjunction with IF I’m sure coworkers probably think I have some strange eating disorder.

                              I’m thankful for MDA where “weird” topics can be discussed!

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