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Side Effects of Too Much Fiber

Rashida Khilawala Dec 11, 2018
Fiber helps improve health, and is great for the digestive system. Nonetheless, fiber needs to be taken in moderation as eating too much of it has its own share of side effects. What could these side effects be? Let us know about them from this write up.
An average daily intake of fiber is about 25 grams for women, 30 grams for men, and approximately 20 grams for kids. Side effects are mostly noticed in individuals who consume higher than about 45 grams of fiber in a day. So, let's just say that if your fiber intake per day is 50 grams, you are having a lot of fiber.

Why Should You Eat Fiber in Moderation?

Fiber intake in more than the required amount has a host of uncomfortable and highly embarrassing side effects. Let's see which are potential harmful effects that occur.


This is an embarrassing and highly uncomfortable side effect. Imagine a day at work, struggling with flatulence. Flatulence is a condition wherein mixed gases are expelled through the rectum. High intake of fiber can aid the process and cause you much shame.


It is a condition wherein the sufferer undergoes liquid-like bowel movements. This results in loss of body fluids, salts and other nutrients. It causes death in extreme conditions.

Abdominal Discomfort

This one is not so embarrassing, but uncomfortable nonetheless. The queasy feeling in your stomach can be enough to put you off work, play and pleasure!


Constipation occurs when the colon absorbs excess water and this results in hard or no feces. Eating extra fiber rich foods, can cause constipation, to quite uncomfortable and painful.

Intestinal Blockages

Extra fiber consumption can lead to a possibility of a severe intestinal blockage. It has been seen that patients need to get operated to get rid of the blockage caused due to excess fiber.

Abnormal Absorption

Surplus fiber uptake can also cause you to gain weight. However, you can lose this weight without much trouble. Having too much fiber, can make you bloated.

Intestinal Cramping

This side effect takes place when the body is not able to carry out fiber breakdown. And this would occur only in case of excess fiber intake, during which, digestion slackens or even stops for a moment. This ends up in intestinal cramping and body discomfort.

Weight Gain

Fibers in foods have the ability to bind other foods (include nutrients, minerals, etc.), because of which the body would not be able to ingest them. So, you can imagine what would be the case if you would be consuming excess fiber in your diet!
Often, important minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, etc., do not get absorbed by the body. Nevertheless, this occurrence is very rare and one needn't worry too much over this side effect.
Is fiber in excess a bad thing? Well, that is arguable. Several people live comfortably on diets that contain high fiber levels. The difference is that those people also maintain high water intake. Too much fiber with not enough water intake is the reason behind these terrible side effects.
So, if you are suffering from these symptoms, you are doing something wrong here! As long as you are making sure that you keep up the fiber-water balance, you will not suffer from any side effects or problems with drinking too much water. The two balance each other out.
Though fiber makes the travel (of food through the digestive tract) faster, too much of it can cause one to feel "full". This can trick believing that enough nutrients you have consumed. Excess fiber can lead to lesser iron and calcium absorption; can lead to further health hassles. So, eating extra fiber is bad for you and try to avoid eating too much.
Alright, this was not to scare you off fiber. Don't forget, adequate fiber consumption is required by the body, and beyond that it should be monitored. Otherwise, you will end up suffering from displeasing side effects.
Disclaimer: The information provided is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.