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Whole grain question

I recently converted completely to whole grains, which means that I only make whole grain pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, etc.  Around the same time FI started having stomach problems.  Not to be gross, but he is pooping a lot (frequently each day) and is having general stomach pain.  I, on the other hand, have had less digestive upsets since eating healthier.  Do you think his problems could be from all of the extra fiber or do you just think it is a coincidence?  Regardless, I am trying to get him to see the doctor, but any info is appreciated.

Thanks in advance for any input and suggestions!

Re: Whole grain question

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    NebbNebb member
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    He probably is getting a lot of fiber - when I started taking a fiber powder to offset my increased protein and the iron in the vitamins I take (they can both make you constipated) i was getting WICKED gas, like stomach in agony type of gas. Once I played around with my diet a bit it went away. What does your FI eat on a normal day?
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    He eats some type of sugary cereal for breakfast with 1% milk.  Either leftovers or a protein bar for lunch.  And normally I make chicken or fish for dinner with one or two veggies and a starch- like I said a few weeks ago I switch completely to whole grain.  He does snack quite a bit, usually on sweets.  He has a huge sweet tooth- thankfully I usually don't crave that stuff!  The only thing I can think of that has changed is the grains.  Again, not to be gross, but he is using the bathroom at least twice a day, but says he doesn't have diarrhea.  He has taken pepto a few times, but it doesn't seem to help.
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    NebbNebb member
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    Hmmm Im not sure. My husband eats a very similar diet and uses the bathroom about that much, he gets upset stomachs alot in the evening and takes pepto when he does. Ive never put too much thought to it though, I figure if he wants to eat sugary/fatty/high carb foods its his issue. In truth, since ive started implementing a healthier diet in our house, he has had a much harder time digesting fast food or really processed food that he used to eat a lot, it makes him really sick. Maybe thats part of it?
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    He always makes me feel like I eat like crap because I eat a lot, but I don't eat processed food.  I guess it's biting him in the ass now!  Literally.  But on a more serious note- he doesn't typically have these problems, so I might push the doctor some more...

    Thanks for the help Nebb!
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    How long ago did you convert to whole grains? Maybe his body is getting used to it? The going twice a day thing is actually good, especially if it's solid (sorry if that sounds gross). My FI seems to have about the same diet as your FI (with the sweets, but then I cook healthy for dinner) and I'm not kidding, he goes about 4-6 times a day! He doesn't have stomach issues though and rarely has stomach aches. I think some people have more sensitive stomachs. If it keeps up another week or so I would have him go to a doctor.

    My FSIL had stomach issues (pains, going frequently) and she had to have a colonoscopy and tons of tests and they still couldn't figure it out.
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    I hope this doesn't gross everyone out...

    For your body to make stool that's the right consistency, you need adequate amounts of both fiber and water. A lot of water is absorbed in the colon, so when you increase fiber intake without increasing water intake, after the water is absorbed the stool is dryer and bulkier, which basically causes your colon to push it through faster.

    What your FI is experiencing is actually common for people adding fiber into their diets, particularly large amounts without an increase in fluid intake. It is easier on the digestive system to add fiber gradually, so you may want to try backing off a little bit and building up to a completely whole-grain diet for FI. He should also try to drink more fluids. If there isn't any improvement after another couple weeks then it's time to see the doctor, but I wouldn't be overly concerned at this point.
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    Thanks cac!  Makes sense!
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    I would agree with pp that it's probably not something to be too concerned about right now. Red flags to see the doc would be things like tarry stools (sign of a bleed), strangely discolored stools, persistent diarrhea, or severe pain. I would bet you it has to do with the increased fiber, and just general diet change. My stomach is very sensitive to diet changes, and I will get gassy/cramps/diarrhea from even small changes. Some bodies are just built differently.

    Perhaps have him ease off on the fiber dose and see if the symptoms subside somewhat... that will tell you if it is fiber/whole grain related. And like pp said, drink lots of water... helps keep the poos hydrated and happy  : ) 

    And good for you for switching to whole grain!
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