Ask Dr. Let’s Talk About Fiber

Marlenea La Shomb, N.D., P.Tr.
Nov – Dec 2023 • Vol 4, No 7

Dear Dr. Ma,
I’m reading that I need more fiber in my diet to help with my constipation. But adding fiber makes things more painful and blocked in my gut and colon. What can I do?

Dear Kevin,

I’m basing my answer on Dr. Norman Walker’s life’s work and on his book, “Colon Health, the Key to a Vibrant Life.” He’s considered the grandfather of a healthy colon and gut.

So, when did the abuse of YOUR colon start? It could be from a lifetime of processed foods that did not digest well. It could be from antibiotics and other medications that killed off the microflora in your gut. It could even be from birth, since a premature baby’s gut is not ready for baby formula, as opposed to mother’s milk.

Let’s talk about fiber. If you add fiber to an unhealthy gut, it creates MORE blockage, not less. Think about what the digestive tract does.

It separates the nutrients from your food, and then the fiber that’s left acts as a brushing action to facilitate elimination. In an unhealthy gut, the fiber gets stuck in those pockets of blockage (see illustration) and can’t get through the constricted areas, causing the pain you’re feeling.

What’s the solution? It’s simple. Eat your fruit and juice your vegetables and stay off constipating, man-made, boxed foods. A juicer separates the fiber and the nutrients until your gut heals those constricted areas. Avoid white flour and white sugar—as in macaroni and cheese—as much as possible!

Try whole-foods with natural fiber sources. Lentils and other beans are an easy way to sneak fiber into your diet in soups, stews and salads. Broccoli (lightly steamed) is considered the number-one fiber vegetable. And then there are berries, avocados, popcorn, whole grains, and of course, apples!

Hydration is key. Water and other fluids help fiber work better, so not drinking enough liquids can contribute to harder stools that are more difficult to pass. The rule of thumb is to drink half of your body weight in ounces of pure water per day. Caffeine is a natural diuretic and will dehydrate you, so watch out for those turbo energy drinks!

The original “poop doctors” are Dr. Norman Walker and Dr. Richard Schulze ( Schulze recommends his Formula #1, containing the herb senna, which increases the peristalsis (muscle contractions in your digestive tract) and is excellent for colon health and elimination. His Formula #2 uses bentonite clay, which pulls impacted matter from the walls of the colon. (See Dr. Shulze’s Superfood ad in the PDF version of this article.)

But remember, these formulas can’t do their job if you keep abusing your colon with constipating foods and drinks! What are the worst offenders? Alcohol is frequently mentioned as a likely cause of constipation. Try eliminating gluten, a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, rye, etc. Cut way down on highly-processed grains, milk and dairy products, fried or fast foods, and a lot of red meat. If you love your red meat, be sure to have an en-zyme-rich salad with it, with a simple dressing made of apple-cider vinegar or lemon and a good olive oil. Better still, add sauerkraut, or have a fermented drink like kombucha to help your body break down and digest the meat. Both of these contribute to thriving micro-flora in your gut.

Remember, with a little help, Mother Nature can heal and regenerate your colon and gut health, which is your key to a vibrant life!

I hope this is helpful.
— Dr. Ma!

Send your questions to Dr. Ma La Shomb by email to Marlenea passionately works as a health coach and writer for all who are ready to find harmony and balance in body, mind, and soul through natural therapies and education.