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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is an embarassing question but here goes: I've noticed since I became vegetarian and started taking mega doses of iron (advised by my doctor) that I'm having more bowel movements. Is this a problem? Would fiber help or is it used to relieve constipation? Thanks everyone.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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I think more fibre would only make it worse. It loosens the bowels.... I've heard cheese can stop things up, but if you're vegan that won't work.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D"> I've had to ask a lot of embarrassing questions since becoming a veg*n. Anyway, I'm not a doctor, but I have a question/comment about the iron supplements. Are the supplements because of some other medical condition you have, or are they simply precautionary on your Doctor's part because you became a vegetarian? I ask because if there's a medical reason, they certainly keep taking them, but just switching to a vegetarian diet doesn't necessitate iron supplements. There is plenty of iron-rich vegetarian food. Just asking - as I said, I'm no doctor. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)"><br><br><br><br>
That said, I also noticed increased bowel movements when I became a vegetarian, and then subsequently a vegan. I attribute it to the increased amount of fruits and vegetables (fiber) that I was consuming. Beans, especially, had a "cleansing" effect<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/inquisitive.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":stinkeye:"><br><br><br><br>
I'd wait a bit and see if it works itself out, before being too worried about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The iron supplements are because my iron levels as an omni were dangerously low. I'm getting my re-blood retested to see if there has been a difference. My diet as a vegetarian is pretty rich in iron so I'll slowly go off the pills. I am eating a lot of vegetable and fruits which do have a cleansing effect so that's good but not to be graphic or rude but the stools are quite loose but also quite smelly.
 

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I think it's normal to have softer stools, once you become a veg.<br><br>
My husband was often constipated, so he looks at it as a positive change.<br><br>
With our family, I would say that is has less of an odor now, too.<br><br>
I know nothing about what affect the iron would have on the "process" though.<br><br>
I have read that fiber can help with diarrhea or constipation, so it could help you. I would suggest that you talk to your doctor.<br><br><br><br><br><br>
 

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AuroraLily;<br><br>
I'm surprised to hear that iron causes you to have more bowel movements because when my wife takes iron it seems to cause constipation. She has to eat more fiber to compensate for it. I read that iron sometimes has that affect on people.<br><br><br><br>
How often do you have bowel movements (if do don't mind my asking). Actually, it's healthy to have bowel movements at least once a day. And when people become vegetarian and eat more plant foods they usually have more bowel movements.<br><br><br><br>
Did you become vegetarian and start taking iron at the same time? If so, increased bowel movements may be the result of your becoming vegetarian.<br><br><br><br>
The absorption of plant iron is lower than iron from meat but it can be improved (by quite a lot) by consuming vitamin C along with the plant iron.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can't believe that I'm having a discussion about my bowel movements but this is really helping me. I'm having about 4 a day with most in the mornings. When i first started taking the iron, it had quite a constipating effect on me but I also became vegetarian around the same time too so I guess all those fruits and veggies counteracted the constipation. The stools were also quite tar-like which I heard was normal from the iron pills although quite upsetting before I knew that piece of info! I've increased my vitamin C to increase the absorption of iron and I don't take calcium or tea when I take my iron pill. I'm also drinking a lot of water and I'm wondering if that has a lot to do with it.
 

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Soluble fiber, such as psyllium husks, will "regulate" your bowel movements. In other words, if you're too loose, it will firm things up, and if you're constipated it will loosen you up, so to speak. I take psyllium veg caps every morning and evening because I have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is completely natural, pure fiber. You can also buy it in non-capsule form, but I don't like to drink a large glass of psyllium-water. Instead I take the caps with a large amount of water. Flax seed meal is also a good source of soluble fiber. Different grains, fruits and veggies have varying levels of soluble and insoluble fiber. Drinking a lot of water is essential when eating lots of fiber. If you eat a lot of fiber and don't drink a lot of water, you can get constipated. Getting a lot of fiber in your diet is also good for your heart because it lowers cholesterol, which is a nice side benefit.<br><br><br><br>
And don't worry about being embarrassed discussing your bowel movements. Those of us with a history of digestive difficulties get used to it.
 

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Hey everyone. I've only heard that iron actually causes constipation. Thats so interesting! A vegetarian diet definitely causes more bowel movements, no doubt about it. And for some reason, it is widely acknowledged that a vegetarian diet causes less odor....you may be getting rid of a lot of old meat stuff that collected in your colon. Meat really does that to you, I've been told.
 

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Frequency of bowel movements shouldn't worry you (unless you aren't having at least one a day). The "firmness" is the question. Stool should be solid, not loose, and not extremely hard. As long as you're not constipated or experiencing diarrhea then all should be well.<br><br><br><br>
Fiber regulates movements, allowing them to happen more frequently if you're constipated and firming them up if they're too loose.<br><br><br><br>
Most vegans and even vegetarians have more frequent and healthful bowel movements than omnis. Sorry for the graphic nature, but heck, we're all big folks, right?<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 

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You should look for this product called "Lax" ... it does the exact opposite of "Ex-Lax"<br><br><br><br><br><br>
hehehhe ..sorry , I couldn't resist <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/grin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":D">
 

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My mom has diverticulitis..it's an illness of the colon mostly brought on by not enough fiber in the diet over a certain length of time. Did you know that the average person should have at least 20-35 grams of fiber a day to maintain a healthy colon? I've found this very hard to do through simply eating foods. Like, a bowl of oatmeal has 3 grams where an apple has one. Most of your fruits and veggies have anywhere between 1 and 4....1 being the most common. Ugh..that's alot of eating to even get up to 20 grams.<br><br><br><br>
Anyhow, I agree that frequency shouldn't be as much of a concern as consistency. Firm, but not too hard. Watch the color to. As long as you are going at least once a day and you don't have major stomach cramps I wouldn't worry. Definitely talk with your doc the next time you see him/her.
 

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WHAT I NOTICED is that i used to have smelly bowel movements when i used to eat meat etc. now that i am a vegetarian, the problem disappeared (along with the smelly gas)
 

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Before going vegan, i used to poo about every 3 days! Now as vegan eating tons of beans, fruit, whole grains, and veggies i poo 1-3 times per day!! I love it and feel so much healthier. I love feeling light not all constipated and heavy ..does that make sense? And my poos are much softer too. I think it's probably much healthier.<br><br>
Yuck, i hate talking about poo ..lol <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/images/smilies/smiley.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title=":)">
 
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