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Oatmeal and Constipation: Is it Good or the Cause of It?

Written By
Edibel Quintero, MD
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Gastro
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Sep 7
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There’s a lot of debate among oatmeal lovers on whether or not oatmeal causes constipation or helps keep you regular. We’ve set out to set the record straight on the hot topic question: will oatmeal help your constipation?

Is Oatmeal Good for Constipation?

Oatmeal is a great healthy snack. When you eat oatmeal, you’re getting all kinds of benefits, including lowering your blood sugar levels, lowering your cholesterol, as well as helping you maintain healthy weight loss

And yes! Eating oatmeal can make sure your bowel movements are regular and keep your digestive health up and up.

Let’s take an in-depth look at why oatmeal is great for constipation.

Does Oatmeal Have Fiber? 

Short answer: Yes! Oatmeal is an excellent form of fiber. Long answer: Oatmeal has two forms of fiber: insoluble fiber and soluble fiber.  

oatmeal-with-banana

Soluble fiber

Soluble fiber is the type of fiber that keeps your bowel motions regular. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and aids in the binding of loose stools. It’s an excellent source of fiber to consume if you’re suffering from diarrhea. 

Too much soluble fiber, on the other hand, might cause waste to pass too slowly through your digestive tract. As a result, constipation may occur.

Fiber supplements

Sometimes, oatmeal fiber content isn’t enough to keep you regular. If your digestive problems persist even after adding a healthy helping of oatmeal to your diet, you may want to look into fiber supplements. 

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ColonBroom is a supplement that treats constipation and up your fiber intake. The main ingredient in ColonBroom is psyllium husk, and it is easy to use with just one scoop in a cup of water before or after your meals at least twice a day. 

With ColonBroom, you can prevent constipation, boost your energy, reduce bloating, and help with digestive issues. The best thing about ColonBroom is that it’s not a laxative: it’s a healthy, all-natural supplement that encourages healthier bowel movements. 

Insoluble fiber

Where soluble fiber dissolves in water, insoluble fiber absorbs water. The insoluble fiber in oatmeal makes oatmeal especially good for your digestive system. This fiber adds bulk to your waste, which helps move everything along.

This type of fiber is indigestible, which means that it sits in the gastrointestinal tract and waits for other waste to pass by it to stick them together and absorb excess fluids.

Can Oatmeal Cause Constipation?

Some people insist that eating oatmeal is actually the cause of their constipation. Is it possible? Well, oatmeal doesn’t usually cause constipation. The high insoluble and soluble fiber content of oatmeal keeps you regular.

However, oatmeal might cause constipation if someone isn’t used to eating it. Let’s look at a few situations where oatmeal might cause constipation.

woman-preparing-oatmeal

Dairy intake

Oatmeal is also usually considered a “breakfast” food, and many people eat oatmeal alongside dairy products during breakfast.

Dairy is usually the root cause of many people’s digestive issues, including constipation. When people who aren’t used to eating oatmeal eat a ton of it alongside dairy, they may find themselves more constipated than usual.

Dehydration

Oatmeal can also cause constipation in someone who is dehydrated. Because of how soluble fiber dissolves in water, not having enough water to dissolve it in your body might cause it to harden up. If you’re dehydrated and eating an oatmeal-heavy diet, you might find yourself stopped up. 

Sugar intake

Along with dairy, sugar can be the root cause of constipation. If you’re someone who eats a lot of sugar with your oatmeal, you might find that the sugar intake mitigates the effects of oatmeal’s good fiber.

If you’re getting stopped up while having breakfast or a snack of oatmeal, consider removing the sugar for a few days and see if that helps keep things moving along. 

Why Does Oatmeal Make Me Poop?

As we’ve learned in this article, oatmeal has high amounts of dietary fiber. Fiber helps relieve constipation as well as move your digestive tract along. One cup of raw oatmeal can contain up to 14 grams of fiber

The main form of fiber found in oatmeal is called beta-glucan, and raw oats contain up to 8% of beta-glucan. The breakdown of beta-glucan can stimulate the growth of good gut microbiota.

The growth of this microbiota can improve digestive issues like irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, diarrhea, and constipation. Unlike other fiber-rich foods, oatmeal encourages bowel movements without causing constipation. 

Beta-glucan fiber can also lower your cholesterol levels, protect your body against colon cancer, lower your blood glucose, and even suppress your appetite if you’re looking to lose weight.

A Word From RD

If you’re struggling with constipation, bloating, or other digestive issues, then you may need to look into getting more fiber in your diet. Old fashioned oatmeal is one of the best foods to get instant relief from your constipation. 

Instant oatmeal is a quick and easy way to get constipation relief while also getting all the other health benefits that oats offer. High-fiber foods are good for your digestive health, but it’s always essential to make sure the foods you’re eating don’t stop you up.

All in all, due to its two kinds of fiber, oats are a great way to keep your body regular without overeating.

Conclusion

Is oatmeal good for constipation? After much debate on whether or not oatmeal causes constipation or relieves it: oatmeal is excellent for relieving constipation in most people. However, if you find yourself feeling constipated, you might want to monitor your overall diet.

Dairy, sugar, and dehydration can all lead to constipation if you’re eating a lot of oatmeal.

The two dietary fibers found in oatmeal encourage beneficial bacteria in your gut. Fiber-rich foods are essential to a healthy digestive tract. If you feel constipated, then oats might be the miracle food you’re looking for. 

Written by
Edibel Quintero, MD

Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel's goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.

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