Irritable Bowel Syndrome/ibs with constipation


For several years I have been battling ibs with constipation.  It is unusual to have a bowel movement that does not first involve stomach cramps. The cramping typically lasts an hour to three before having a small bowel movement, then another series of cramping followed by diarrhea.  Ive tried probiotics which really seemed to help, but over the past year they're not seeming to work anymore? Ive tried stool softeners, no relief.  I was drinking green smoothies for a few months with wheat germ and flaxseed, that seemed to work too well and I experienced too frequent movements. I cut back the smoothies to a couple times a week and the constipation symptoms returned.  Its very hard to find a happy medium. Others in my family experience the need to go to the restroom immediately after eating, I am actually  I'll have to go, but I know I will endure at least an hour of gruelling cramps before any relief. I wouldnlove to get some suggestions that are realistic to maintain in my everyday life, ease the abdominal pain and promote regularity without "overdoing" it. Thanks in advance!

Hi Shasta - I think you're on the right track with both the probiotics and your smoothies. My guess is that the smoothies just overdid it with insoluble fiber, and you need more soluble fiber.

Check here and here for details about the differences.

You do need both, but make sure soluble fiber is your foundation, so you can safely add in the insoluble fiber that you need.

And try a different brand of probiotics, with different strains of bacteria. Some folks just need to get a variety in order to have the best results - find a few that work best for you and just rotate between them.


Irritable Bowel Syndrome

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Heather Van Vorous


I can address questions regarding diet, cooking, recipes, and non-pharmaceutical supplements (soluble fiber, herbal, probiotics, etc.) for IBS. I can supply information sources about diagnostic guidelines, symptoms, and the medical pathology of IBS, but I cannot give a diagnosis or analyze test results a patient has obtained. I would prefer not to answer questions about prescription drugs and diagnostic tests. PLEASE DO NOT TELL ME YOUR SYMPTOMS AND THEN ASK ME TO DIAGNOSE YOU!


I'm the founder and CEO of, an organization dedicated to serving people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. My goal is to offer education, support, and help that allows people with IBS to successfully manage their symptoms through lifestyle modifications.

I'm the author of Eating for IBS, the only explicit dietary guide and cookbook for people with bowel disorders. Eating for IBS then led to my second book, The First Year: IBS, a comprehensive view of the disorder and every way to successfully manage it. Together, these works have become the two best-selling, best-reviewed IBS books in America.

My writing has led to an ongoing Canadian clinical research study of the groundbreaking dietary guidelines for Irritable Bowel Syndrome in Eating for IBS; this work also led to my inclusion in the 4th edition of Who's Who in Medicine and Healthcare. Today's Dietitian has featured my IBS dietary guidelines, and my work has reached gastroenterologists and internists. I'm the author of "Heather's IBS Newsletter", which is free to subscribers and is published twice monthly. As a result, I've become recognized as the foremost patient-expert on IBS in America. I've personally had IBS since age 9.

I now teach classes on managing IBS through lifestyle modifications, I developed the Heather's Tummy Care line of organic medical foods for the dietary management of IBS, and I'm planning to work with corporate HR departments to offer employee IBS education programs. I host Heather Cooks!, the Seattle television cooking show for good digestive health, which is now available on DVD and also on the HelpForIBS YouTube Channel.

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