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Fiber Menace: The Truth About the Leading Role of Fiber in Diet Failure, Constipation, Hemorrhoids, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's Disease, and Colon Cancer Paperback – October 15, 2008
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My training as a physician included many hours of nutrition, but fiber was only mentioned in regards to the effects of a deficiency. Never once did any of my professors consider the possibility that too much of what has always been considered a good thing' could have such harmful or far-reaching consequences. The author's detailed description of the trauma imposed to the gastrointestinal mucosa by the expanding fiber is a vivid reminder that returning to the basics of GI function and logically thinking through what our bodies actually are designed to do with the food we eat, should be the first step on anyone's journey to recovery from digestive disorders. Thanks to the insights in this book I have slowly begun to change my approach to common patient symptoms, which I traditionally would have treated by suggesting increased fiber and more water to correct! So far the results are promising. Dr. John Turner, DC, CCSP, DIBCN --Wise Traditions Newsletter by Weston A. Price foundation
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Before I read the Fiber Menace book, I was unknowingly doing all the harmful things such as using psyllium husk, drinking 3.0 liters of water a day, consuming large amounts of oatmeal, hummus, whole grain bread, high fiber fruits and vegetables, and desperately exercising all in hopes of pooping pain free. I thought I was doing all the right things according to the “experts” and according to all the mainstream advice. With this high fiber high water regimen, I was plagued with hemorrhoids, constipation, anal fissures, bouts of hard stool, bouts of diarrhea, and peeing way too often. I absolutely hated and dreaded going to the bathroom and actually preferred to fast and starve for days off and on just to get some relief from the pain. Back then I easily consumed over 25g of fiber in one meal and probably consumed 40-60g+ of fiber a day and had very painful 1.5 inch diameter stool, ouch!!! As a side note, try buying some powder free latex gloves and measure the diameter of your poop with a tape measure or ruler to see if large poop is causing you damage. Anyways, just one typical meal for me prior to reading the book was 4 pieces of whole grain bread (5g fiber a piece x 4 = 20g fiber of bread), and topped with hummus, peanut butter, or almond butter. That was over 25g of fiber in one meal! Back then, I had no idea that the fiber was increasing the diameter of the stool to such a damaging size! Things were looking bleak and it affected my whole life and I was quite depressed. I searched and searched the web, desperately researching and reading everything I could find on the subject. And there is no shortage of advice on the Internet. The problem was, the mainstream advice kept cramming the notion of eating more fiber and drinking more water. It was repeated everywhere and it was just causing me way too much damage! I know it is difficult to consider going against the mainstream advice of more fiber and more water because it is repeated everywhere. I was actually quite afraid to go off of fiber supplements because when I tried it in the past I would get constipated. I was also afraid of cutting down on water consumption because I had mistakenly thought drinking more water would soften stools but this is NOT the case. It turns out that table salt (5-6 grams a day) and potassium (i end up getting about 3000mg+ a day) will keep the stools soft.
Konstantin’s book armed me with the right information and gave me the confidence to apply that knowledge. There are so many “aha moments” in the book where things just click and make so much sense. Thank goodness I found this book in time. I really hope this review encourages people to try the advice in this book.
I also bought a digital food scale and got in to the habit of weighing, proportioning, and tracking how much fiber, vitamins, minerals, and calories I consume in a day. I recommend one with a “tare” feature which enables a person to place a bowl or plate on the scale and zero it out so you just weigh the food and not the bowl/plate. The tare feature also helps to add food one after the other like adding X grams of rice, pressing tare, then adding X grams of tomato, pressing tare, adding X grams of cucumber and so on.
Good luck and if you are suffering, I hope you get to the point where you actually look forward to eating and pooping and get your life back!
At that moment I realized I had been handed a death sentence. I had been going out of my way to eat foods very high in fiber. I had accepted the notion that fiber was good for the digestion without question. When I told the doctor that I was already eating far more fiber than the recommended amount he shrugged it off and told me to eat even more fiber! If I insisted on lowering my fiber intake I was to take MiraLax prescription if I didn't want to use a fiber supplement.
I went home feeling like my life was ending at age 22. I was in constant pain, no energy and food would pass through me literally undigested when it finally passed at all. Then I discovered this book and put all my faith in a potential snake oil salesmen probably educated on nutrition books mandated by Khrushchv during the rise of the Soviet Union. I felt it was my last hope. Today I can have 2-3 bowel movements every 24 hours thanks in large part to a low fiber diet of eggs, rice, soups, meat, and vrggie/fruit juice. I stil have a lot of one of Monastyrsky's products (Ageless Hydro C) but I haven't even had to use it except after business trips when I've been eating junk food with my coworkers.
It is only the slightest exaggeration to say this book and the author saved my life. If I had listened to that doctor instead of discovering this book, I honestly believe I would have ended up comitting suicide after having at least part of my colon removed. I really did not think I was ever going to be able to run or box or date ever again but I am happily doing all 3 today.
I should also mention that daily vitamins, probiotic pills and vegetable juice have played a large part in my return to normal health (and I do drink hot green tea morning and night even though the author discourages it). My success following Monastyrsky's protocols inspired me to do exptensive research on nutrition, discover Weston A. Price and rethink all the advice I had ever been given by Western medical practitioners.
I am sure there was some irreversible damage done to my colon as the urge to go is never as strong as it used to be when I was a kid but thank you for giving me my life back, Dr. Monastyrsky. If I ever achieve international renown in any field, I will credit you with a large part of my success.
Fiber Menace is an enlightening book about the dangers of fiber, particularly grain fiber, and how it contributes and/or causes many digestive disorders. The negative reviews on this book seem to come from people who are not experiencing digestive trouble in the first place and therefore cannot fathom the harm that can be caused by fiber. For those of us with a history of digestive problems, however, it should come as no surprise that fiber usually exacerbates our symptoms. It seems like common sense that, if the system is malfunctioning, adding more blockages to the intestines may not be a good idea. This book appears to be controversial merely because it suggests that plugging up your guts with irritating, fermentable foods won't heal a damaged GI tract. To me, this should be common sense, but you may need to disregard the myths you've been led to believe about fiber. If you have been experiencing digestive problems, read this book. The author's advice should guide you back to the path of good health.