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Sudden Flatulence, Diarrhea and High Fiber

By Diane Marks

Sudden flatulence and diarrhea are two of most common symptoms associated with eating a high fiber diet. Eating large amounts of soluble fiber can cause excessive gas and common flatulence. If you suddenly develop theses symptoms, you may attempt to reduce the amount of fiber you’re currently eating and slowly increase it over a period of a few days. MedlinePlus states that the average adult is recommended to ingest between 20 and 35 grams a day, while most Americans only consume between 10 and 15 mg.

Sudden Flatulence

Sudden flatulence is a common occurrence when you eat high-fiber foods or if you’re using fiber supplements. Gas forms from either swallowing too much air or from bacterial interactions in your intestines. Tiny amounts of air enter your digestive system when you eat, but if you swallow too much air you may develop stomach pain, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Most of this type of gas is expelled through belching. The bacteria in your colon may not be accustomed to the amount of fiber you’re ingesting, which will result in excessive amounts of gas.


Diarrhea is a symptom in which you pass watery, loose stools frequently. If you suddenly increase your fiber intake, you can develop diarrhea for a short period of time. Diarrhea is a common symptom that may be associated with various conditions. If you notice that your diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days, call your doctor. Soluble fiber helps add bulk to your stool and promotes regular bowel movements. Eating high-fiber foods, such as beans, peas, whole grains and lentils, can cause a bout of sudden flatulence and diarrhea.

High Fiber Diet

Dietary fiber is the part of a plant-based food that is indigestible. Soluble fiber is water soluble, meaning it absorbs water in the digestive system and is the type of fiber that causes the most gas. Insoluble fiber does not absorb water during digestion and helps regulate your bowel movements. The Mayo Clinic identifies some of the most common high-fiber foods, including raspberries, apples, bananas, figs, bran flakes, oat bran, pasta, oatmeal, popcorn, split peas, lima beans, almonds, pecans, broccoli, artichokes and sweet corn.


Some fiber supplements, such as psyllium husk or flax seeds, may contain high amounts of fiber. Natural laxatives are not intended for long-term use. If you develop any adverse reactions while using natural laxatives, call your doctor for an assessment.

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