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Fiber One, Distended Abdomen & Back Pain

By Jeanne Troncao, MS, LMT

Diet and nutrition professionals recommend increasing the fiber in your diet, if you're not getting enough already. Fiber One is a line of General Foods cereals that are high in fiber. While eating Fiber One cereals has health benefits, it may also have some side effects, including abdominal bloating and back pain.


Fiber -- both soluble and insoluble -- is essential for good digestion. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, while insoluble fiber does not. Insoluble fiber facilitates the passage of foods through the digestive tract. Soluble fiber slows digestion. Fiber can relieve constipation, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, hemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel disease and diverticulitis. In addition, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer may be relieved or reduced by consuming fiber. Sources of fiber include fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Fiber One has insoluble fiber.

Intestinal Gas

Intestinal gas is a natural and normal part of digestion. Gas is a byproduct of carbohydrate digestion in the colon. Fiber digestion is a primary cause of intestinal gas. Buildup of intestinal gas can cause the abdomen to distend.

Gas and Pain

Intestinal gas exits the colon in the form of flatulence. When gas does not exit the body, it remains in the colon and can cause pressure, distension -- or bloating -- and pain in the lower abdomen. Abdominal bloating can cause tension in the muscles of the low back, which can be painful. This is usually not a major concern, but if your abdominal or low back pain persists or intensifies, consult your physician.


There are some things you can do to control intestinal gas caused by eating Fiber One and other high-fiber foods. Chew your food thoroughly. Add Fiber One to your diet slowly. Eat smaller meals. Drink water throughout the day, including when you have your cereal. Use over-the-counter anti-gas products. Consult a doctor if symptoms worsen or persist.

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