Fibre’s role in the body is to assist in the timely expulsion of waste matter from the bowel. If this waste matter stays put for too long, the body starts to reabsorb the antigens and toxins from the bowel bacteria through the gut wall.
One of the easiest ways to tell if you are getting enough fibre is to inspect your stools. Sounds most unsavoury, I know, but all you need to do is see whether they float or sink in the toilet. If they are floating you are getting enough fibre, if they sink you are not.
The reason a good cancer diet will address the need for good elimination is that as the body fights the cancer it produces even more waste matter. This puts a very heavy load on the elimination systems. If the bowels are clogged up as well, then the body struggles under a highly toxic load. This in turn takes much needed resources away from healing functions. Of course, if the patient is also having chemotherapy treatment, good elimination is even more crucial, and any specialist cancer centre will tell you this.
In a well-managed cancer diet, there will already be a good proportion of raw foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. These raw foods are one of the best sources of natural dietary fibre.
Other much touted remedies such as psyllium husks can be very helpful, but it is preferable to get your fibre directly from your foods, which also contain other elements such as enzymes that help digestion.
Water is also absolutely critical for good bowel function, assisting in the flushing of the bulk material and the toxins that accumulate there. Absolutely no point in upping the fibre content then depriving the body of water so that it all becomes a big plug!
Many medications can cause constipation so be on the lookout for this side effect when starting any new ones. Also, high levels of calcium and low thyroid hormones can play havoc, so if you continue having constipation after increasing your fibre and water content, make a beeline for your doctor. Constipation has far too many negative side-effects to allow it to continue too long.
Just a quick PS – every cancer diet should include pears, as they are full of fibre, water and highly nutritious to boot. If you are constipated, a full ripe pear on an empty stomach first thing in the morning followed by a glass of water has a very good chance of doing the trick!