Is This Why You're So, Um, Backed Up?
Why it's causing a backup: Taking in your recommended 25 grams of fiber per day (for women 50 and under—51 and up should aim for 21 grams) without drinking enough water is a recipe for constipation. "Fiber absorbs water," explains Elana Maser, MD, an assistant professor of medicine, gastroenterology, and the director of the Women's Gastrointestinal Health Center at Mount Sinai Hospital, in New York. "So if you're dehydrated, that fiber will turn to cement in your bowels. It's like leaving a bowl of cereal with some milk in the sink without rinsing it. You come back a few hours later and the cereal is stuck to the sides, and it's really hard to get off."
How to fix it: Keep your fiber intake where it is, but drink enough water to keep your pee a light yellow color.