Metamucil for IBS?

Article by Sian

Metamucil is often used by people suffering constipation prevalent IBS (IBS-C). It is a natural fiber (psyllium) that absorbs liquid and swells, and makes the stools softer. It stimulates the intestines and encourages the passage of the stool.Many people these days do not eat enough fiber, or simply do not have the time to eat a high fiber diet, which some doctors recommend for IBS sufferers. It must be stressed that every person with IBS is different and what works for one, may not work for another.

It's an easy way of taking soluble fiber and therefore is popular among many people suffering occasional constipation or those who have lived with it for many years as part of the misery of their IBS. It can be bought in powder form and added to water, in capsules or as wafers. The powder form can be sugar free and gluten free, for those with a gluten intolerance, although the wafers do contain gluten.

It can also be used in cases of diarrheal IBS (IBS-D), as it bulks up the stools and makes them firmer, although it is marketed primarily as a treatment for constipation.

Like all laxatives, Metamucil should not be used constantly save under the direction of a doctor, as this can cause damage to the tissues of the muscles and the intestinal nerves, and each person should always read the label or speak to their GP if they have any concerns or any other conditions/diseases associated with IBS, or if it actually exacerbates their symptoms.

The general consensus seems to be that this product is a gentle and effective way of treating constipation-prevalent IBS. There can be side effects, such as stomach cramps when emptying the bowels after taking it; I have experienced it myself.

One may also be more gassy, but those can also be experienced with IBS, and many people believe that it is a small price to pay for treating constipation.

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