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Fiber Supplements (Metamucil) Against Constipation

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) belongs to very common and widely-spread disorders. The good news is that unlike other gastrointestinal problems, IBS does not cause any serious changes and damages to the organs or systems of the human organism; but, on the other hand, with diarrhea and constipation as its major symptoms IBS may definitely cause many inconveniences for a patient.

Besides, because of the piquancy of the symptoms, one is unlikely to talk to a doctor about his problem, but rather suffer on his own and seek for some anonymous sources of helpful information.

Surely, internet (and Pillwatch.com as a part of it) is, perhaps, one of the most reliable sources of information, and it is definitely the most anonymous one.

So, it has already been defined that irritable bowel syndrome is not a dangerous health condition and usually does not cause serious health problems. But still, what can one do to relieve IBS life-spoiling symptoms, such as constipation, for example. The answer is simple – in most cases taking fiber supplements may become a ring-buoy for all those, who experience problems with evacuating their bowel.

Let’s get at the root of the constipation (figuratively speaking of course). Scientists say that constipation is caused by a lack of fiber in the food people eat. According to the recommendations of dietitians people should get at least 18 grams of fiber everyday (25-35g per day is an officially recommended dose). But the truth is that we normally get about 12 grams of fiber from our daily foods.

As the result of such fiber deficiency, especially when it gets chronic, constipation is most likely to develop. The key is that fiber is necessary for proper bowel movements. Being the indigestible part of certain foods, fiber forms a bulk of stool or faeces. Thanks to fiber, the remains of the foods after digestion can be moved through the intestines and evacuated from the organism successfully. When there is no enough fiber, the remains “get stuck” in the intestines and a human gets constipation.

To avoid such events development, one should try to get adequate amount of fiber. By the way, diet fiber is not fiber in our usual conception at all…  From the chemical point of view fiber is somewhere similar to carbohydrates, and it contains cellulose, waxes, chitins, etc. But the key is that fiber is not digested. In other words, it passes through the human gastrointestinal tract without being changed or absorbed by our bodies. Its only role is to make it easy for the human digestive system to carry all the food remains out of the human body.

OK, so we need fiber to get rid of constipation, caused by IBS or some other condition. Where do we get this fiber? First of all, fiber can be received by eating plant foods, which are the major sources of fiber. For example, one big apple contains 2.0 g. of fiber, one banana contains 3.4g., prunes – 6.5g. of fiber per 50g, potato – 1g per 100 g, etc. Fiber can also be found in broccoli, peas, corn kernels, rice, brown spaghetti, white and brown bread, bran cereals, etc.

So, as one can see, there are many sources to get fiber. However, if there is still a deficiency of it in the menu, and eating 5-10 apples per day does not seem to be a good idea, one should seek for the alternative sources of fiber, called fiber supplements. One of the products is Metamucil. In fact, there are many other branded products, Konsyl, Citrucel, Benefiber, etc., but Metamucil seems to be the most popular fiber supplement in the USA.

Metamucil is made of seed husk of the plant called psyllium. This is a natural source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, though the soluble type is predominant, and it works like a laxative. The single dose of Metamucil contains 3.4 g of fiber (in Metamucil powder) or 525 mg of fiber (in one Metamucil capsule). So, once the problem is fiber deficiency, Metamucil can definitely be an effective and pretty safe solution for the problem.

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By the way, relieving constipation is not the only benefit of Metamucil. It is clinically proved that Metamucil helps to reduce the risks of heart disorders by lowering cholesterol level in the blood. Those, who suffer from type 2 diabetes may also benefit from taking Metamucil, because this fiber supplement may help keep the blood sugar level up to 20% lower immediately after meal and about 11% lower throughout the day.


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