Which Fiber Supplement Is Best
Metamucil has been shown to have more health benefits overall versus Benefiber. In addition to being a fiber supplement, Metamucil is a proven bulk-forming laxative. It also has been shown to reduce heart disease by reducing LDL cholesterol. Its effect on slowing digestion time helps maintain glycemic control and may aid in weight loss.
What Are The Main Differences Between Benefiber And Metamucil
Benefiber is an over-the-counter soluble fiber supplement. The active ingredient in Benefiber is wheat dextrin. Benefiber absorbs water in the intestinal tract. This stimulates peristalsis or the repetitive contraction and relaxation of intestinal muscle. While this process ultimately moves intestinal contents, it slows the transit time through the intestine. Benefiber is available as a powder in packets or bulk packaging as well as oral or chewable tablets. There are sugar-free and gluten-free formulations available as well.
Metamucil is an OTC soluble fiber. Metamucil is made from psyllium husks, which come from seeds of an Indian herb known as Plantago ovata. Metamucil works in the same manner as Benefiber, stimulating peristalsis, and slowing intestinal transit. Metamucil is available as a powder in packets or bulk packaging as well as capsules. Some formulations are also sugar-free and gluten-free.
|Main differences between Benefiber and Metamucil|
Does Increased Fiber Intake Help Ibs
For those with IBS-D , you may be wondering if consuming more fiber will worsen your symptoms by increasing the frequency or urgency of your bowel movements.
Those with IBS-C may have experimented with a high fiber diet and/or a fiber supplement and actually felt worse.
It is not uncommon for health care providers to recommend a high fiber diet as nutrition therapy for IBS prior to the popularity of the low FODMAP diet. Oftentimes this broad stroke recommendation led to excessive FODMAP intake, worsening symptoms, specifically bloating, gas and abdominal pain.
Let me preface, fiber comes in many different forms and its properties greatly affect the function it has within the gut.
All fibers resist digestion, however only some are fermentable and those are more likely to provoke IBS symptoms. There are many gut-friendly fiber-rich foods to choose from that can actually help improve your IBS symptoms if you choose wisely.
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Metamucil May Improve Cholesterol
The Metamucil label says that it can improve peoples cholesterol levels and help them maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This is because it contains psyllium.
A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition tested the effects of Metamucil on 72 people who were overweight or obese. They found that adding this fiber supplement improved cholesterol and insulin levels.
The researchers recommend eating a healthful, fiber-rich diet in addition to taking fiber supplements. It is unclear whether Benefiber would have similar effects.
Is Miralax Or Metamucil More Effective For Constipation
While both Metamucil and Miralax are designed to relieve constipation, they are both fundamentally different products.; Metamucil is a fiber supplement that utilizes psyllium as its dietary fiber source.; Miralax is an osmotic laxative, binding water to the stool for easier passage.;
Metamucil, because it is a fiber supplement, has other purposes and health benefits than Miralax.; For sufferers of chronic constipation, Metamucil is often the starting point.; And if extra fiber doesnt work, then a laxative should come into effect.
Metamucil may not immediately relieve constipation, and in fact, its labeling suggests that for those new to taking Metamucil, to begin with, small doses.;
Taking too much Metamucil at once can lead to these side effects:
- Excess gas
- Digestive issues
For immediate alleviation of constipation, take Miralax.; Miralaxs singular purpose is constipation relief by binding water to stools. Miralax has hundreds of customer reviews to back its effectiveness in ending constipation while taking this product.;
Regardless of which product you take for constipation, make sure that you consult with your doctor beforehand and follow the packaging instructions.; Metamucil should be taken an hour before or after other medications.; Both products should be consumed with plenty of water.
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Can You Take Metamucil In The Morning And Miralax At Night
A combination of Psyllium in the morning and Polyethylene Glycol at the night can be effective in treating severe constipation. A 2012 study concluded that taking the two laxatives can combine the advantages of fibers and isotonic solutions.
However, taking both Metamucil and MiraLAX on a daily basis for a long period is not recommended. This is because Polyethylene glycol is not approved for long-term use.
You can only use this combination for a period of a week or two. Never exceed 2 weeks of this combination without permission from your doctor.
You can use Psyllium alone after the period of two weeks and then use MiraLAX for occasional attacks of severe constipation.
Is Metamucil Rated Better Than Miralax
Amazon is always a good place to start when examining reviews. Filled with honest customer feedback about any and every product imaginable, weeding through Amazon reviews can help you decide between using Metamucil or Miralax.
Miralax was reviewed positively on Amazon, amassing a total of 385 customer reviews and ranking 4.5 stars out of five for its overall rating.; Customers with verified purchases praised Miralaxs ability to solve long-term stomach and intestinal issues like constipation and symptoms brought on by gastrointestinal disorders.
Alternatively, Metamucil received the same overall rank of 4.5 stars out of 5 and followed Miralax closely in the number of customer reviews at 339 for its Orange Smooth formula.; Similarly to Miralax, customer reviews indicated that by daily use of Metamucil, straining during bowel movements was no longer occurring for them, and because of this, constipation was quickly curbed.
With this close tie based on solely Amazon reviews, Miralax pulls ahead, simply due to the number of customer reviews it accumulated.; However, to truly decide on which product received a better rating, it is best to check out at least one more site where both products are sold.
Walmart carries both Metamucil and Miralax.; Metamucil received over 350 customer reviews and a 4 out of 5-star rating. This was far more than Miralax, a product that accumulated only 78 customer reviews.; However, Miralaxs overall star rating was 4.5 out of 5.
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What Helps Constipation In Kids
There are several remedies you can try at home to manage your childs constipation:
How To Use Integrative Therapies And Healing Practices In Ibs
It is especially important to see a conventional medical provider about any change in bowel habits, unexplained weight loss, blood in the stools, increasing pain, or any limitation of your daily activities. The first step in an evaluation is to determine if you have a more serious disorder, such as cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
As always, it is critical to let ALL your healthcare providers know what supplements and medications you are taking.;
It is also critical to identify and monitor your symptoms to determine what treatments and practices actually improve your comfort and daily wellbeing. A common tool is a diet and symptom diary, which can be indispensible for optimizing your care, whether your treatment is conventional care, lifestyle changes, functional medicine, acupuncture, or botanicals and supplements.
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For How Long Should You Take Miralax For Constipation
Use Miralax OTC for constipation occasionally. Dont use MiraLAX on a daily basis for more than one or two weeks without medical permission. Miralax is not approved for long-term use in chronic constipation.
Use Miralax as needed to relieve occasional attacks of severe constipation. If you need a long-term alternative, a bulk-forming fiber laxative such as psyllium is a reasonable alternative. Learn more.
What Are Recommended Lifestyle Changes For Ibs
Diet and Nutrition
Diet is critical to the healthy function of the GI tract and to the reduction of problematic symptoms. An important first step is to identify foods that seem to trigger symptoms. Keeping a food journal can be an effective way to do this.
Dietary habits that may decrease IBS symptoms include:
Exercise regularly. Exercise helps relieve depression and stress, stimulates normal contractions of your intestines and can help you feel better about yourself. If you’ve been inactive, start slowly and gradually increase the amount of time you exercise. If you have other medical problems, check with your doctor before starting an exercise program. But generally, light to moderate exercise is recommended for everyone with IBS.;
Mind-Body Practices and Stress Reduction
Stressfeeling mentally or emotionally tense, troubled, angry, or overwhelmedcan stimulate colon spasms in people with IBS since the colon has many nerves that connect it to the brain.
Stress management is an important part of treatment for IBS. Approaches that can be beneficial are:
- Stress reduction training and relaxation therapies such as meditation
- Hypnosis. Hypnosis may reduce abdominal pain and bloating. A trained professional teaches you how to enter a relaxed state and then guides you in relaxing your abdominal muscles.
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Considerations And Side Effects
If you have constipation, Metamucil can potentially ease your symptoms by softening rather than firming your stools. Potential minor side effects of Metamucil use include slight changes in your normal bowel habits and bloating. More serious potential symptoms include nausea, vomiting, choking, swallowing difficulties, severe stomach pain, skin rash, rectal bleeding and constipation that lasts for extended periods of time. You also can potentially experience allergic reactions that include breathing problems, hives and swelling in your throat, face, tongue or lips. Seek medical assistance immediately if you have an allergic reaction to Metamucil. Contact your doctor if you experience a serious side effect.
Warnings Of Benefiber And Metamucil
It is important to take Benefiber and Metamucil products with adequate amounts of fluid. Taking fiber therapy without adequate fluid intake can lead to esophageal blockage and choking. Do not take these products if you have difficulty swallowing. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing, seek medical attention immediately.
If you experience constipation for more than seven days or if you experience rectal bleeding while taking Benefiber or Metamucil, contact your healthcare provider immediately.
Benefiber and Metamucil powders are gluten-free, though some other products made by these brands may not be. Patients with celiac disease should read the label and consult a healthcare professional to ensure the fiber product they have chosen is safe.
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Ibs
IBS affects each person differently. The symptoms of IBS are often triggered after food consumption and may tend to come and go in different frequency that can last a few days. It will usually improve, but may not disappear completely. During such episodes, whether in adults or children, abdominal discomfort or pain is the main symptom. Some other common signs and symptoms are:
Fiber Supplementation In The Treatment Of Ibs
Physicians usually recommend patients with IBS to increase their intake of dietary fiber to 2035 g daily in order to regulate the stools and reduce abdominal pain and meteorism . Supplementation with long-chain, intermediate viscous, soluble and moderately fermentable dietary fiber such as psyllium improves the global symptoms of IBS . A recent meta-analysis that evaluated dietary fiber supplementation in 14 randomized controlled trials involving 906 patients with IBS found that fiber supplementation was effective in improving global IBS symptoms compared to placebo .
Dietary fiber supplementation seems to be safe , although transient abdominal bloating/distention can occur if it is introduced too rapidly . Recommending fiber supplementation to patients with IBS is also inexpensive while having documented effects on IBS symptoms and other health benefits .
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Is Metamucil Or Miralax Better For Ibs
Irritable Bowel Syndrome is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, with its symptoms affecting 10-15% of adult Americans.; IBS can present itself in mild, moderate, to severe forms.;
Symptoms of IBS range from:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Mucus in stools
- The feeling of incomplete elimination
Some symptoms can occur together depending what type of IBS you have.; IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder and can often last years, or a lifetime, however, symptoms can go through periods of dormancy or variation.;
Sufferers of IBS look to products that can quickly and effectively alleviate inconvenient symptoms, like constipation or diarrhea.; Each individual with IBS is different and may experience different symptoms, and so, unfortunately, there is no end-all formula.
Both Metamucil and Miralax have a laxative effect.; Metamucil uses soluble fiber that dissolves to gel in the intestine to bulk up the stool whereas Miralax uses osmosis to hold water in the stool, softening it and making it easier to pass.
For those with the IBS symptom of constipation, Miralax can provide beneficial relief.; Miralax, unlike a fiber supplement, does not have the common side effects of bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, and excess gas.; These side effects can occur when taking high doses of fiber, and an IBS sufferer would need a high dose of Metamucil for constipation relief.
Coverage And Cost Comparison Of Benefiber Vs Metamucil
Benefiber is an OTC supplement that is not typically covered by commercial or Medicare insurance. Typical retail packaging for Benefiber would be a 248 g bottle, which can cost as much as $21. If your healthcare provider writes a prescription for Benefiber, a coupon from SingleCare can lower the price to less than $15.
Metamucil is also an OTC supplement that is not generally covered by commercial or Medicare insurance. Common packaging would be a box containing 44 dose packets of Metamucil powder. A coupon from SingleCare would make it possible to get Metamucil for around $17 .
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What Causes Ibs Diarrhea
IBS can cause a number of different symptoms, including diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, cramping, and gas. These symptoms can occur individually, together, or alternate. People whose primary IBS symptom is diarrhea a sudden, urgent need to have a bowel movement that results in loose and watery stools have what’s called diarrhea-predominant IBS, or IBS-D.
Doctors don’t understand what causes diarrhea to occur in IBS patients, but some people notice that diarrhea strikes when they feel stressed or anxious. Others notice a pattern of diarrhea following certain foods, like dairy.
“Generally need to see if there are any food triggers that aggravate diarrhea. If dairy products tend to aggravate or trigger their symptoms, they may have associated lactose intolerance, and so dairy products may need to be avoided,” says;Norman Gilinsky, MD, a gastroenterologist and a professor of medicine in the division of digestive diseases at the University of Cincinnati in Ohio.
A growing body of evidence suggests FODMAPs, or fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, may also be culprits. These foods result in an increased volume of liquid and gas in both the small and large intestine, leading to GI distress like abdominal pain, bloating, and gas. Avoiding foods high in FODMAPs can help relieve IBS symptoms.
Foods high in FODMAPs that may trigger IBS include:
Interaction Between Dietary Fiber And The Neuroendocrine System Of The Gastrointestinal Tract
The NES of the gastrointestinal tract comprises gastrointestinal endocrine cells and the enteric nervous system . Various different types of endocrine cells are scattered between the epithelial cells of the mucosa . These endocrine cells constitute approximately 1% of all epithelial cells in the gastrointestinal tract and they have specialized sensors in the form of microvilli that project into the lumen and respond to luminal stimuli by releasing hormones . The distribution, functions and modes of action of the most important gastrointestinal endocrine cells have been described in detail elsewhere . Briefly, each cell type secretes one or more signaling substances into the lamina propria, where these substances act directly on nearby structures , indirectly via an endocrine mode of action , and/or through a synaptic mode of action . The enteric nervous system comprises two plexi: the submucosal plexus and myenteric plexus. The NES regulates several functions of the gastrointestinal tract, including sensation, motility, secretion, absorption, local immune defense and food intake . The components of the NES interact and integrate with each other, the autonomic nervous system, and the afferent and efferent nerve fibers of the central nervous system .
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Different Types Of Ibs
IBS-D is irritable bowel syndrome with diarrhea. The symptoms most bothersome with IBS-D include sudden urges of bowel movements, abdominal pain or discomfort. Intestinal gas, nausea, loose stools, frequent stools and the feeling of being unable to completely empty the bowels are some of the other symptoms.IBS-C is irritable bowel syndrome with constipation. The most bothersome symptoms with IBS-C were reported to be abdominal pain, straining, infrequent stools, bloating and/or gas.Do note that IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease , a more serious condition that causes inflammation in the digestive tract and can result in severe complications. Conditions such as ulcerative colitis, Crohns disease, microscopic colitis and ischemic colitis are other types of bowel disease.As there are no structural problems in the intestines of people who have IBS, and tests are usually normal, it can be frustrating for IBS sufferers. The pain, discomfort and bloating sensations can have a significant impact and be really disruptive to daily routine and lifestyle. Thus, the different causes should be addressed to help relieve such symptoms and psychological impact.
What Are The Conventional Treatments For Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Because it’s not clear what causes irritable bowel syndrome, treatment focuses on the relief of symptoms. In addition, since the triggers for IBS as well as the specific symptoms vary from person to person, the treatment plan must be tailored to each individual.
In most cases, people can cope with mild signs and symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome by learning to manage stress and making changes in diet and lifestyle. These are discussed in the following section. For individuals with moderate or severe IBS symptoms, the following treatments are commonly used:
- Fiber supplements. Taking fiber supplements such as psyllium or methylcellulose with fluids may help control constipation.
- Anti-diarrheal medications. Over-the-counter medications such as loperamide can help control diarrhea.
- Anticholinergic medications. Some people need medications that affect certain activities of the nervous system to relieve painful bowel spasms.
- Antidepressant medications. If your symptoms include pain or depression, your doctor may recommend a tricyclic antidepressant or a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor . These medications help relieve depression as well as inhibit the activity of neurons that control the intestines.
- Counseling. If antidepressant medications don’t work, you may have better results from counseling if stress tends to worsen your symptoms.
Two medications for IBS exist:
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