What is Dietary Fiber?
There are two types of fiber, insoluble fiber (which doesn’t dissolve in water) and soluble fiber which dissolves in water. Insoluble fiber is responsible for moving food through the digestive system, so this type of fiber can be helpful to those suffering from constipation. In the whole food form, insoluble fiber can be found in bran, whole wheat and vegetables.
Soluble fiber is responsible for regulating blood cholesterol and glucose. This type of fiber can be found in citrus fruits, barley, oat meal and beans.
But many individuals that struggle with digestive issues take a dietary fiber supplement to regulate their system and experience relief.
Fiber Supplements May Provide Long-Term Relief
According to the Mayo Clinic, there isn’t any evidence that chronic use of fiber supplements is harmful. Therefore, individuals with digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic diarrhea or constipation, may benefit from taking fiber supplements.
Benefits of Psyllium
This supplement can help individuals with constipation issues and irritable bowel syndrome. After the fiber breaks down, it turns into good bacteria which effectively treat these issues. Although, some individual that take this supplement experience excess gas.
Benefits of Methylcellulose
This supplement is plant based and has low incident of allergic reactions. It can be used to treat constipation, diarrhea and irritable bowel syndrome. This is a good fiber supplement to use if you experience gas side effects with Psyllium.
Benefits of Polycarbophil
This supplement is also made from plants and assists with softening stool. This fiber supplement has been successful in treating irritable bowel syndrome, diverticulosis and constipation. Individuals taking this supplement also report less gas compared to other fiber supplements.
Don’t Forget to Drink Water
When taking a fiber supplement, it’s important to drink plenty of water to move the supplement through your system.
Be Careful of Medication Interactions
Before taking a fiber supplement, make sure to check with your doctor about drug interactions. These supplements may interact with certain medications. For example, if you have diabetes, taking a fiber supplement can affect the absorption of insulin. You can still take a fiber supplement; your doctor will just need to change your insulin dosage.