I have been having trouble passing bowels. I take colace (stool softener) one in the morning and one at supper time. I also take 2 Tablets of Fiber con at supper also. Eat 1/2 cup of Raisin Bran for breakfast and have a salad and vegetable for supper. Along with some type of fruit, apple, cantelope, etc. every day and lots of water.
But I keep seeing that majority of people seem to take Metamucil. My doctor recommended Metamucil. My question is: is it better to take the powder form or the tablets. And then how much should I take?
And also I see that Wal-Mart has a generic brand for Metamucil called Equate. Will this work the same as the original Metamucil?
Most all the fiber you are intaking is insoluble fiber but you need to be more balanced with soluble fiber.
Fruits, veggies including salads, and bran are all mostly insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber is the insides of grains, and beans & peas. The outside husk and all pealings are totally insoluble and you need both for normal BMs.
Soluble fiber bulks up your stool by absorbing fluid/water.
I like and take psyllium powder (a soluble fiber) put out by Wal Mart-- the Equate brand-- orange flavored sugar free. I like it because the powder form is mixed with fluid like water and is well dispersed.-- it also seems courser (not as fine a powder form) and contains more psyllium per dose than Metamucil. I have seen that Metamucil does produce a courser brand lately but have not tried it.
Some people don't like the powder form because it starts to absorb water immediately and is sorta bloating in the stomach and they like the capsules or tablets that dissolve down their intestines and not in their stomachs.
My wife takes the caps--am &pm-- because the powder bothers her hiatal heria -- producing too much pressure.
Fibercon (calcium polycarbophil) is not broken down or fermented by intestinal bacteria and is considered a synthetic fiber and acts like an insoluble fiber.
i like the tablets best - although, my doctor advised me to take citrucel over metamucil because it causes no excess gas. I take 2 citrucel tablets and two stool softener tablets in the morning and again at night. she also said to get between 25-35 grams of fiber 1/2 water soluable and 1/2 non-water soluable per day. it is a bit hard for me to get that much fiber daily and i have to really keep track and read all the labels. good luck!!
Thanks Harry, Suzer1013 and Badjngle for your suggestions and feedback. I tried Fibercon and didn't like it. I have been taking Citrecel tablets all week, somedays it works better than others. Not real consistent. Now tonight my mother-in-law had me try Benefiber powder. I mixed 1 tbsp. in 8 oz. of water. I was really surprised. Was very smooth and there was no taste to it. So we will see what the results will be. Lol. I was just reading that Benefiber is the only pure soluble fiber. That the rest all have fillers, sweeteners, and other ingredients added to them. I took it a few hours ago, so far no gas or bloatness. So we will see.
Sounds like it is pretty much trial and error to find what works for everyone. It sure is nice to be able to post on here and get responses to people having the same trouble or to hear what works for them.
Do any of you know, can you take a fiber supplement daily for rest of your life? Can you take a stool softener daily for rest of life? Can you take the two together daily for rest of life if needed? My family doctor told me he would rather see me on a fiber supplement than a stool softener, but he never said why.
Stool softners can be toxic with other medications and they can damage your liver so should not be used for long periods~~ Doctors just don't explain the medications and of course everone does not get liver damage---stool softners are a medication that used for a defined purpose--- not forever.
Psyllium is a natural fiber that is mostly a soluble fiber that is boken down by digestion-- ferments and does produce gas when you first start using it but the gas goes away with continued use.
Citrucel is a semisynthetic fiber (methylcellullose) that is not broken down or ferments so of course it will not produce as much gas.
I know that you can take these for life as a soluble fiber supplement -- I have been taking psyllium for 22 years-- long before the internet(1983).
I worked with a person that had explosive diarrhea and Metamucil cured him in 1983-- so I was having diverticular and hemorrhoid problems then and I started it because the container said it was a BOWEL regulator-- and I have not had any more hemorrhoid problems and alot less diverticulitis infections..
Soluble fibers bulk up your stool because it absorbs fluid and sorta acts like a cleaner.
I am not sure about Benefiber-- it is a soluble fiber but it just has not been around that long and I have not used it.
I have found that the Equate brand psyllium from Wal Mart is less costly, and a rounded teaspoon is more of a dose of psyllium fiber than Metamucil and it seems not as fine a powder and It works for me.
I use the Orange flavored --sugar free type but that is the only sugar free thing I ever eat and I only drink water! My wife uses psyllium capsules --am and pm and that works for her-- the powder starts too much immediate bloating for her w/ a hiatal hernia.
I also eat grains like rice and oatmeal daily-- both are mostly souble fiber.
Thank you for all the info; greatly appreciated.
Do you take your Equate brand of Metamucil morning and night and how much do you take? Also how much water do you have to drink a day with taking fiber? And when is the best time of day to take the fiber supplements? Is it best to take on empty stomach before meals, after meals? I would like to get myself regulated where I go in the mornings.
When I was on Fibercon for a month. I thought I was drinking enough water, but guess I wasn't. I was up to 5 to 6 tablets a day of Fibercon and it impacted me. Scared me pretty bad, thought I had a tumor, so much pressure down there. I am assuming that I definately did not drink enough water. And then the doctor had me on a water pill, which I think just complicated the problem. I now have quit taking the water pill. So weird, I used to have the opposite problem and how I have trouble with constipation. Our body sure changes as we get older.
I also take Questran, was taking I scoop daily, but now I am taking it every other day. When I had my gallbladder out 24 years ago, my stomach trouble got really bad with pains, spasms, and loose bm's. After about 5 yrs. of this, doctor put me on Questran, which for me absorbs the bile, stops the spasms of colon and pain. But Questran can be constipating, so I went from 1 scoop daily to 3/4 scoop every other day. If I cut out the Questran completely, then my colon goes into spasms and pain. Have been on Questran for 20 yrs, but only take it regularly about the last 10 years. Was hoping that I could get off of it completely once I get myself regulated with enough daily fiber. But I don't think that is going to happen. But at least I have cut down on the Questran by more than half.
I still feel like I am in my 20's in my mind, but my body doesn't think so. Some people accept getting older, I am still fighting it. Lol.
And chm060878020880 thanks for replying, I have never heard of zelnorm. What is it and what does it do? I am glad that it is working for you.
I take Equate after breakfast and after my evening meal -- a rounded teaspoon. And, I drink at least 6 to 8 glasses of water daily.
Questran is used for bile-salt diarrhea for about 5% of people that have their gallbladder removed -- you just have to find the proper balance. If you are not having any real loose stools after all these years without a Gallbladder -- I would try taking a Calcium/magnesium supplement for muscle spasms and cramping pain. Most cramping and spasms are caused by lack of magnesium in your diet.
An excellent muscle spasm/cramping Homeopathic remedy that acts in about 30 minutes or so is Magnesia Phos -- taken as need-- you can buy at a health food store and take it as needed.
Severe constipation was a problem for many years and the various fibers on the market and diet changes did not work. I had a colonoscopy recently and asked the gastrointerologest what I could do to relieve constipation. He prescribed "Miralax". It has been wonderful being able to go normally again.
I had heard of Miralax powder and the "lax" part of the name told me it was a laxative and I had read laxatives were not wise to take. Found out that Miralax is not a laxitive, it draws water into the stools along the way. Miralax has no taste, thank goodness.
Too bad I suffered from constipation for so many years when there was a simple solution out there that doctors did not bother telling me about.
Sorry to tell you this but MiraLax is a perscription laxative that should not be used more than 2 weeks. It is the osmotic type much like Milk of Magnesia, Magnesia Citrate and Espson salts. It is considered the safest type of laxative. It draws fluid to the colon to make your stools softer. It is a habit forming laxative!!!
It is Polyethylene Glycol the same ingredient that is used in CoLyte and GoLytely used to clean people out for colonoscopy exams.
You mentioned taking Magnesia / Plus. Is this something you take daily and do you know how much to take? I used to have trouble with the loose bm's, spasms and pain for years. But the past few years just the spasms and pain if I don't take the Questran. But I am down to every other day with Questran. You also mentioned Calcium/ Magnesia...do you know how much to take and how often and isn't the calcium also constipating?
The doctor suggested sitz baths after this last surgery and I am facing another fistula surgery since the 1st. one failed. We are going on vacation and we don't have a tub in our RV. I saw on one of the threads, about an alternative with something that I think you put on a toilet that acts as a sitz bath (sort of speak) Harry, do you know anything about such a thing, and what is it called ? We had a chance to put a tub in our RV when we ordered it, and I said, no we don't soak in tubs, we are more shower people. Boy is that coming back to bite me in the _ _ _ ! Lol.
I really want to go on vacation, and we will be gone for 6 weeks, but I also know that I will need to soak after having the surgery.
There are all sorts of magnesium that cause loose stools and some are even used as laxatives-- like Milk of Magnesia ( magnesium Hydroxide), magnesia citrate, Epson salts (magnesium sulfate) and several others.
The amount of magnesium that you need(RDA) is 400 mgms daily and the best type absorbed that I have found is a chelated type that is bonded to a protein amino acid and I only take 200mgms daily. The process is patented by Albion Labs and sold to various mineral/ vitamin manufacturers--- I have not found the least bit of a problem with this type of magnesium or calcium 1000mgms daily(RDA).
The makers that I have used Is Doctor's Best, Solgar, Kal, Carlson and several others.
This form of calcium --- I have not found constipating neither has my wife that takes more than I do.
Since you are fighting aging as a woman, then you really need to take Magnesium, calcium and vit D to prevent osteoporosis as well as other problems. You can take these in divided doses for better absorption.
There is a good web site about the Miracle of Magnesium listed in the Informational ArchIve at the top of this board-- I think it is the last post. It is well worth reading!!
If you are having spasms and cramping pain in your abdoman -- I'll bet it's caused by a lack of magnesium-- it is estimated that 80% of people lack magnesium and it's is in every cell of your body and it is in alot of food we eat-- you also need it for calcium absorption!! YOU CAN NOT Absorb CAL W/O IT...
Another thing is that just one alcoholic drink inceases the magnesium in your urine~~~ 500%. A little known fact --- maybe that is why alot of people lack Mag in their system.
I use an exercise Spa that is about 98 degees -- not a sitz bath. Don't know squat about sitz baths other than a tub.
Blueskys, you can get a sitz bath from most of your usual drug stores. they are anywhere from 13 -20 dollars. i suggest you call first and make sure the have one for you. the sitz bath will do exactly what you are looking for i believe. you fill it up with warm water along with a bag that also comes with it. the bag slowly drains water into the plastic tub and the overflow is released through holes into the commode. you sit there for 15 - 20 minutes. Now, personally i prefer the tub - the sitz bath was uncomfortable for me but it does the job.