Psyllium is a popular form of dietary fiber. The seeds of the psyllium plant are especially high in fiber, and their powder makes a great supplement. Increasing your dietary fiber through any means can help fight constipation, as fiber is thought to speed the digestive system and make it easier to process food. Taking psyllium for constipation can be a great way to increase your fiber intake. In fact, many over-the counter-laxatives use psyllium as one of their main ingredients. You can purchase psyllium as a powder from your local health food store.
Do: Follow proper dosages
Generally, it is thought that two teaspoons of psyllium powder a day is an effective dose to reduce constipation. Some people may wish to take this dosage two or three times a day. However, take a small amount first to see how your body reacts. Of course, it is best to consult your doctor for the best dosage information. She can guide you as to how much is needed, and what might be too much.
Do: Take psyllium in the evening
If you have constipation, many experts recommend taking psyllium in the evening. This will promote a bowel movement the following morning. Of course, you can take it several times a day. If you do, however, just be careful to follow proper daily dosages.
Do: Consider finding a fiber based breakfast cereal
Psyllium is one of the main fiber ingredients in breakfast cereals that boast a high fiber content. You may wish to consider finding a cereal with psyllium in it and taking that as a source of psyllium. Since a healthy diet should include plenty of fiber, this can be a long term solution to not only constipation, but other digestive and health issues as well.
Don’t: Take psyllium with insufficient water
For psyllium to be effective at treating constipation, it must be taken with enough water. Insufficient water intake could lead to worsening symptoms of constipation. You should drink four ounces of water for every teaspoon of psyllium you take.
Don’t: Take psyllium at the same time as medications
Because psyllium increases the absorption of water in the digestive tract, it can lead to a reduction in the efficiency of medications. Try taking your medicines two hours before or after taking psyllium. Even better, if you are taking psyllium in the evenings, be sure you’ve taken all your medications earlier in the day, such as in the morning.
Don’t: Continue taking psyllium if you have an adverse reaction
Some people are allergic to psyllium, so you should discontinue use immediately if you have a reaction to the powder. Psyllium does not relieve constipation for everyone, so if it does not improve your symptoms, or makes them worse, discontinue use immediately.
Psyllium is a good source of dietary fiber, which in turn is an effective treatment of digestive disorders and problems, such as constipation. Taking psyllium for constipation can lead to easier and more regular bowel movements. In fact, many over-the-counter treatments of constipation use psyllium as one of their ingredients. Psyllium also can help firm up loose stools, so it is an effective regulator of bowel movements. You can find it as a powdered supplement at your local health food store.