Increasing Fibre in More Ways than One
Adding bulking agents to the diet, such as soluble and insoluble fibre, can help to bulk up and soften stools, allowing for easier transit through the bowel. It is important to have at least 30 grams of fibre daily from whole meal breads and cereals, vegetables and fruits. However, sometimes there is a need for extra fibre sources. There are many products available, and some work better than others in particular conditions. It is unwise to rely on laxatives and colonic irrigation, as these can lead to a lazy bowel and weaken the muscle tone of the bowel.
Your Dietitian can help you work out which fibre additive is best for your individual condition, and how much and how often you should take it.
Unprocessed Wheat Bran
Natural unprocessed bran is an inexpensive way to add fibre to the diet. It is also low in kilojoules, so great for those watching their weight.
This is a natural fibre source derived from the plantago ovato seed available in supermarkets and health food stores. It is easy to use, and virtually tasteless.
This is a commercial product made from psyllium husks. It has a pleasant taste, but contains sugar, so is higher in kilojoules. It is also a fairly expensive option. Purchase at the chemist.
This commercial product comes in easy to use sachets and contains minimal kilojoules. It is not recommended for children under 12 or those on a salt restricted diet, unless under Doctor’s supervision. Purchase at the chemist.
This product is made from partially hydrolyzed guar gum. It’s action is to ferment in the large bowel, so may cause some initial wind and bloating. It is available in the supermarket.
These granules contain a natural fibre product that does not produce flatulence and ‘wind’. Purchase from the chemist.
This is a blend of fibres, consisting of soy, inulin, resistant starch, Arabic gum, oligo-fructose and cellulose. It is made by Nutricia and available through chemists. It is both Lactose and Gluten Free.
This product is made by Metamucil and is an inulin based bulking fibre. It may cause wind and bloating initially. Purchase from the chemist.
Other Bowel Regulating Agents
This product is made from a vegetable gum and Frangula bark, a bowel stimulant. It can absorb up to 60 times its own volume of water. Must be used as directed.
This is a bowel regulating agent. It contains a bulking agent and a bowel stimulant. It enhances the peristaltic movement of the bowel.
This is Magnesuim Sulphate, and can be used safely for severe, long term constipation. Discuss with your dietitian before taking long term.
This is a stool softener that does not have the long term side effects of laxatives. Coloxyl with senna is not recommended.
This product is made from Macrogol (a sugar alcohol), sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and potassium chloride. It is a stool softener and is artificially sweetened.
These contain lactulose which has a laxative effect. They should be avoided by people with Lactose intolerance.
Added to site on : Monday, 24 May 2010