If you’re like most Americans, you’re most likely not getting enough fiber in your diet. A lack of fiber can lead to constipation and other digestive complications. Benefiber is a dietary fiber supplement brand that uses dextrin as its primary ingredient. Dextrin is colorless and odorless and does not thicken foods or beverages. It can be added to food and beverages, can be mixed with water and can be consumed on a daily basis. Bloating is a common side effect of increasing the amount of fiber you ingest daily, according to MedlinePlus. Talk with your doctor if you experience excessive bloating while using Benefiber.
What Is Fiber?
Fiber is the portion of food your body doesn’t digest, adding bulk and softening the stool. Harvard School of Public Health experts say most Americans consume about 15 g of fiber a day, while the recommended dose is between 20 and 35 g daily. Fiber is primarily found in whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. When you don’t get enough of these high-fiber foods you may become constipated, or have a bowel movement fewer than three times in a week. Benefiber is considered a safe supplement to use to maintain the proper daily fiber intake, according to Drugs.com.
Cause of Bloating
Any undigested portion of food you eat eventually enters the colon, also called the large intestine. The colon contains billions of bacteria that interact with the stool before it’s expelled through the anus. When you suddenly increase your amount of daily fiber, you may experience increased gas, bloating and cramps, says MedlinePlus. These symptoms occur because the bacteria need to get accustomed to the increased amount of fiber. Bloating, the feeling of fullness caused by gas trapped in the digestive tract, can cause the stomach to become distended.
Using too much Benefiber can increase your chances of becoming bloated. Follow the instructions on the label unless otherwise directed by your doctor. To avoid complications, do not exceed the recommended dosage. Children under the age of 6 should not use Benefiber. Children 6 to 11 years old can use 1 tsp. of Benefiber powder three times daily. Adults can use 2 tsp. three times daily. Benefiber can be mixed into 4 to 8 oz. of any liquid except for carbonated beverages and can be mixed into soft foods.
If you develop bloating, along with blood in your stool, vomiting, skin rashes or shortness of breath, call your doctor. You may develop an allergic reaction to the supplement, although this is unlikely.