When you have longstanding or chronic diarrhea, such as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, fiber supplements can play a key role in halting the diarrhea.
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According to gastroenterologist Paul McNeely, MD, "fiber can't work miracles, but if you have loose stool or a lot of excess liquid in the stool, the fiber in your colon will absorb and firm up the stool, which helps the diarrhea."
Because many of us don't get enough soluble fiber in our daily diets, adding a fiber supplement can help when you have a bout of diarrhea.
The active ingredient in Citrucel is methylcellulose, which is a bulk-forming agent. Therefore, it can add bulk to your stool, helping to ease diarrhea.
It comes in powder form, and you take it by mixing it into water. The suggestion on the packaging is to start with one tablespoon a day and work up to three tablespoons.
Possible side effects include nausea, vomiting or abdominal cramps, but it is generally well tolerated.
Citrucel Sugar-Free Orange Flavor Fiber Therapy Powder
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $24.01 for 16.9 oz
Inulin, which is the active fiber ingredient in this Amazon brand product, exists naturally in foods like bananas, asparagus and rye. The recommended serving size is three gummies, which will give you 6 grams of fiber.
This product is non-GMO, vegetarian and gluten-free. As with most fiber supplements, gas and bloating are possible side effects.
Revly Inulin Fiber Gummies
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $11.90 for 90 gummies
Polycarbophil, the active ingredient in FiberCon, is also a bulk-forming agent. It can be used to treat acute and chronic diarrhea.
It is most commonly taken in caplet form. It can be taken from one to four times a day, depending on your doctor's recommendation.
Possible effects include bloating, gas, vomiting and upset stomach.
FiberCon Fiber Therapy Caplets
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $14.94 for 140 caplets
Metamucil contains psyllium, another bulking agent. Psyllium absorbs liquid through the intestines, thus enabling watery stool to form bulk.
Metamucil can be purchased as powdered drinks, capsules, granules or wafers.
Side effects may include itching, stomach pain, nausea or vomiting.
Metamucil Fiber Thins, Apple Crisp Flavor
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $29.76 for a 4-pack
Unlike the previous products, UniFiber contains an insoluble fiber: cellulose. It comes as a tasteless, fine powder that can be mixed with drinks such as water or juice. This also acts as a bulking agent.
UniFiber is generally well tolerated, and nausea is the only frequently reported side effect.
Dr. Natura UniFiber Fiber Supplement
Buy it: Amazon.com; Price: $13.93 for 8.4 oz