Around twelve percent of the world's population suffers from some level of constipation.
While many people think this is only an uncomfortable inconvenience, constipation can have severe adverse effects on your health. Haemorrhoids, compaction, and rectal prolapse are only a few complications of ongoing constipation.
One way to relieve constipation and regulate digestion is by using psyllium husk powder. But what is psyllium husk powder, and how does it work? Continue reading to find out.
What Is Psyllium Husk Powder?
Psyllium husk powder is a water-soluble plant fibre that has prebiotic effects. These effects can help ease the symptoms of many digestive conditions. It does this by encouraging healthy, regular bowel movements.
How Does It Work?
When psyllium husk powder is ingested, it travels through the stomach and into the intestines. Once it enters the intestines, the powder forms a viscous gel that helps bulk up the stool and bind it together. In turn, this helps move digestion along so people can eliminate their bowels in a reasonable period.
Psyllium Husk Powder Works Best for This
Whether psyllium husk powder is the answer to your digestive woes depends on the root issue. This powder works best for constipation or irregular bowel movements. If your digestive issues are causing diarrhoea or loose stools, this powder will make it worse.
Many digestive conditions can cause constipation. This includes dysbiosis, irritable bowel syndrome, and diverticulitis. It can also include varying forms of intestinal parasites.
Constipation Isn't Always Obvious
It's crucial to note constipation isn't always as obvious as not being able to use the bathroom for days at a time. Some people suffer from mild but chronic constipation and don't even realize it.
If you aren't eliminating your stool at least once a day, this is a sign you suffer from mild, ongoing constipation. Going to the bathroom every other day isn't healthy. Twice a day is ideal.
If you are chronically gassy or your stomach is often distended, these are signs your food isn't digesting properly. Slow digestion often leads to a very gradual elimination of the bowels and, thus, means you're constipated. In these situations, psyllium husk powder is ideal.
A Word of Caution
In most cases, psyllium husk powder is a safe method of regulating bowel movements. Like all supplements, there are a few things to keep in mind before taking it.
There Might Be Mild Side Effects
Taking too much psyllium husk powder means you're likely to suffer some uncomfortable side effects. If this occurs, you'll want to decrease the dosage amount. If side effects are severe, you may want to stop and seek professional advice.
Common side effects of taking too much psyllium husk powder include:
- Bloating or a feeling of excessive fullness
- Gas or gas bubbles (rumbles inside the stomach or intestines)
- General abdominal discomfort
- Cramping in the abdominal region
These symptoms can usually be lessened by lowering the dosage. It's also important to note frequent stools are common when you first begin the supplement. Another essential tip is talked about in-depth below.
You'll Need to Drink More Water
Water is an essential part of the human diet. Unfortunately, many people aren't getting enough to begin with. When taking psyllium husk powder or any other digestive aid, it becomes even more important to drink enough water.
Drinking enough water will lessen the risks of side effects. It can also help decrease side effects when paired with a lower dosage.
But how much water should you be drinking? It isn't the eight cups a day most people believe but is instead unique to each individual.
The general scientific recommendation begins at thirteen cups for an average, healthy adult male. The suggestion is nine cups for an average, healthy adult female.
You should add at least one cup if you exercise or live in excessively hot or cold regions. Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should increase their water intake.
Anyone who takes a supplement like psyllium husk powder should also add at least one extra cup of water to their daily routine. This ensures your body has the water it will need to help the powder safely and thoroughly eliminate your bowels.
Don't Take Close to Other Medications or Supplements
If you're taking any other supplements or medications, you don't want to take psyllium husk powder too closely to them. This is because the powder has a binding effect that can reduce the potency of other supplements.
It's recommended to wait at least two hours between taking psyllium husk powder and any other medications or supplements.
How to Use for Improved Digestion
Begin by taking one teaspoon of psyllium husk powder in the morning. It should be mixed into eight ounces of liquid, such as water or juice. Follow this with an extra eight ounces of water.
At the end of the first week, add another teaspoon, so you're taking two in a glass of liquid each morning. At the end of the second week, add a final teaspoon, so you're taking three teaspoons in a glass of liquid each morning.
If you have a sensitive stomach, you can postpone increasing your dose. For individuals with sensitive stomachs, you can add the second teaspoon after two weeks and the third teaspoon after four weeks.
Do You Have More Questions About Psyllium Husk Powder?
Psyllium husk powder improves gut health by alleviating constipation. Although there can be some side effects, it is generally a safe digestive aid for most people.
Do you have more questions about psyllium husk powder or how it works? Contact us today. One of our associates would be happy to answer any questions you still have.
Or, you can check out our other blog posts for more useful information.