Metamucil Side Effects – Heartburn, Gas and Diarrhea!
Fiber supplements are used to promote regularity within the digestive system. Fiber content found in supplements can play a role in both constipation prevention as well as contributing to the normalization of the bowel function. In general, health experts agree that when possible, getting the dietary fiber needed by the body from food sources is always ideal. This is because while a powdered supplement may help provide instant constipation relief in a pinch, there are some side effect and safety concerns to think about. Medication absorption can be decreased with the use of fiber supplements and those taking certain medications like blood thinners and aspirin therapy should definitely consult with a health care provider before use to ensure that supplement usage is safe. Aside from potential interactions with medications, there are also side effects to consider. And, Metamucil side effects, those associated with one of the most popular, most recommended and well known remedies for blocked up bowels, may be surprising to some people.
Metamucil is a powdered product that is made from completely natural psyllium fiber, according to the manufacturer. Each serving yields 3 grams of fiber, and regular use can include up to three of these sized servings each day. The benefits of Metamucil in this regard are plentiful, as the addition of this powdery concoction can help to alleviate constipation, thanks to its bulk forming properties as well as promote general bowel regularity. The product is also useful, according to WebMD, as a part of a diet that is geared towards lowering cholesterol, another added benefit of Metamucil. But, as with all types of medications and supplements, side effects do exist. These must be considered along with the potential benefit of a medication or supplement. Metamucil side effects are typically mild and often go unnoticed. However, they do include some gastrointestinal effects that are worth noting.
Abdominal gas and stomach cramping are the most common side effects associated with taking Metamucil. The abdominal gas that occurs as a result of taking psyllium based bulk laxative products like Metamucil occurs from a bacterial response. As explained by The Mayo Clinic, colon dwelling bacteria can actually cause the fermentation of carbs that did not get digested in the small intestine, and this can create gaseousness. Since the “bulk” of bulking laxative products contain fibers that are not digested in the small intestine, it is easy to see how the fermentation party happening within the colon can result in Metamucil side effects such as excessive gas. This can lead to discomfort in the tummy and create feelings of fullness, pressure and stomach bloating.
Bouts of flatulence are not the only effects encountered by users of psyllium based fiber supplements. While Drugs.com, an independent agency that provides comprehensive information on many commonly used prescription and over the counter medications, notes that common and mild side effects associated with psyllium include bowel habit changes and bloat, some users have indicated that Metamucil side effects may include a worsening of GERD symptoms including acid reflux cough and increased bouts of heartburn. In many cases, it is likely that a perceived worsening of these symptoms however is likely more related to the gassy and bloated symptoms that are well known as being related to Metamucil, instead of their own separate effects, which can certainly have an effect on the tolerance of heartburn symptoms.
Metamucil side effects are also thought to include diarrhea. However, this may be a slight misconception. It is possible that as the psyllium is working to regulate bowels and, proper fluid intake is achieved, that the stools become looser and watery therefore resulting in diarrhea. But, the manufacturer points out that diarrhea is not considered one of the few normally expected Metamucil side effects. In fact, the product is purported to work in the opposite manner, adding firmness and bulk to the stool and alleviating those that are loose and watery. Still, it is not uncommon to encounter an episode or two of diarrhea when treating constipation, particularly depending on the severity of the back up. But, this is not normally something that is caused from using a psyllium fiber supplement like Metamucil.
Metamucil remains one of the most trusted and most doctor recommended products for achieving and maintaining healthy bowel regularity. It is considered incredibly safe, effective and gentle. While there may be some Metamucil side effects to consider and discuss with a health care provider before use, the long term benefits of a well regulated and well maintained colon reach far beyond curing an acute case of constipation.