Diverticulitis Support Group

Diverticulitis is a common disease of the bowel, in particular the large intestine. Diverticulitis develops from diverticulosis, which involves the formation of pouches on the outside of the colon. Diverticulitis results if one of these diverticula becomes inflamed. Diverticulitis most often affects middle-aged and elderly persons, though it can strike younger patients as well.

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Taking metamucil/psyllium daily

Hi, Everybody.

I'm writing because I may have suffered my first diverticulitis attack about a month ago. I'm 60, so I'm at an age where this certainly can happen. I say "may have suffered an attack" because I was then, and am now (until next week) in a foreign country. I went to a doctor who helped a lot. I got a sonogram, which didn't show any obvious diverticula, but the symptoms match a classic diverticulitis attack: pretty severe abdominal pain, an infection, fever, and treatment with antibiotics during which time I fasted for the first 3 days to take stress off the colon. All that worked. I feel much better but not really 100 percent back to how I was before (maybe 85 percent).

Since then, I do seem to suffer from occasional constipation why makes me feel as if I am on the edge of possibly another attack(this in a person who NEVER had constipation before), which I've been dealing with by taking Metamucil. Seeds also seem to be hard to deal with (another classic symptom).

My question has to do with Metamucil. This stuff really seems to work for me in helping keep me regular and thus feeling pretty good. So I've been taking it fairly often this past month. Not always every day, but at least every other day.

But I've read varying things about metamucil use. Some sites on the web warn about using it too much (can cause intestinal damage?). Some people on this site and other places seems to indicate that it's perfectly okay to use Metamucil or psyllium regularly as a part of a fiber-rich diet.

So how much Metamucil should I take? Should I try to wean myself off it (I would like to do this), or at least take it no more than once or twice a week.

Any facts about dangers of overusing Metamucil (if there are in fact any?) and how much of this stuff I should use are greatly appreciated.

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

I had two feet of colon removed in 09. I take Miralax daily as prescribed by my doc.
carryall
carryall

I tried Metamucil daily for months. Eventually I got tired of the bloating. I switched to Miralax and there was no bloating, but I was going to the bathroom constantly. Now I just take stool softener daily. So far that works good. All this time if I had a real bad constipation problem I would take milk of magnesia once and then return to taking the other.
Faithfully77
Faithfully77

My mother (71) takes Benefiber. She was diagnosed in September with: Diverticulosis, Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis, Erosive Gastritis, hiatal hernia and Barrett's throat. She was only prescribed Omeprazole for the Barrett's throat and erosive gastritis. They did mention the Benefiber. She started out taking it three times a day. With the UC, I think it made it worse -the bloating and constipation, but it was needed for the Diverticulosis. So she began taking Miralax as suggested at her follow-up visit to "flush" her out. To help with that. She still takes the benefiber, but she only takes it once or twice a day. I'm beginning to think although they recommend it - it really and seriously depends on how your digestive system responds to it. She is due for her 6 month colonoscopy and endoscopy in March. We will keep yall posted on her progress. The realy truth of all our efforts, diet changes and supplements will be known then. Hope this helps and we wish you well.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Psyllium husk fiber is much better than any laxative for maintenance. Just don't take too much. If you are suffering with diverticulitis (as opposed to diverticulosis) it would be better to take only a half teaspoon once a day with a full glass of water and keep drinking plenty of water until the infection is gone. Don't take any laxatives with "itis" and try to maintain your "osis" with moderate psyllium daily or oat bran or a few prunes (etc) every day just to keep things moving. Always drink plenty of water.

When I had "itis" I went on a juice diet. Lots of water and a few different juices (not too acidic) during the day. After my last attack which nearly killed me, I quit eating meat and remained vegetarian ever since (I do eat fish). I really believe this is what saved my life. I didn't have another attack for 14 months at which time I was able to get a resection. Prior to that last attack I had two to three attacks each year for thirteen years.

Your question about too much psyllium or too long? Too much of anything for too long is never good. But psyllium husk fiber is virtually harmless and is best for keeping the colon clean. If you take too much, you will know it (bloating & pressure followed by diarrhea). If you are constipated I wouldn't use psyllium for a laxative. Take a top end enema by drinking a small glass of prune juice or a large glass of apple juice. You might add half a teaspoon psyllium to the apple juice but I wouldn't use more. If you take prune juice, don't get to far away from a restroom because it only takes about 30 minutes to make it's way to the bottom.