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Psyllium Husk

Psyllium husk is believed to cure or reduce the effects of many troublesome problems. Researchers believe psyllium relieves constipation, reduces troublesome diarrhea, helps lower blood sugar levels, relieves IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease), helps rid the body of fat by absorbing it and passing it in waste, and may help stem obesity. Used in many bulk laxative products, psyllium is supposedly safe and effective, but some serious problems can develop from using too much.

The Relationship Between Psyllium and Digestion

As with fiber, psyllium cannot be digested by the human body. In addition, it can retain huge amounts of moisture. This property makes psyllium husk popular with men and women of all ages. Ground psyllium powder cannot be digested, either. Instead, the water and husk moves into the bowels where it helps waste matter remain soft and easily passed as stool. This property prevents a person from becoming constipated.

Purported Benefits of Psyllium

Additionally, some individuals persist in believing psyllium husk can help prevent or relieve:

  • Abscesses
  • Boils
  • Bronchitis
  • Cancer
  • Excessive bleeding during menstruation
  • Gallbladder disease (including gallstones)
  • Heart disease
  • Hemorrhoids
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Incontinence
  • Psoriasis
  • Ulcers
  • Urinary tract infections

Scientists have found the bad fats in your blood are readily absorbed by psyllium. Those who regularly use psyllium find their bad cholesterol levels drop. Understandably, doctors are beginning to urge people with high cholesterol to add psyllium to their diets. There is not enough evidence, however, to prove these remaining beliefs one way or the other. Regardless of what you may read in the newspapers or online, you should consult a doctor if you are experiencing any of these conditions or aliments. It’s far better to pay for a doctor visit to find out you’re okay than to delay necessary treatment.

For the most part, psyllium husk is believed to aid digestion. Doctors also recommend psyllium for those who are about to undergo surgery for hemorrhoids. For this reason, many doctors recommend commercial fiber supplements containing psyllium. In most instances, psyllium may not be as safe as believed.

The Controversy About Psyllium Husk

It’s important to realize the longest study of psyllium lasted only six months. No one is certain if side effects may appear after a year or more of use. This makes reports stating psyllium husk is safe seem rather ill advised. No studies on the long-term effects of psyllium have been undertaken. Do not consider any amount of psyllium safe for children without seeking advice from a doctor.

As with anything you consume, it’s important to ask your doctor if psyllium is compatible with any other herbal, prescription, or over-the-counter medications you may be taking. Psyllium can affect the absorption of many drugs. While you may believe you’re taking a full dosage of your medication, you may in fact be absorbing only a small percentage.

Drugs believed to be affected by psyllium husk include:

  • Anticoagulants
  • Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Chitosan
  • Vitamins
  • Minerals

A percentage of people who have used a product containing herbal substances such as Psyllium, Senna, or Cascara sagrada have experienced dangerous allergic reactions. The allergies seem far more common in persons with allergies to grass pollen, melon, and English plantain. The symptoms include skin rash, hives, anaphylaxis, and breathing problems/lack of oxygen. Anaphylaxis can be serious if treatment is not obtained immediately. An epi-pen is the only way to stop the throat tissue from swelling completely closed and thus causing a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Laxatives containing psyllium husk powder can cause complications in people with preexisting bowel problems or previous bowel operations. The psyllium powder can swell and cause blockages within the intestines or bowels. Those who have had prior surgery may be at risk for creating a blockage causing a kink that rips open the surgery scar. These risks occur far more frequently in those who fail to drink the recommended dosage of water, but the risk may well outweigh the benefit.

Those with Parkinson’s Disease should also use caution when using psyllium. Psyllium husk powder has caused blockages in the esophagus of some Parkinson’s patients. Additionally, psyllium can create low blood sugar levels. Those with diabetes or hypoglycemia must take frequent measurements of their blood sugar levels when using psyllium to ensure their blood sugar levels don’t fall too low.

Finally, no test has been performed on pregnant women or animals to see if psyllium powder affects an unborn fetus. Though the government deems that psyllium is safe during pregnancy, you should not put your child at risk until the government tests the product more thoroughly.

Safe Alternative to Psyllium – Organic Supplement

In general, drugs and products the government says are safe may have been tested on an inappropriate or incomplete panel. If you want to clean out compacted fecal matter, try Oxy-Powder® instead. This amazing organic colon cleanser is completely natural, safe to use even for long term, and uses the properties of Magnesium, Germanium-132, and citric acid (found in fruit) to liquefy the matter retained by your bowels. Oxy-Powder® works effectively, efficiently, and – best of all – safely!

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