Psyllium seed husks absorb water in the stomach and form a large mass. This mass stimulates the bowel in people with constipation. In people with diarrhea, it can slow down the bowel and reduce bowel movements. This mass can also reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed into the body.
Blond psyllium is commonly used as a stool softener in people with constipation and hemorrhoids. It is also used for diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. It's used for many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support most of these other uses.
Uses & Effectiveness ?
Likely Effective for
- Heart disease. Blond psyllium is a soluble fiber. Eating foods high in soluble fiber as part of a low-fat, low-cholesterol diet can help prevent heart disease. You must eat at least 7 grams of psyllium husk daily to reduce the risk for heart disease.
- High levels of cholesterol or other fats (lipids) in the blood (hyperlipidemia). Taking blond psyllium by mouth reduces low density lipoprotein (LDL or "bad") cholesterol in people with mild to moderate high cholesterol. But it seems to be less effective in older people.
Possibly Effective for
- Diabetes. Taking blond psyllium by mouth can improve blood sugar control in people with diabetes. But it's not clear if it helps prevent diabetes.
- Diarrhea. Taking blond psyllium by mouth seems to reduce diarrhea symptoms.
- Hemorrhoids. Taking blond psyllium by mouth seems to relieve bleeding and pain in people with hemorrhoids.
- A long-term disorder of the large intestines that causes stomach pain (irritable bowel syndrome or IBS). Taking blond psyllium by mouth can relieve constipation and improve stomach pain, diarrhea, and overall well-being in people with IBS. It might take up to four weeks for it to help.
- Treating side effects of a drug called Orlistat (Xenical, Alli). Taking blond psyllium by mouth with each dose of orlistat seems to relieve orlistat side effects such as gas, stomach rumbling, stomach cramps, and oily spotting.
Possibly Ineffective for
- Non-cancerous growths in the large intestine and rectum (colorectal adenoma). Taking blond psyllium by mouth doesn't seem to reduce the risk of colorectal adenoma.
Blond psyllium is likely unsafe when taken without enough fluids. It might cause choking or block the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
When applied into the eye: Blond psyllium mucilage in eyedrops is possibly safe for most people.
When applied to the skin: There isn't enough reliable information to know if blond psyllium is safe or what the side effects might be.
Special Precautions and Warnings
Growths in the large intestine and rectum (colorectal adenoma): Blond psyllium might increase the risk of new growths in people with a history of colorectal adenoma. People who have had this condition should avoid blond psyllium.
Gastrointestinal (GI) disorders: Don't use blond psyllium if you tend to develop hard stools in the rectum due to GI tract narrowing, obstruction, or conditions that can lead to obstruction, such as spastic bowel.
Allergy: Some people can have severe allergic reactions to blond psyllium. This is more likely in people who have been exposed to blond psyllium at work. Don't use blond psyllium if you are sensitive to it.
Phenylketonuria: Some blond psyllium preparations are sweetened with aspartame and should be avoided in patients with phenylketonuria.
Swallowing disorders: Do not use blond psyllium if you have problems swallowing. Blond psyllium might increase your risk of choking.
Carbamazepine (Tegretol) interacts with BLOND PSYLLIUM
Blond psyllium contains large amounts of fiber. Fiber can decrease how much carbamazepine (Tegretol) the body absorbs. By decreasing how much carbamazepine (Tegretol) the body absorbs blond psyllium might decrease the effectiveness of carbamazepine (Tegretol).
Lithium interacts with BLOND PSYLLIUM
Blond psyllium contains large amounts of fiber. Fiber can decrease how much lithium the body absorbs. Taking lithium along with blond psyllium might decrease the effectiveness of lithium. To avoid his interaction take blond psyllium at least one hour after lithium.
Medications for diabetes (Antidiabetes drugs) interacts with BLOND PSYLLIUM
Blond psyllium might decrease blood sugar by decreasing the absorption of sugars from food. Diabetes medications are also used to lower blood sugar. Taking blond psyllium with diabetes medications might cause your blood sugar to be too low. Monitor your blood sugar closely. The dose of your diabetes medication might need to be changed.
Some medications used for diabetes include glimepiride (Amaryl), glyburide (DiaBeta, Glynase PresTab, Micronase), insulin, pioglitazone (Actos), rosiglitazone (Avandia), chlorpropamide (Diabinese), glipizide (Glucotrol), tolbutamide (Orinase), and others.
Warfarin (Coumadin) interacts with BLOND PSYLLIUM
Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting. Some people worry that blond psyllium may decrease warfarin (Coumadin) absorption and its effectiveness, which could increase the risk of clotting. But blond psyllium does NOT seem to affect warfarin (Coumadin) absorption or effectiveness.
Be cautious with this combination
Digoxin (Lanoxin) interacts with BLOND PSYLLIUM
Blond psyllium is high in fiber. Fiber can decrease the absorption and decrease the effectiveness of digoxin (Lanoxin). As a general rule, any medications taken by mouth should be taken one hour before or four hours after black psyllium to prevent this interaction.
Ethinyl estradiol interacts with BLOND PSYLLIUM
Ethinyl estradiol is a form of estrogen that's in some estrogen products and birth control pills. Some people worry that psyllium can decrease how much ethinyl estradiol the body absorbs. But it is unlikely that psyllium will significantly affect ethinyl estradiol absorption.
Be watchful with this combination
Blond psyllium is available in many different types of products, including cereals, breads, and snack bars. Metamucil is a well-studied, commonly used brand of blond psyllium. Speak with a healthcare provider to find out what type of product and dose might be best for a specific condition.
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