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Fiber Supplements

A high-fiber diet will help you have soft, regular bowel movements. Having a bowel movement when your body gives you an urge to go is the best time to have a bowel movement. This will minimize problems with hemorrhoids, fissures, itching and other common colon, rectal and anal problems.

A diet high in fiber has about 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. The information below will help you understand how to get that amount of fiber in your diet with supplements.

For information on getting more fiber through food, please see Increasing Fiber Intake.

Precautions

  • Do not take if you have a narrowing in your esophagus or in your intestines
  • If you are a diabetic, avoid the preparations with sugar
  • If you need to watch your sodium intake, avoid the psyllium preparation
  • If you are taking Tetracycline, avoid the polycarbophils
  • If you have phenylketonuria, avoid the preparations with Aspartame
  • If you are taking Coumadin, avoid the preparations with psyllium

Types of Supplements

Citrucel

  • Dose — One tablespoon 1 to 3 times daily.
  • Available forms — Orange flavored, sugar-free
  • Form of fiber — Methylcellulose, powder equals 2 grams per tablespoon

Fiberall

  • Dose — One tablespoon equals 2 grams soluble fiber and 1.5 grams of insoluble fiber.
  • Available forms — Flavors include orange and tropical fruit as well as sugar-free.

FiberCon Caplets

  • Dose — One caplet equals 500 mg of polycarbophil. Take 1 to 4 caplets a day.

Hydrocil Instant

  • Dose — One teaspoon equals 3.5 grams of psyllium
  • Form of fiber — Psyllium

Konsyl

  • Dose — One teaspoon equals 6 grams of psyllium.
  • Form of fiber — Psyllium

Metamucil

  • Dose — One teaspoon or one wafer equals 3 grams of insoluble fiber and 2 grams of soluble fiber. Take up to three times a day.
  • Available forms — Flavored or non-flavored, sweetened or artificially sweetened, regular or smooth. It comes in wafers, including apple crisp and cinnamon spice.
  • Form of fiber — Psyllium

Perdiem

  • Dose — One teaspoon equals 4 grams of psyllium. Take up to 1 to 2 teaspoons four times a day.
  • Available forms — Mint flavored
  • Form of fiber — Psyllium (stimulant)

UniFiber

  • Dose — One tablespoon equals 3 grams of cellulose.
  • Form of fiber — Cellulose

 

Reviewed by health care specialists at UCSF Medical Center.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your doctor any questions or concerns you may have.

Related Information

UCSF Clinics & Centers

Gastroenterology

Center for Colorectal Surgery
2330 Post St., Suite 260
San Francisco, CA 94115-1799
Phone: (415) 885-3606
Fax: (415) 885-7678

Condition Information