Sharon (Ann Arbor, MI) on 03/05/2008: Due to multiple food and gluten allergies, I've had a history of both constipation, and more recently chronic diarrhea. Psyllium capsules taken at night with a full glass of water, or between meals with a full glass of water has been a lifesaver. I find starting with 2 capsules a day of psyllium husk, then working up gradually by adding 1 or 2 capsules a day to a total of about 10 taken in divided doses of 2 or 3 at a time between meals with lots of water gives no symptoms of gas, bloating, or bad breath. After a week or two of this I usually back off to a small maintenaince dose of 3 capsules, which is about 2 grams of total additional fiber a day.
Unexpected side effects for me included the complete relief of menopausal type hormone flucuations and hot flashes because of the fact that the fiber binds to excess hormones like estrogen and escorts them safely out of the system before they can have side effects. For this reason I would recommend it to anyone who was suffering from hormone related cancers including prostate. It may also help in chemo therapy to bind to the toxins of the drugs that are used and to help remove dead cancer cells from the body. Also pysllium can be a lifesaver when a bout of food poisoning or flu occurs because it binds with the toxins that are the byproduct of the offending bad virus or bacterias. For ANY use of pysllium husks , make sure that after your body becomes healthy and regular, see if you can't wean down on the number of capsules you take by substituting high amounts of quality fruit and vegtables into your diet, then let your body have a complete pysllium break and see how you do. You may have fixed the problem. For some of us who are allergic to many grains we just can't get enough fiber into our normal diet and need to add a little extra. Another help has been to add additional enzymes like bromelain and papaya, to the diet to help properly break down foods and repair intestinal damage. It is important to note that pysllium is NOT a laxative and that your body does not develope a dependency on it, but it DOES bind to vitamins, minerals, and medicines so for that reason is best taken on an empty stomach at leaast 2 hours after food or medicine is ingested, and at least an hour before you eat again.
VERY IMPORTANT: Drink at least one extra 8 oz. glass of water for every 2 capsules taken!