Vegetable muciloids for inflamed intestines?

In interviews with specialists in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and researching current medical literature, the subject of using vegetable muciloids seldom yielded substantial information. No one disagreed with their possible value, but only a few physicians said, "It couldn't hurt." Some experts noted that in regard to the literature appearing several decades ago, the subject enjoyed considerable acceptance.

"Patients with the irritable bowel syndrome, regardless of whether they present with diarrhea or constipation, derive substantial benefit from treatment with psyllium muciloid (Metamucil(R) and similar products)," Ralf G. Rahwan, Ph.D., professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Ohio State University,wrote in the August 1987 issue of U.S. Pharmacy.

"This bulk forming laxative dissolves in the small intestine, absorbs water, and forms an emollient intestinal mass that is not absorbed." This action, Dr. Rahwan notes, "stabilizes the consistency and water content of the stools in patients with either constipation or diarrhea, and increases the diameter of the large bowel, particularly in the area of the sigmoid colon, thereby reducing lateral pressure against the mucosal mechanoreceptors which activate the enteric nervous system."

The above description, somewhat technical, is experienced by seekers of this non-irritating cathartic. The gel in the psyllium seed creates an oily, smooth coating for the bowel's discharged contents to pass through severely inflamed tissues. A major problem for sufferers of IBD is the lacerating effect of every bowel movement.

Vegetable muciloids, available without prescription, have received little notice by researchers. We know that psyllium products are not habit-forming, but caution is advised when people use the product without a time limitation.

Concerned physicians may benefit by examining the past success of other medical professionals who have recommended vegetable muciloids.

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