Pregnancy Use

May be used during pregnancy and lactation. PRACTICE POINTS/PATIENT COUNSELLING

• Psyllium seed husk is a water-soluble fibre that forms a mucilaginous gel on contact with aqueous fluids and is degraded by human intestinal flora.

• It is most commonly used to treat constipation or diarrhoea and to regulate stool consistency.

• It is also used to promote satiety and weight loss, and as an aid to metabolic control in diabetes and hyperlipidaemia when combined with a low-fat diet.

• The seeds should be presoaked in warm water for several hours before ingestion and each dose should be followed by a full glass of water. Ingesting it dry may cause oesophageal obstruction.

• Although generally safe, it should not be used by people with partial or complete bowel obstruction, colonic impaction or stenosis of the gastrointestinal tract.

© 2007 Elsevier Australia

ANSWERS TO PATIENTS' FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What will this herb do for me?

Psyllium is a bulking agent that can regulate stool consistency, increase satiety, improve metabolic control in diabetes and reduce cholesterol when combined with a low-fat diet.

When will it start to work?

As a bulking agent, it will start to have an effect within several hours. It will improve satiety within 30-60 minutes and has a mild cholesterol lowering effect after 8 weeks of use.

Are there any safety issues?

Although generally safe, it should not be ingested dry or used by people with partial or complete bowel obstruction, colonic impaction or stenosis of the gastrointestinal tract.

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