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Can Psyllium Cause Blockage?

So I noticed the wiki entry on psyllium husk advises against its use if one is at risk of blockage. I just had a really nasty abscess that, according to my surgeon, blocked about 75% of the pathway in my ileum resulting in me getting an ileoctomy (sp.? n00b here).
I'd been using psyllium whole husk as its packaging directed for about 2 years, and I noticed its usefulness wearing off gradually, to a point where I'd become completely dependent on it to have 5-6 bms per day (not good ones either, they looked like diarrhea barely held together by the husks) and finally to where it was readily apparent I would have to have surgery.
Mind you, I was on nothing but psyllium husk as I was only dxed just before the surgery.
I was just wondering if there was any cause to believe that the psyllium could've irritated my already badly inflamed ileum enough to trigger the abscess. Does anyone have any educated opinions on this and/or similar experience?
 

DustyKat

Super Moderator
Hi mrjustaguy,

Just to clarify, you were using the psyllium for its laxative effect prior to surgery?

Dusty. xxx
 

David

Co-Founder
Staff member
Location
Naples, Florida
Trigger the abscess? My guess would be no. Can it cause a blockage? Absolutely. Please be very careful with its use.

I'd say untreated Crohn's was what lead to the abscess :(
 
Hello

Psyllium can cause a blockage if too dry.

When taking it, make sure you drink a lot of water during taking it, and afterwards throughout the day. Then you should be OK.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/psyllium

Personally I cannot take psyllium as it causes me terrible cramping. I prefer the gentler slippery elm powder or chia seed gel "sludge".

The "sludge" is: mix one teaspoon of slippery elm powder OR one tablespoon of chia seeds with 200mls water, stir vigorously, and then wait for 10 - 15mins for a thick mucilage gel to form before mixing with more water or juice, and drinking. Follow up with more water throughout day afterwards.
 
Hi mrjustaguy,

Just to clarify, you were using the psyllium for its laxative effect prior to surgery?

Dusty. xxx
When it worked well I used it both as a laxative for constipation and a stool bulking agent for diarrhea. I had both issues alternating, and for the time being the psyllium treated them both.
 
Trigger the abscess? My guess would be no. Can it cause a blockage? Absolutely. Please be very careful with its use.

I'd say untreated Crohn's was what lead to the abscess :(
Yeah, I thought it was probably coincidence. Definitely have to agree that the untreated Crohn's lead to the abscess, but I was wondering if some irritant could have trapped a pathogen in my ileum. I'm just kind of grasping for straws here, as my abscess seemed to come on rather suddenly and aggressively.
 
Hello

Psyllium can cause a blockage if too dry.

When taking it, make sure you drink a lot of water during taking it, and afterwards throughout the day. Then you should be OK.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/psyllium

Personally I cannot take psyllium as it causes me terrible cramping. I prefer the gentler slippery elm powder or chia seed gel "sludge".

The "sludge" is: mix one teaspoon of slippery elm powder OR one tablespoon of chia seeds with 200mls water, stir vigorously, and then wait for 10 - 15mins for a thick mucilage gel to form before mixing with more water or juice, and drinking. Follow up with more water throughout day afterwards.
Interesting... I like chia seeds for their nutritional value, and I've heard of slippery elm as being useful as a maintenance adjunct. Do you use these for constipation, diarrhea, both, something else? Do you prefer one over the other?
 
Hello

Psyllium can cause a blockage if too dry.

When taking it, make sure you drink a lot of water during taking it, and afterwards throughout the day. Then you should be OK.

http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/psyllium

Personally I cannot take psyllium as it causes me terrible cramping. I prefer the gentler slippery elm powder or chia seed gel "sludge".

The "sludge" is: mix one teaspoon of slippery elm powder OR one tablespoon of chia seeds with 200mls water, stir vigorously, and then wait for 10 - 15mins for a thick mucilage gel to form before mixing with more water or juice, and drinking. Follow up with more water throughout day afterwards.
Also... your link said psyllium can make some people's IBD worse, but so far I haven't been able to find anything that says how or why.
 
Interesting... I like chia seeds for their nutritional value, and I've heard of slippery elm as being useful as a maintenance adjunct. Do you use these for constipation, diarrhea, both, something else? Do you prefer one over the other?
I don't prefer one over the other exactly. I mainly use chia seeds for their filling and nutritional aspects, and I use slippery elm to stop any diarrhea I may have from eating the wrong thing.

Both chia seed gel and slippery elm powder (along with marshmallow root powder) contain mucilage.

When mixed with water, they form a slippery mucilage that helps to coat and soothe internally.

All three can be used for both constipation and diarrhea (i.e.) if you have constipation they can help to bulk up and get things moving......and if you have diarrhea then they still bulk up but slow things down.

They are all used for a nutritional food too (i.e.) Slippery elm was used by American Indians as a gruel to wean babies off the breast and onto solids.

When using any of them, it is important to mix well with water first to form a sludge or gel. Do NOT take any of them dry otherwise they could form a blockage. I did it once in error and oh the pain!
 
Also... your link said psyllium can make some people's IBD worse, but so far I haven't been able to find anything that says how or why.
Well it is in all my study notes and books. And it is a well known fact for most naturopaths. And I also speak from experience.

AS LONG as you drink enough fluids you should be fine. But most people just take the one drink with the husks, and then hardly drink for the rest of the day.

You will find a few articles on "psyllium husks cause blockages" or "can psyllium husk cause blockages" on Google. But best refer to proper peer-reviewed naturopath books for more in-depth information.
 
I always drink a lot of fluids, so that shouldn't have been the problem. I guess the blockage and the psyllium use were just coincidental in my case.

Melly, can you recommend any such peer-reviewed naturopath books?
 
For me fluids = water. I probably drink anywhere from 2 liters - 2 gallons of water on a given day, depending on my level of activity.
I'm a coffee and tea drinker too, so I tend to drink more water just to keep up with the loss.
 
Just keep in mind the following:

Psyllium fibre is for clearing your bowels out

Slippery Elm is for healing the whole GIT from mouth to anus
 
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