Best Fiber Supplement for Constipation, Weight Loss, Diarrhea, IBS & Hemorrhoids: Reviews and Guide
Posted on 24 May 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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Are you suffering from ailments like IBS, constipation, weight loss or diarrhea? We have reviewed the top fiber supplements so that you can pick a fiber supplement that works.
Fiber is an essential part of our diets, and without it, we may experience things like chronic constipation, irregular bowel movements, and hemorrhoids. The current guidelines for fiber intake for those who are 18-50 are 30-38 grams per day for men and 25 grams per day for women.
Fiber allows our colons to be regular, and it can help us maintain a healthy weight and even lower cholesterol.
What is a Fiber Supplement?
Sometimes, it can be challenging to meet the daily quota of fiber in our diets. We might not feel as if the meals we are eating provide enough fiber or are experiencing conditions like hemorrhoids or constipation.
Although it’s best to get fiber naturally from foods like fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole grains, there are fiber supplements that can fill the gap.
Fiber supplements come in an array of forms, like chewable gummies, tablets, powder, or capsules. Some fiber supplements are created in labs or extracted from natural sources.
If you chose a fiber supplement to assist your dietary needs, it's crucial that you incorporate it into your diet slowly to avoid cramping and bloating.
Soluble Fiber Supplement
Soluble fiber is one of the two types of fiber and can be found in supplement form. Soluble fiber attracts water and turns to a gel substance during the digestion process.
Soluble fiber can be found in these foods:
- Split peas
- Oat bran
- Black beans
- Sweet potatoes
In supplements, soluble fiber is commonly derived from psyllium, a type of plant native to northern India. Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that works to regulate bowel movements and aid in relieving common gastrointestinal conditions such as constipation and diarrhea. It can also be found in glucomannan, sourced from the roots of the konjac plant, native to Asia.
Insoluble Fiber Supplement
Insoluble fiber, the second of the two types of fiber, adds heft and mass to stools, aiding in the passage of food waste through the body.
Foods with insoluble fiber include:
- Kidney beans
- Flax seeds
- Wheat bran
- Bran cereal
- Dried fruits
- Whole grains
- Whole wheat
- Bell peppers
Foods with insoluble fiber tend to be harder to chew, like the skin of an apple (whereas the soft, juicy part is packed full of soluble fiber), or the skins of vegetables, such as cucumbers and peas.
Most insoluble fiber supplements are sourced from the seeds of psyllium. Other insoluble fiber supplements are derived from ground flaxseeds.
Insoluble Versus Soluble Fiber Supplement
The difference between soluble and insoluble fiber is the ability of these types to absorb water. While both have their differences, each type of fiber is essential to the diet.
Soluble fiber technically slows the passage of waste through the body, but constipation sufferers shouldn’t worry just yet. Soluble fiber absorbs water helps soften your stools, working to retain moisture and ease conditions like constipation.
Soluble fiber is good for the following ailments:
- Metabolic health
- Possible lowered risk of heart disease
- Balancing bacteria in the stomach
Insoluble fiber has the opposite effect of soluble fiber. This type of fiber passes food waste through the body at a faster pace and adds bulk to the stools. The types of foods and plants that insoluble fiber is derived from do not absorb water.
Insoluble fiber is excellent for:
- Digestive issues
- Feeling fuller for longer
Depending on what you feel you are lacking, whether it be regular, unstrained bowel movements, general digestive health, or balanced bacteria in your gut, will determine which type of fiber supplement to get.
Types of Dietary Fiber
Psyllium husk is a general term that refers to several plants of the plant genus Plantago. Psyllium is a source for soluble fiber, which means that this supplement helps absorb water in your system, softening stools, and making bowel movements more relaxed and more comfortable.
This fiber supplement is a premium choice for those suffering from chronic constipation.
Fiber supplements that contain psyllium husk:
Psyllium husk fiber supplements promote overall digestive health and a regular, healthy colon. This soluble fiber supplement is considered a bulk-forming laxative, so be sure to follow the label's instructions for proper dosage.
Naturally, inulin can be found in vegetables like onions, leeks, and asparagus. Inulin is an insoluble fiber and is not broken down by digestion or absorbed, unlike soluble fiber. As a supplement, inulin can promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the digestive tract and relieve issues of constipation and high cholesterol levels.
A few brands of inulin fiber supplements are:
- Swanson Ultra Inulin Powder
- Equate Fiber Supplement
- NOW Foods Inulin
If using an inulin supplement, be sure to take caution about doling out the correct dose for your dietary needs. Too much inulin can cause stomach problems.
Calcium polycarbophil is another type of fiber supplement used to treat constipation or diarrhea. Because it helps bulk stools, it is used as a type of laxative and stool stabilizer for more comfortable bowel movements.
Fiber supplements that are comprised of calcium polycarbophil:
- Gericare Calcium Polycarbophil Fiber Laxative
- Fibercon Fiber Therapy for Regularity
- Sunmark Laxative
IBS patients who suffer from constipation caused by their gastrointestinal disorder will occasionally use this type of supplement. When taking calcium polycarbophil as a fiber supplement, make sure you are drinking plenty of water to maintain a healthy balance of hydration and fiber intake.
Wheat dextrin is a soluble fiber supplement that like other supplements is frequently used as a laxative to relieve constipation and improve bowel regularity. The process of creating wheat dextrin involves chemically processing wheat starch. Naturally, wheat dextrin can be found in starchy foods like potatoes, corn, rice, and wheat.
Fiber supplements with wheat dextrin are:
- Renew Life FiberSmart
- Fiber Choice Prebiotic Fiber
- Kirkland Signature Optifiber
Wheat dextrin is all soluble fiber and is helpful for consumers looking to improve their metabolic health. It can also be used as a food thickener.
Methylcellulose comes from natural plant cellulose that is chemically treated. Methylcellulose supplements are typically a soluble fiber and classified as non-fermentable fiber, meaning, there is a low risk that methylcellulose causes digestive stress.
Some methylcellulose fiber supplements are:
- Equate Fiber Therapy Methylcellulose
- GoodSense Fiber
- Nutricology Dietary Fiber Cellulose
- Citrucel Smartfiber
Unlike many other soluble fiber supplements, methylcellulose bulks stools, but does not ease constipation and is not generally used as a laxative.
If you are struggling with constipation and looking for a fiber supplement to assist you, choose other soluble fibers other than methylcellulose.
Types of Fiber Supplements
There are three common types of fiber supplements, powder, pill, or gummy form. All three kinds of fiber supplements are available in soluble and insoluble fiber. Choosing the right type of fiber supplement depends on your preference.
Fiber Supplement Powder
Fiber supplement powder is one of the most popular forms of insoluble and soluble fiber. Easy to add into meals or beverages, fiber powder is usually tasteless and with little fillers added to its formula.
In powder form, the cost of this supplement can widely range in price. A medium to a small bottle of fiber powder is around $9 on average, whereas a larger bottle of a similar store brand is $20 to $30.
Fiber powder should be consumed with the suggested amount of fluids to prevent dehydration. Follow the label's instructions on the appropriate dose, and amount of fluids recommended for consumption.
Fiber Supplement Pills
Fiber supplements are also available in a convenient pill form. If you are struggling to include the recommended amount of fiber in your diet, then pills may be the most accessible form of a fiber supplement for you.
A generic bottle of 100 fiber pills runs just under $7, a cheap but efficient way to get the fiber required for a healthy diet. Follow the instructions on the packaging’s label to find the correct dosage.
When taking fiber supplement pills, ask your doctor about which brand is best for you. Pills are available in soluble and insoluble fiber, and both have different effects on the digestive tract.
Gummy Fiber Supplements
Gummy fiber supplements are a tasty form of daily fiber, either insoluble or soluble, and are especially attractive to kids. Many gummy fiber supplements are available in an array of different fruity flavors to make taking fiber more tolerable.
The one downside to gummy fiber supplements is the added sugar. For optimal nutrition, find a gummy fiber supplement that is sugar-free. Fiber gummies are a little more expensive than the other two forms at about $10 per bottle.
Regardless of whether or not kids or adults take fiber gummies, a doctor should be consulted beforehand about correct dosage, the brand of gummy, and how often they should be ingested.
Fiber Supplements for Ailments
Many people suffering from chronic gastrointestinal conditions turn to the aid of fiber supplements for relief. If you find that you are struggling with specific digestive issues, a fiber supplement could be a helpful dietary tool.
You can talk to your doctor about the right type of fiber supplement best for your ailment.
Chronic constipation can be a symptom of many different conditions but sometimes, constipation it is merely just the lack of fiber in the diet. Constipation can take a toll on the rectal area and make going to the bathroom more challenging than it needs to be.
A fiber supplement can ease constipation and make bowel movements no longer strained, softening and bulking stools for healthy passage. There are many different types of fiber supplements, but for constipation, you will want one that is soluble fiber.
Look for fiber supplements that include:
- Wheat dextrin
- Calcium polycarbophil
Be sure to drink lots of water as water and fiber work together to soften stools. Fiber supplements act as laxatives to ease the bowels into passing these softened stools.
About 12% of people in the United States suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or more commonly shortened as IBS. People with IBS have many symptoms that often co-occur, such as pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, constipation, or both.
Fiber tolerance differs from patient to patient, and more importantly, depending on which symptom is in control determines which type of fiber supplement is most appropriate.
Doctors tend to recommend soluble fiber for symptoms of diarrhea because this type of fiber becomes a gel in the digestive tract, slowing down the passage of waste. Constipation, on the other hand, is best left to insoluble fiber because it speeds up this process.
For IBS, the best fiber supplement was found to be psyllium, which can be found in the brand Metamucil.
For diarrhea, soluble fiber is the prime choice because it bulks up the stools. Diarrhea consists of loose, watery stools, but with soluble fiber, there is a higher absorption of water, creating a healthier consistency of the stools.
Diarrhea can be uncontrollable, but with soluble fiber, the digestive tract slows down the passage of stools because the fiber becomes a thick gel in the intestines. If you take insoluble fiber while having bouts of diarrhea, you could be at risk for making it worse because it does the opposite of soluble fiber.
Fiber supplements can also aid in weight loss, and supplements can be a useful tool for those who have tried the general tagline, "eat less and exercise more" to no effect. Numerous studies have been conducted that have yielded successful results of a high-fiber diet, either through foods or supplements, and long-term weight loss and management.
For weight loss and weight management, soluble fiber supplements are the way to go. Soluble fiber absorbs water, transforming it into a gel substance in the digestive tract. This type of fiber slows down the passage of food and absorption of sugars, meaning your body is not as likely to store fat.
Veterans of inflamed hemorrhoids understand that fiber is an excellent ally in the prevention of hemorrhoid flare-ups. Hemorrhoids can occur when there is straining during a bowel movement, abnormal amounts of pressure to the lower rectum, the weakening of the anal cushion, or when blood flow to the lower rectum is compromised.
An excellent solution to fighting hemorrhoids is fiber because this will directly target straining by softening stools and promoting regularity in the colon.
For hemorrhoid prevention, try supplements with psyllium husk:
- HemRid Fiber Supplement
- NOW Foods Psyllium Husk
Fiber Supplement Reviews
What is the Best Fiber Supplement to Buy?
There are so many different kinds of fiber supplements out there on the market these days that it can be difficult to navigate through the top sellers. When it comes to fiber supplements, it can also be challenging to see how effective a product is and if you really are getting what you pay for.
We have narrowed down the top contenders for fiber supplements, from gummies to powder, all the bases are covered:
HemRid Fiber Gummies
Gummies aren’t just for kids because HemRid Fiber Gummies are chalk full of fiber, but with none of that foul taste you get with some other supplements. HemRid’s Fiber Gummies make taking fiber easier and much tastier.
These fruit-flavored gummies taste great, but without all the added sugar, and with HemRid’s 120-day money-back guarantee, HemRid Fiber Gummies are one of the best purchases for fiber supplements.
Benefits of HemRid Fiber Gummies are:
- Easy to take
- Each serving has 5 grams of fiber
- Natural ingredients
- relieve bloating
- help with weight loss
- help with IBS
- help with hemorrhoids
- 120-day money-back guarantee
HemRid Fiber Supplement
HemRid Fiber Supplement is perfect for those wanting to get rid of IBS, Bloating, and Hemorrhoids fast. This awesome formula consists of finely ground fiber for simpler consumption.
HemRid Fiber Supplement offers near-immediate relief of constipation, the chief instigator behind hemorrhoid flare-ups.
Full of psyllium husk, this fiber supplement will add bulk to stools and absorb water, alleviating painful straining during bowel movements.
Benefits of HemRid Fiber Supplement are:
- Fast-acting relief
- 120-day money-back guarantee
- Fine particles of psyllium for easy consumption
- Clinically proven psyllium husk for maximum relief
- Cost-effective for long-lasting use
Yerba Prima Psyllium Husks Powder
Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Powder is one of the top-ranking and best-selling fiber supplements on Amazon. Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk is priced at about $11 per 12-ounce bottle, and this fiber supplement is reviewed favorably by consumers.
Many of those reviewing noted that what sets Yerba Prima apart from other psyllium husk fiber supplements was that the formula does not include any fillers like sugar or aspartame.
The fiber powder itself is comprised of 3.5 grams of soluble fiber and 1 gram of insoluble fiber, an excellent method to benefit from both types of fiber in just one product.
Benefits of Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Powder
- Consists of both types of fiber: insoluble and soluble
- Mild to no taste
- Fast-acting results
- A wallet-friendly option
Metamucil MultiHealth Fiber Powder
Metamucil is a big name in the fiber supplement industry and seems to be frequently recommended, but what do consumers have to say?
Consumers reviewing Metamucil MultiHealth praise its ability to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea and constipation.
Benefits of Metamucil MultiHealth Fiber Powder
- Available in bulk sizes
- Flavoring for easier consumption
- Relieves Constipation
- Can help promote heart health
- Can help lower cholesterol and
- Can maintain blood sugar levels
On the downside, Metamucil MultiHealth’s formula consists of artificial flavoring, coloring, and fillers. Some consumers complained in reviews about the taste and flavor that Metamucil has.
Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Caps
While Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Powder was positively reviewed, where does the brand’s husk caps stand with consumers?
According to Amazon, Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Caps are another consumer favorite in the realm of fiber supplements. Yerba Prima sells their husk cap supplements at about $10 per 180-capsule bottle on Amazon through retailers.
Receiving over 200 customer reviews and 4.5 stars overall, Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Caps are an Amazon’s Choice item. Yerba Prima Caps list the serving size at four capsules and mainly consist of soluble fiber with some insoluble fiber included.
Benefits of Yerba Prima Psyllium Husk Caps
- Easy to swallow
- Promotes heart health
- Consumer-reported fast-acting results
- No additives
- Contains soluble and insoluble fiber
Benefiber Fiber Supplement
If you are knowledgeable about fiber supplements, you’ve likely heard about the brand Benefiber. Benefiber Fiber Supplement is one of the best sellers on Amazon and at brick-and-mortar stores like Walmart.
Consumer reviews support Benefiber Fiber Supplement's popularity. Receiving a 4.5-star rating on Amazon with over 300 reviews, Benefiber has accumulated a plethora of positive feedback from its customers. Benefiber is about $19 for about 17.5 ounces.
Customers are attracted to its zero taste and the fact that it doesn’t thicken or become viscous in beverages or food. Many reviewers were sent to try Benefiber as recommended by their gastroenterologists.
Benefits of Benefiber Fiber Supplement are:
- Modestly priced and long lasting
- Completely dissolvable
- Zero taste
- Zero additives
Citrucel Fiber Caplets
As far as fiber supplement caplet supplements go, Citrucel Fiber Caplets ranks as one of the best on Amazon. Citrucel Fiber Caplets have received over 200 reviews with a final rating of 4.5 stars out of 5.
Sold by Amazon through third-party stores, Citrucel is one of the more expensive choices of fiber caplets on Amazon at $30 for 240 caplets. However, don’t dismay just yet; Citrucel Fiber Caplets are sold much cheaper at stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, and Costco.
Consumers reviewed Citrucel positively, remarking on the no additives, simple-to-take form of daily fiber. Consumers also report that Citrucel is true to its word of not experiencing excess gas while taking the product.
Benefits of Citrucel Fiber Caplets are:
- Fast-acting results
- No excess gas
- No additives or sweeteners
- Caplets are easy to take
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Fiber Supplement Pills Work?
Fiber supplements pills are available in naturally extracted fiber or manufactured fiber. Both soluble and insoluble fiber supplement pills work to improve digestive health and provide benefits for common gastrointestinal ailments.
A fiber supplement pill that consists of soluble fiber will act similarly to food that includes soluble fiber as well. The supplement pill absorbs water and transforms into a gel substance as the body digests it and this bulks up stools, allowing waste to retain moisture for more natural bowel movements.
Insoluble fiber supplement pills have been found to relieve problems of constipation and hemorrhoids. These pills add bulk to stools as they move through the digestive tract, attracting water to stools.
Should I Take a Fiber Supplement?
Fiber supplements helpfully contribute to your daily-recommended intake of fiber. If you aren’t getting enough fiber, you may notice reoccurring constipation, or perhaps you have hemorrhoids, or you might experience diarrhea.
One or more of these intestinal difficulties could warrant the inclusion of a fiber supplement in your diet. If you want to begin taking fiber supplements, consulting your doctor is always a good idea before you start.
When beginning a fiber supplement, regardless if it is in pill, powder, or gummy form, remember to introduce the fiber slowly into your diet. Too much at once could lead to minor yet inconvenient side effects, like bloating, cramping, or excess gas.
How to Soften Stool Immediately
Fiber supplements are an effective method in stool softening; however, the results of a softened stool might not come into effect until a few hours later of taking the fiber supplements.
Fiber supplements, if you are beginning to take them, must be introduced to the body in small doses at first, per labeling instructions. Too much at one and your body could feel bloated, gassy, or cramp.
Here a few ways to soften stools quickly:
- Drink lots of water
- Eat stool-softening foods such as prunes
- Begin taking psyllium husk fiber supplements
- Try a stool softener or laxative
For stool softeners, laxatives, and fiber supplements, your body's response should be close to immediate for less strained and more comfortable bowel movements. Your next bowel movement should be without constipation or straining after taking one of these medications or supplements.
What is the Best Time to Take a Fiber Supplement?
The exact time of day you take your fiber supplements is up to you, so long as you space out your supplements from whatever daily medication you take. An hour should be the general amount of time between taking your fiber supplements and your medication.
Whatever you decide, remember to drink at least eight ounces of water with your supplement. Fiber and water work together, and your fiber supplement will have a more significant and more beneficial impact on your body when it has water to pair with.
Is it Better to Buy a Fiber Supplement at Amazon, CVS, or Walmart?
The answer to this frequently asked question is: it depends. More specifically, it depends on whether or not the cost of a fiber supplement is a deal breaker for you.
When finding the perfect fiber supplement that is right for your body and preference, you might be required to do some looking around to find the best price. Amazon could carry supplements that CVS or Walmart do not, but alternatively, those stores could also have fiber supplements that are much cheaper than those sold on Amazon.
Fortunately, an Internet search will give you a list of your favorite fiber supplements and their prices, so you’ll be able to discover which store has the lowest price within seconds.
Fiber supplements are an excellent way to maintain and regulate digestive health. While it’s best to try to get your dietary fiber from food sources, fiber supplements can most definitely assist your body by filling in the gaps.
The benefits of taking fiber supplements are:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Potential weight loss
- Normalize bowel movements
- Curb constipation and diarrhea
- Help prevent hemorrhoids
- Help ease symptoms of gastrointestinal conditions like IBS
- Promote heart health
- Promote healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels
There are many benefits to taking fiber supplements, but it is essential to remember to follow your doctor’s instructions as well as the packaging label. Start slow when introducing your body to fiber supplements and always take powder, gummies, or pills with eight ounces of water.