Metamucil vs Miralax: A Head-to-Head Match-Up That Reviews Miralax and Metamucil
Posted on 02 June 2018 by Maryanne Johnson
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In this Metamucil vs Miralax matchup, we'll see which one really works for IBS, constipation, hemorrhoids, and bloating. For bathroom problems, whether you suffer from constipation, straining, or hard stools, both Metamucil and Miralax can help make bowel movements more comfortable. But which one is right for you? Both products work differently but achieve the same purpose.
Metamucil is a fiber supplement, containing fiber derived from psyllium, and Miralax is branded as a laxative, using the active ingredient of polyethylene glycol, an osmotic laxative. These are very different active ingredients, so which is better?
Is Metamucil Rated Better Than Miralax?
Amazon is always a good place to start when examining reviews. Filled with honest customer feedback about any and every product imaginable, weeding through Amazon reviews can help you decide between using Metamucil or Miralax.
Miralax was reviewed positively on Amazon, amassing a total of 385 customer reviews and ranking 4.5 stars out of five for its overall rating. Customers with verified purchases praised Miralax’s ability to solve long-term stomach and intestinal issues like constipation and symptoms brought on by gastrointestinal disorders.
Alternatively, Metamucil received the same overall rank of 4.5 stars out of 5 and followed Miralax closely in the number of customer reviews at 339 for its Orange Smooth formula. Similarly to Miralax, customer reviews indicated that by daily use of Metamucil, straining during bowel movements was no longer occurring for them, and because of this, constipation was quickly curbed.
With this close tie based on solely Amazon reviews, Miralax pulls ahead, simply due to the number of customer reviews it accumulated. However, to truly decide on which product received a better rating, it is best to check out at least one more site where both products are sold.
Walmart carries both Metamucil and Miralax. Metamucil received over 350 customer reviews and a 4 out of 5-star rating. This was far more than Miralax, a product that accumulated only 78 customer reviews. However, Miralax’s overall star rating was 4.5 out of 5.
So, which product is rated better? It depends where you look. On Walmart’s website, there was an immense shortage of reviews for Miralax in comparison to Metamucil, but it still earned a 4.5 overall rank. Metamucil may have received four times more reviews but fell at a 4 star rank out of 5. On Amazon, Metamucil and Miralax ratings were a draw.
Miralax and Metamucil are both stellar products, and in this popcorn-worthy rating race, the averages on Amazon and Walmart can safely conclude a tie.
Is Metamucil or Miralax Better for IBS?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, with its symptoms affecting 10-15% of adult Americans. IBS can present itself in mild, moderate, to severe forms.
Symptoms of IBS range from:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Changes in bowel movements
- Mucus in stools
- The feeling of incomplete elimination
Some symptoms can occur together depending what type of IBS you have. IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder and can often last years, or a lifetime, however, symptoms can go through periods of dormancy or variation.
Sufferers of IBS look to products that can quickly and effectively alleviate inconvenient symptoms, like constipation or diarrhea. Each individual with IBS is different and may experience different symptoms, and so, unfortunately, there is no end-all formula.
Both Metamucil and Miralax have a laxative effect. Metamucil uses soluble fiber that dissolves to gel in the intestine to bulk up the stool whereas Miralax uses osmosis to hold water in the stool, softening it and making it easier to pass.
For those with the IBS symptom of constipation, Miralax can provide beneficial relief. Miralax, unlike a fiber supplement, does not have the common side effects of bloating, abdominal pain or discomfort, and excess gas. These side effects can occur when taking high doses of fiber, and an IBS sufferer would need a high dose of Metamucil for constipation relief.
However, patients with IBS should look into taking Metamucil as a daily fiber supplement, specifically psyllium, because studies have shown a relief of IBS symptoms like constipation when taken regularly.
The answer to this question is different for each IBS patient suffering from constipation and other unique symptoms. Some products work better for others. Despite this, it should be noted that a significant amount of fiber can worsen symptoms, so for immediate relief of constipation, patients may want to consider Miralax for this.
Should I Use Miralax vs Metamucil for Cholesterol?
Many adults strive to lower their cholesterol levels to prevent the risk of heart disease. Specifically, doctors advise that patients actively work to reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, a type of cholesterol that is strongly linked to heart diseases.
Studies have brought forth results proving that fiber supplementation can significantly aid in lowering LDL cholesterol levels. According to the findings of a study published in 2011, fiber supplements that utilize bulking agents resulted in a lowering of LDL cholesterol, specifically those derived from psyllium.
Metamucil advertises a lowering of cholesterol levels, stating that a diet low in saturated fat and the inclusion of 7 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium husk can reduce heart disease risks by lowering cholesterol levels. Metamucil employs the use of psyllium as its source of dietary fiber.
Customers on Amazon review Metamucil as a product that benefitted them in lowering cholesterol levels. Customers also state that Metamucil helped with maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, too.
The packaging on Metamucil suggests consulting with your doctor before using it as a means to lower LDL cholesterol. If you have high cholesterol levels, ask your doctor if Metamucil is an appropriate product to aid in reducing them.
Ultimately, if you are after lowering your cholesterol levels, choose Metamucil. Miralax is an osmotic laxative that is designed to relieve constipation, not maintain healthy cholesterol or blood sugar levels.
Although Metamucil’s advertised claim of lowering cholesterol is not backed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), there have been plenty of scientific studies and research to confirm that a psyllium fiber supplement does in fact work.
Is Miralax or Metamucil More Effective for Constipation?
While both Metamucil and Miralax are designed to relieve constipation, they are both fundamentally different products. Metamucil is a fiber supplement that utilizes psyllium as its dietary fiber source. Miralax is an osmotic laxative, binding water to the stool for easier passage.
Metamucil, because it is a fiber supplement, has other purposes and health benefits than Miralax. For sufferers of chronic constipation, Metamucil is often the starting point. And if extra fiber doesn’t work, then a laxative should come into effect.
However, there's a catch. Your colon doesn't soak up bulk laxatives like Metamucil. On the other hand, these laxatives absorb water themselves. The recommendation for people aged 12 and above is to use a rounded spoon of this drug in 8 ounces of liquid for bowel prep.
Note that Metamucil may not immediately relieve constipation, and in fact, its labeling suggests that for those new to taking Metamucil, to begin with, small doses.
Taking too much Metamucil at once can lead to these side effects:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Excess gas
- Digestive issues
For immediate alleviation of constipation, take Miralax. Miralax’s singular purpose is constipation relief by binding water to stools. It draws water into the colon, which is where stool forms. As such, you'll need to take lots of water. If you're above 17, you must take 17 grams of water before using Miralax.
Miralax has hundreds of customer reviews to back its effectiveness in ending constipation while taking this product.
Regardless of which product you take for constipation, make sure that you consult with your doctor beforehand and follow the packaging instructions. Metamucil should be taken an hour before or after other medications. Both products should be consumed with plenty of water.
In essence, you can use any of the two to treat constipation. Whichever works best for you is fine.
Which is Better for Hemorrhoids, Miralax or Metamucil?
It is not recommended to take laxatives when you have hemorrhoids. Miralax, an osmotic laxative, could have the potential of worsening hemorrhoid inflammation. Laxatives can induce diarrhea, which can further inflame these sensitive blood vessels.
Those with hemorrhoids are advised to take a bulk-forming fiber supplement, like HemRid Fiber Gummies or HemRid Fiber Supplement. Or, you can try Metamucil. Both the HemRid Fiber Supplement and Metamucil uses psyllium, a fiber source with proven results in shrinking hemorrhoids are relieving hemorrhoid symptoms.
The HemRid Fiber Gummies use Chicory Root which works great as well.
For external or internal hemorrhoids, doctors will often suggest a fiber intake increase to lessen straining during bowel movements. Additional pressure on the lower rectal area can inflame hemorrhoids, but with fiber supplements, stools become softer and more comfortable to pass.
Metamucil is a wise choice for hemorrhoid relief, especially when taken regularly. An appropriate amount of soluble fiber regulates the colon, and with less straining, hemorrhoids go away more quickly.
When taking Metamucil for hemorrhoids, it is essential to ensure you are also drinking lots of water to help pass the fiber through your digestive tract. Take Metamucil with at least 8 ounces of water for optimal results.