Diarrhea generally encompasses the deposition of soft and watery stools. It can be caused by many reasons and is so common that many people have diarrhea several times a year. It is not usually serious and goes away on its own in a few days, although it can also be a symptom of other diseases.
Dietary fiber is usually associated with laxative effects and no one doubts its usefulness against constipation, however, what fiber actually does is regulate intestinal transitespecially the Soluble fiberso that also useful against diarrhea.
Soluble fiber for diarrhea
Fiber encompasses many types of substances, mainly non-digestible carbohydrates, which can be classified based on numerous factors. Soluble fiber and insoluble fiber are the two main types of fiber if classified according to their behavior in aqueous media.
- Soluble fiber: includes substances such as inulin, pectins, gums and fructooligosaccharideswhich are partially soluble in water and in solution are capable of forming viscous gels.
- insoluble fiber: does not dissolve in water and acts mainly increasing osmotic pressure in the intestinal lumen.
In case of constipation, the stools are hard, dry and their progress through the intestine is difficult and increases the pressure inside the abdominal cavity, which can lead to or worsen hemorrhoids, hernias and varicose veins. Both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber help improve constipation.
In diarrhoea, on the other hand, the stool is already very watery and insoluble fiber would be contraindicated. Nevertheless, soluble fiber is able to absorb excess water by forming gels and thus increases the consistency of stool and helps improve diarrhea.
Also, soluble fiber is highly digestible by the intestinal flora and favors its growth, also very important for digestive health in general. In fact, soluble fiber is even recommended for diarrhea associated with various intestinal diseases, for example irritable bowel syndrome.
Soluble fiber can be found in high amounts in most fruits without skin and in many vegetables, for example apples, pears, strawberries, bananas, citrus fruits, kiwi, peas, legumes or nuts, except nuts that have a lot of fiber insoluble. Among cereals, oat bran and barley have high amounts of soluble fiber.
Insoluble fiber is typically found in whole grains, such as wheat bran, many leafy vegetables, and vegetables such as bell peppers and tomatoes. Many vegetables, such as carrots, contain relatively high amounts of both types of fiber.
Among fiber supplements, plantago ovata seeds and ispaghula husk are among the most used as soluble fiber, while lactulose is used as insoluble fiber.
Therefore take the right kind of fiber can improve symptoms of mild to moderate diarrhea. Along with the fiber, a high amount of liquids should be consumed to help maintain proper hydration. In any case, it must go to the doctor if the diarrhea is severe, does not subside in a few days or if a fever develops.