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Psylium Seed Husk
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I would like to find something that I can take that will help "bulk" me up... The immodium is helping somewhat but I am still loose.... A long time ago, before diagnosis, I used to take psylium seed husk. Is it from a grain that is forbidden? Is it gluten free?

Thanks for any help!

Karen

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I am cutting and pasting a article I found. Hopefully this helps you.

By Pat Kendall, Ph.D., R.D.

Food Science and Human Nutrition Specialist

Colorado State University Cooperative Extension

June 10, 1998

Are you contemplating eating oatmeal for breakfast to get cholesterol-lowering benefits? Well, there's a new kid on the block, psyllium. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted approval for manufacturers of products that contain the soluble fiber found in psyllium seed husk to put heart-healthy claims on their labels.

Psyllium, a plant primarily cultivated in India, is known as blond or Indian psyllium. Its seeds are rich in soluble fiber extracted from the dried seed husks. Grandma was onto something when she chided "eat your roughage". It's that roughage, found exclusively in plant foods, that plays an important role in health.

Fiber comes in both soluble and insoluble forms. Besides psyllium, other foods rich in soluble fibers include oats, citrus fruits, barley, apples and dried beans. Those high in insoluble fibers include wheat bran, the skins of fruits and vegetables, beans, berries and seeds. Both types promote laxation and increase bulk.

Besides laxation, soluble fiber has been studied extensively for its role in reducing blood cholesterol levels. This type of fiber has the ability to bind with bile acids. Bile acid, an important player in the digestion of fats, is made in our body from cholesterol. When bile acids are bound to fiber, they are excreted and demand that more cholesterol be converted to bile acids. This process lowers circulating blood cholesterol levels. The effect may be subtle, but even a small drop in blood cholesterol levels has shown to protect against heart disease.

Studies of oats were the first to show a definitive relationship between a specific food and reduced cholesterol levels. In 1997, the FDA allowed products that contain whole oats or soluble fiber from oats to make health claims on product labels about the association between oats and reduced heart disease risk. Since then, results from several well-controlled studies of psyllium seed husk have persuaded the FDA to add it to the list of cholesterol-lowering soluble fibers. The studies evaluated a daily intake of 10 grams of psyllium seed husk, equivalent to 7 grams of soluble fiber, among test subjects consuming a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol. Results showed significantly lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels among those ingesting the psyllium.

Watch for new product labels to hit markets soon. Claims will read: "The soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk in this product, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease." Only products that contain 1.7 grams of soluble fiber from psyllium seed husk per serving can carry the health claim on its label. Four servings of such a product throughout the day would equal the 7 grams of soluble fiber used in the studies. Currently, psyllium seed husk is found in Kellogg's Bran Buds cereal and in a variety of dietary supplements promoted for increased fiber intake and as aids for weight loss.

Because some foods that contain phylum seed husk can be difficult to swallow, foods carrying the claim may also need to carry a label advising to consume the food with adequate amounts of liquid and avoid eating the food if one has difficulty swallowing.

For more information, contact your local Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office.

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Updated Wednesday, June 09, 2004

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    • Hi everyone, I've been reading this forum sporadically and have some questions of my own. I'm in my 40s and was diagnosed with celiac last December by biopsy and blood work after months of tests by my primary and then a gastro. My husband, around the same age as me, was dx'd with stage 4 cancer a month later, so admittedly it's took me longer than I'd have liked to learn about celiac. Now I feel pretty on top of my diet. I mostly make my own food - proteins and veggies, with some certified gluten-free snacks in the mix - and am pretty strict about what I will/won't eat at friend's houses or in restaurants (I prefer to go to dedicated gluten-free kitchens whenever possible). I'm doing okay on the diet, but still getting glutened every so often, usually when I let me guard down outside the home. I also periodically see my primary and a naturopath (who happens to have celiac!), but still, I have many questions if anyone would care to answer:

      -FATIGUE. I'm still so tired, fatigued so much of the time. My doctors blame this on the stress of my husband's diagnosis and my periodic trouble sleeping. But even during weeks where I'm sleeping enough (8-10 hrs a day), eating right, exercising as I can, trying to keep stress at bay, I'm still so bleeping tired. Maybe not when I wake up, but by late afternoon. Often my legs even feel weak/wooden. Has anyone else experienced greater fatigue early on after being diagnosed? This will pass, yes? I know I could cut out the sweets and that could help, but also, being a caregiver is hard and sometimes it's nice to eat your feelings between therapy sessions.  

      -SYMPTOMS CAUSED BY FATIGUE? Sometimes I'll have other "feels like I've been glutened" symptoms if I haven't gotten enough sleep, though I'm trying so hard to sleep at least 8 hours a night these days. Hasn't happened in a while thankfully, but there was a point this summer where my insomnia was bad and my arms were achy and I had some crazy flank/back pain I'd never experienced before. For weeks. Doctor ordered me to sleep sleep sleep, taking Benedryl if needed. I did, and the symptoms went away, but weird, yes? Has this happened to you? I ask because I want to make sure I'm getting all strange pains tested to the full extent if there's a chance it's something other than celiac. I do sometimes still feel that strange side stitch after a CC incident.

      -SKIN PROBLEMS. I have had a smidge of eczema since I was a teen and it - and the dermatitis herpetiformis I've acquired with my dx - are out of control right now. I recognize the connection with stress, but also, has anyone found any great natural remedies for DH to stop the itching? I've tried so many useless ointments and medicated creams, a number of them given to my by a dermo months ago. I see my naturopath this week, but thought I'd ask here too.

      -MOSTLY gluten-free KITCHEN GOOD ENOUGH? My husband is supportive of my diet and mostly eats gluten free meals with me, but we still keep a gluten-y toaster for him and the gluten-y dog food in a corner of the kitchen and he still makes the occasional meal with gluten for himself on his own cookware (ravioli, pizza, mac n cheese, etc). Or sometimes I make eggs/toast and the like for him when he's too sick to move. Otherwise, we're militant about how we cook, which cookware we use, etc. He even has a kitchen nook off our den where he makes sandwiches. But sometimes I wonder if having two separate sponges in our shared-ish main kitchen is enough and I should just banish all gluten whatsoever from the kitchen. I can't be the only one with a mixed kitchen, right? How do you do it if you have a mixed-eating family?

      Thank you so much!  
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