I would like to start my mother on soluble fiber supplements (wheat dextrin) to help with constipation problems. I have checked that the potassium/phosphorus content is low. Do you need to take a lot of fluids with the supplements for them to be effective? If you don`t take enough fluids with fiber supplements, can it have the opposite intended effect and cause more constipation? Thanks.
Hi. Thank you for your post to the forums. This is a great question. There are many causes of constipation including some medications, lack of fiber, and lack of physical activity. Have you spoken with your mother’s nephrologist about her constipation? Often a fiber supplement is helpful. As you mentioned it does need to be taken with some fluid. For example, Benefiber supplement should be taken 2 teaspoons at a time with 4 ounces of fluid. Although extra fluid can be helpful for constipation for those without kidney disease, patients on dialysis must stick to their fluid restriction. Adding in low potassium fruits, vegetables, and grains is another way to increase your mother’s fiber intake. Apple, pear, berries, lettuce, cabbage, and popcorn are some good choices.
LeeAnn Smith, MPH, RD