Low FODMAP Fiber Supplement

If you have the digestion and absorption issues that are common with IBS, Gastroparesis and other gastrointestinal problems along with the inability to process many carbohydrates, you probably find it impossible to incorporate enough fiber into your diet. The simple solution is to add a fiber supplement, but most fiber supplements are plant based and contain high carbohydrate content. Therefore, they can easily upset the systems of people with carbohydrate intolerance. If you’re on the FODMAPs diet, the fiber supplement you’re currently taking that is supposed to be doing you good could actually be having the opposite effect, so it’s very important that you investigate what’s in your fiber supplement and whether or not you need to take a different kind.

fiber_packThough I haven’t taken a fiber supplement in a long time because I’ve known that many caused me more trouble than benefits, I decided to search one out, because despite enjoying better bowel health than I have in a long time, I couldn’t really achieve any consistency in my bathroom habits. After doing some research, I found a new product put out by Nestle that was actually designed with us FODMAPers in mind; ProNourish Digestive Balance Fiber.

According to the packaging, ProNourish Digestive Balance Fiber is made from guar gum and is gluten-free, lactose free, and vegan, as well as low FODMAP. Just a side note, ProNourish also has a low FODMAP dietary supplement drink (think ensure), if you’re having a hard time meeting your caloric intake and nutritional needs.  I’ve been taking this fiber supplement for a few weeks now and I’ve found there to be a few pros and cons.

First, it’s truly tasteless and undetectable in water, so you don’t have to worry about it being one more nose-holding powder to choke down. It takes a bit of mixing, but once dissolved, you really can’t tell it’s there at all. You can also sprinkle it over your food if you prefer. I add it with my ORS and other powders to a glass of water.

Second, it’s not supposed to cause diarrhea, but if you take too much to begin with, it definitely will; or at least that’s how it’s worked on me. It says it’s safe to begin at a 1 tablespoon dose per day, however I had to break that in half to avoid getting diarrhea, which was pretty much an immediate reaction (within 1 hour of taking it). Given this personal experience, I would recommend that you start with no more than a ½ tablespoon per day and work your way up slowly. You might even break your doses up into multiple servings, as I take 1 dose in the morning and one with lunch.

Third, to help avoid stomach upset, take it with food rather than on an empty stomach. It doesn’t matter if you add it to your water or your food, just make sure it goes in your tummy at roughly the same time. This doesn’t mitigate the need to work your way up in dose size.

Fourth, try to work your way up to an adequate does and give it a chance to really work. It helped me some right away, but it wasn’t until I got to almost 1 tablespoon twice a day before it really started to turn things around for me, bulking up my stool, making things more regular and eliminating some of the general achiness I was still experiencing.

Finally, avoid buying it on Amazon, at least for now. Whoever sells it on there is selling it for a ridiculous upcharge. Go here and buy it from Nestle Science Diet instead if you can’t find it locally. They’re sometimes out of stock, but if you buy four cans you can skip the shipping charges and will only have to order it a few times a year or so. While I can easily find the nutrition drink locally, the fiber supplement appears to be a bit more scarce.

ProNourish Fiber may not be the perfect solution for everyone, but so far it’s worked well for both me and my husband, who also has carbohydrate intolerance. If it doesn’t work for you, I recommend trying to find a fiber supplement made from a plant fiber that you do tolerate well and that doesn’t contain a high carbohydrate content and working your way up much the same way. It really does help!

Looking for more supplements and nutrition information to improve your spoonie life? Check out my protocol!

Please Note: I am in no way affiliated with Nestle or ProNourish, and I am not a medical practitioner. This blog is for the sole purpose of sharing my personal experiences so that people with the same health challenges may benefit from the knowledge I have gained. I have not been paid for my opinion.


Are Vaccines Safe for My Condition?

“Is it safe to get x vaccine if I have y disorder?” I hear this question asked all the time in support groups, on twitter and blog posts by spoonies. There are a lot of questions and confusion these days around the safety of vaccinations for children, elders and people with chronic illness or auto-immune disease. How do we determine what’s safe when our own doctors insist they’re safe yet courts are ruling that contaminants in vaccines are in fact triggering latent genes for conditions such as autism, 1, 2, 3 based on studies which confirm that vaccination causes mercury toxicity which can irreparably harm our mitochondria?

I don’t want to come across as sounding anti-vaxx. Vaccinations can be an incredibly good thing. They were responsible for eradicating Polio, after all and are meant to protect us from some pretty scary stuff. We need vaccines.

But not everything about vaccines is good. What bothers me is what comes along with the vaccine. They tend to be packed with things that aren’t good for the average person, but when it comes to the spoonie population can be downright disastrous. Vaccinations contain highly toxic metals and substances such as mercury, aluminum, lead, cadmium, formaldehyde, and thimerasol and often contain common allergens such as dairy and MSG, 4. I could break down what each of these does to a body, but let’s just say that most of these compounds do not simply process through the body without harm. They are toxic to our systems and can do any number of things to our bodies, including contribute to serious conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.

I had a TDap vaccine several years ago that resulted in a high fever, chills, vomiting, swelling and heat at the site of the injection, all over soreness in my arm and a rash. Recently another member of my local zebra chapter reported the same symptoms with a different vaccine, only her arm was so severely affected that she couldn’t move it for several days. It took both of us weeks before we felt back to our normal selves.

Conversely, I’ve taken flu vaccines since with none of these side effects. Why? More than likely, the vaccines had different components, so I experienced a different reaction. But I’m wary of vaccines now and I’m certainly not the only one. I’ve done a lot of research since and I believe that the use of heavy metals and common allergens like dairy have to be removed from vaccines in order to make them safe for all of us.

This article discusses the history of vaccination problems among immune compromised persons and while it seems to contradict itself at every turn, it seems clear there is an issue. One which is complex, multifaceted and ongoing.

Of course this is a topic of hot debate. It’s especially important when governments and schools are making laws that force people to vaccinate their children for the “common good, 1.” I could not in good conscience vaccinate my child if it meant also giving them the mercury toxicity that could have led to my stepson’s autism. Luckily, if you want to call it luck, I won’t be having to make that choice.

I do have to face that choice for myself, though and will have to more and more as doctors push on me various vaccines recommended for aging and ailing populations. In order to get ready for those choices, I try to educate myself with the facts as much as possible and pressure manufacturers and law makers to force positive change to these much needed vaccines.

To that end, I’ve signed up to watch a documentary series on The Truth About Vaccines, beginning August 17th. I encourage you all to watch as well so you too can make the best, most well-informed decisions you can to stay as healthy as possible for as long as you may!




To try to bring some good vibes and positive mojo to DD, I will now be featuring “Good News Around the Net” every Friday. They will just be little tidbits that I find that celebrate positive experiences shared within the disabled/chronically ill community. It could be a post I captured in screen shot, a news article or some other little tidbit that brought a smile to my face, like this wonderful story featured on The Mighty about Grace Warnock, a girl with Crohn’s disease, the sign she created and the way she’s helping to change the world for people with invisible diseases.

For the full scoop go here