July 1, 2016

Guar Gum

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How does Guar Gum work?

Guar gum is a fiber that normalizes the moisture content of the stool, absorbing excess liquid in diarrhea, and softening the stool in constipation. It also might help decrease the amount of cholesterol and glucose that is absorbed in the stomach and intestines.

There is some interest in using guar gum for weight loss because it expands in the intestine, causing a sense of fullness. This may decrease appetite.

Are there safety concerns?

Guar gum is LIKELY SAFE for most people when taken by mouth with at least 8 ounces of liquid. The water is important because it reduces the chance of choking or developing a blockage in the intestine.

Side effects include increased gas production, diarrhea, and loose stools. These side effects usually decrease or disappear after several days of use. High doses of guar gum or not drinking enough fluid with the dose of guar gum can cause blockage of the esophagus and the intestines.

Special Precautions & Warnings:

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Taking guar gum during pregnancy in typical amounts is POSSIBLY SAFE. But not enough is known about the safety of taking guar gum during breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Diabetes: Guar gum might lower blood sugar levels in some people. Watch for signs of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and monitor your blood sugar carefully if you have diabetes and use guar gum.

Gastrointestinal (GI) obstruction: Don't take guar gum if you have a condition that causes obstruction or narrowing of your esophagus or intestine.

Low blood pressure: Guar gum might lower blood pressure. In theory, taking guar gum might make blood pressure become too low in people with low blood pressure.

Surgery: Because guar gum might affect blood glucose levels, there is a concern that it might interfere with blood glucose control during and after surgery. Stop taking guar gum at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.


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