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Dietary fibre supplementation with psyllium or gum arabic reduced faecal incontinence in community-living adults
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 QUESTION: In community-living adults with incontinence of loose or liquid stools, does dietary fibre supplementation with psyllium or gum arabic reduce faecal incontinence?

Design

Randomised {allocation concealed*}, blinded {clinicians, participants, and statisticians},* placebo controlled trial with 8 day post-intervention comparison.

Setting

Colorectal surgical practice and community in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.

Participants

42 adults (mean age 61 y) with at least weekly faecal incontinence of loose or liquid stools. Exclusion criteria were rectal prolapse, colon cancer, rectal fistula, ulcerative colitis, or removal of some portion of the gastrointestinal tract. No participant had biofeedback training for pelvic muscle exercises. Follow up was 93%.

Intervention

Participants were allocated to receive 31 days of dietary fibre supplementation with psyllium 7.1 g/day (n=13); gum arabic 25 g/day (n=13); or placebo given as pectin 0.25 g/day (n=13). Supplements were mixed into fruit juice and divided into 2 servings for consumption during the morning …

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