My 83-year-old-mother obsesses over needing to take a bowel movement and the doctors won’t believe her.

Started by

My 83 yr old mother is obsessing over needing to have a bowel movement and I have had her to her seen by her present doctor and the one before this one. Both agree she has IBS but she says the doctors don't know anything and she may die if she doesn't have a bowel movement NOW! The doc said she doesn't have any serious symptoms to put her through testing

We get the reports back from the neurologist next week if and what stage dementia/Alzheimer's. In the mean time due to not remembering to take her meds for high blood pressure, weakness in her legs, not eating properly, getting lost when driving and more she is living with me in an home addition made for her. Daily she fusses about needing a bowel movement because she is sick. She was told growing up to to have a daily bowel movement . She has been seen by her doctor who says she has no serious symptoms. Back home she tells me she is sick, needs to have movement and the dr doesn't know anything. She threatens she will die!


I have heard that those fiber tablets that are now out on the market ( and don't have to be taken with water necessarily) work well for regularity. You might want to have her try taking those.
I presently give her Benefiber the dr recommened Metamucil and similar. She says they don't work she needs something stronger. Dr said occasional enemas and supposetories but not much as they are addictive. She says nothing works. I am frustrated what to do
How about a stool softener?
Try Superseed from the health food store. Or lots of fruit. Or too much magnesium. One of those is bound to help.

In fact a healthy person should have more than one bowel movement per day.
Poor you! Does she like prunes or prune juice? My own mom has Alzheimers, too and she is presently trying to escape from assisted living. We should pray for each other.
I do feed her prunes, milk of mag, mineral iol. Of course she doesn't take them all at the same time or day it's just that we have tried them all and some of them work but she forgets they work then fiusses that she can't go.
Dee - my grandma was the very same way. My mom stepped in when we realized she was using way too many laxatives and loosing weight. (Anorexics do this too)... My mom got a medium sized desk top calendar so grandma could record her meals, when she had the laxatives and her BMs. This worked for 2 years. During that time it was grandma's querk but she kept up with it and it helped a lot. Their routine was: get paper, check date, check corresponding day on calendar, make breakfast and start writing things down... After two years grandma gradually forgot about her "regularity" over a two month period.
Have u tried heating prune juice in themicrowave? Trust me ur mothewill not worry about another bm. When u make her breakfeast, just heat some prune juiice, and telll her it;s part of her breakfeast. and it wiill be a done deal. SD
Thanks LynnPo I like the idea of the calendar I want to try that as then she can see what was written down and maybe in time like with your grandma she will forget....maybe something else will take it's place and I wan to try the warm prune juice like you did shedevil...... I give her the prunes but maybe the juice and waming it will help.
Thanks all for the many suggestions!

I feel good to know others have been in this boat and understand........
My mon who is 89 is obsessing everyday about her bowels. she takes stool softeners 2 x per day and also a laxative plus we do fiber pills to try to keep her regular. We had her to a gastroenterologist and was at the ER because of her obsessing over this. Everything is normal no obstructions etc. But I have been caregiving now 4 days per week and spend the night and am realizing that she has a very obsessing tendancy about many things. It is hard to be around her and this obsessing tendency about everyting. I just have to walk away and ignore at times. How does one combat this obsessing tendency?

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support