Laxative abuse.

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My father, about 85 years old, is addicted to laxatives. His potassium is low. we have been dealing wth this for the past 1-2 years. He has seen a psychiatrist and is on zolft. He live with my mom who has dementai and cannot remember anything. Dr. said no driving so he has her drive him around to the store and buys prune juice and laxatives. We confiscate them but he keeps buying them. we took away the car so then he would walk (he has a cane) in the middle of the night to go buy the laxatives. we gave them back the keys because we were afraid of them walking in the rain and dark. HE knows he is abusing them, he'll say, "I wish I never started to drink prune juice." but he cannot control himself.

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Be aware Miralax can do kidney damage if the person has chronic kidney disease due to retention of phosphate that can cause crystals in the kidneys. Same with Fleet enema (salt based). You have to get their bowels moving at least every 2-3 days or they will get impacted very easy. Stool softeners are a start but they don't always work especially with end-stage Alzheimer's -- I think they forget how to bear down and it's very difficult to get them to drink adequate amounts of water.
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We have the same problem here with my FIL. He too is obsessed with bowel movements and his weight. I have taken away all of the laxatives. He now has a warm cup if tea with 3 prunes each morning. He sits on the pot in the morn for 10 minutes to retrain his bowels and relax them. I give him Metamucil each day for lunch in his juice. I give him miralax twice a week as well. I limit all the "whites"...sugar, flour etc. He eats lots of fruit, all colors of vegetables, salads. Whole grains in place of white rices (farro, forbidden rice etc). It's working like a charm. It was hell before. We too have landed in the ER twice because of his obsession. Granted, my FIL is fairly cooperative and loves the food I cook.
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eguillot, That had to be a lot of blood loss for her to collapse back then. So sorry your mom going through a lot with the Gerd. . It has to be very agitating for her not be able eat n I can see anyone getting tired of the Ensures. I know it has to be taking a toll on you, physically n mentally. She is so blessed to have her daughter helping her.
Keeps us posted on how your mom does on the Gerd issues n how u r doing. Try to take care of yourself as much as possible too.
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lildeb - There was no question she had a problem - she was weak from blood loss - literally couldn't see the bottom of the toilet. She wasn't living with us at the time, and the last bleed before she went to the hospital, she knew enough to call 911, then go open the door for her neighbor and call her neighbor, which was a good thing because she collapsed right after and her neighbor found her in the hallway. She's the one that called me at work (this was back in 2007).

Today Mom had to go to her gastro dr again. She's also had problems with her esophagus due to GERD, and back in 2003 they perforated it during a procedure to get rid of the strictures that prevented her from swallowing. She almost died, and was in the hospital for a month. Well, those strictures have come back and she has trouble eating anything solid again. Some days she can't even get soup down, and she's getting pretty sick of Ensure. So the gastroenterologist has scheduled an upper GI and another endoscopy. The upper GI is on Thursday and the endoscopy, where he will stretch her out, is on March 14th.
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Equillot, OMG! That is just so scary to even read about that happening n a whole week. The mil has an appt for re-check up next week. She seems to be doing much better for she is not n constant pain. That is why I had taking her to 4 different type of physicians along with all of them knowing what I was doing to find answers as well as I had all of them to fax each physician their test results.
She still complains some what about her lower abdomen but then later on it is her butt area or lower back. The hemorrhoid issue is scratch off for it not that issue for mil. However, That is my problem that I have had for yrs n getting surgery for hemorrhoidectomy next wk. I have been losing too much blood after a bm. I was not taking care of myself until I knew she was taking care of first. However, if I get too sickly then, I am no good for her. Thanks for sharing n I will keep that n mind if she still having problems by her next appointment with the gutt/butt physician.
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lildeb - oh, it was a huge surgery. She was in the hospital for a week prior to surgery trying to find where the bleeding was coming from, and when they couldn't find the exact location, just an area, they took the area. She would have bled to death otherwise. She was in the hospital about 3 weeks all told.
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Equillot, Good Grief 19" is a lot of colon gone! That sound scary for you would have to have them knocked out to do that procedure n along with their age n health I be scared to death for my mil. I hope it don't come to that with the diverticulitis with my mil. I am glad that they caught the second time with your mom n stop the bleeding.
Mil has another follow-up in 2 wks so we will see. He may have to do a colonscopy but her primary physician don't won't her to get it unless it is really necessary. She does seem to be getting a little better n maybe it going to take a little time with the meds. Thank you for sharing about your mom even though it sounds scary, at least I know just in case.
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My mothers problems started decades ago, and culminated with the removal of 19" of her colon due to divertuculitis. She had to get 4 units of blood before the surgery. Then this past year, she had a recurrance, but fortunately they were able to find the site of the bleed and cauterize it.
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I was just wandering as people get older, over 70's does their bowl process not work like it use to n their younger years? I know if your older or have low immune system that it takes longer for sores to heal n such.

My mil is 81 n her dr had put her on prescription Miralax 'twice' a day to keep her moving regularly. I can sometimes tell when she is getting constipate for I have caught her squatting on toliet bowl with both of her feet on the seat. Which scare the crap out of me that she is going to crack her freaking skull! I have also had the delight to catch her digging back from her butt. She is also on suppositors that I think helps contribute to her constipation for her lower abdomen problem - divertuculits. Yet, it is the only thing that seems to be working for her. Hopefully no more of those suppoistors in a couple of wks for her re-check up. I also change her diet n added fiber foods like whole grain bread instead of white bread n rasins too as a snack. I add juices as well n dilute it with water for she complains it taste too sweet. So far its working. However, the bathroom issue for safety is a concern for me just in case.
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My father is obsessed with the daily bowel movement as well. Doctor said to use miralax daily. That did not satisfy him. She ordered generic miralax by prescription. He uses it daily and says it works great. All in his mind, obviously. It is the same exact product and dose! He gets crazy when he misses a movement, to the point of two emergency room visits because of it. It is really insane. All of us are so busy with our own families and work and to deal with this nonsense every single day is overwhelming.
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