Constipation.......the battle begins!

Follow
Share

As weird as this sounds......my mother is constantly constipated.......all the time....she could be a laxative addict if I let her. She argues with me all the time over this.....like it's my fault. She always begs me to take her to the emergency room......cause she can't poop. It seems to be the topic of the day.....all the time.....let's talk about poop! It's an everyday thing with her....it's killing me....she can't poop.....she can't poop. The only thing she likes is when she had a big shot of milk of mag.....and the poop run's out of her all day long......yes, very gross. HELP ME!.......the curse continues!

This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Find Care & Housing
27

Comments

Show:
1 2 3
I give my mother Aloe vera juice with pulp, to avoid constipation, along with Coconut juice to avoid dehydration. This combination has been a miracle slam dunk for us. Life changing!!! My mother is 90 years old with stage V (late stage) Parkinson’s disease. She is bed ridden and not very mobile. She suffered from constipation constantly (medication will cause this) I strongly recommend this as a natural, simple way to avoid constipation, which can easily turn into a very serious and dangerous situation quickly, when it becomes a bowl obstruction.
(1)
Report

Ditto the experiences others have mentioned regarding adequate fluids as a resolution for constipation. For a number of years my 88-year-old dad was taking a laxative and/or a stool softener. (One health professional would tell us he should be on stool softeners and another would swear up and down that Miralax was the only thing he should be using, so we went back and forth for a while.) In spite of using these, Dad was often complaining that he was constipated, to the point that Mom and/or the nurses at his day care would occasionally need to use a suppository. Our family would try to get him to drink more water, but he didn't want to, saying that made him need to urinate more frequently--which he didn't want because it was hard for him to walk to the bathroom in time. Eventually he started using Senna on an every-other-day basis, which worked fairly well. But ....

...about four months ago I happened to mention to Dad that I was surprised he no longer drinks decaf coffee at breakfast and lunch anymore, since he used to enjoy that so much in the old days. To my surprise he asked for a cup of coffee and started drinking decaf coffee on a regular basis again with breakfast and lunch. During this same time I also started asking him, about an hour before lunch, which he would like-- a glass of orange juice, cranberry juice, or a low sodium V8. Often he would drink a small glass of one or another before lunch. I also tried to offer more water-based snacks, such as an apple with some peanut butter or a slice of watermelon. We found his favorite root beer, Stewarts, in a local grocery store and he would occasionally have this or a 7-Up or Sprite in the afternoon.

In short time we had to discontinue the Senna because his bowel movements had become loose and diarrhea-like. It dawned on me that it might be due to his increased fluid intake (I had noticed that his overnight cath bag output had gone from 200-300 mL to more like 600-1000.) We completely stopped the Senna and substituted a few prunes with breakfast, fine tuning the number of prunes based on his previous day's bowel movements.

Four months later, still without any laxatives, stool softeners, or suppositories, Dad is still having a bowel movement approximately once a day, usually shortly after his breakfast--which includes prunes and about 8 ounces of apple juice in addition to his cereal, eggs, toast and sometimes canteloupe or a banana. (He typically urinates 3 or 4 times during the day, and as mentioned his catheter bag's overnight urinary output is usually at least 600 mL and often more like 1000).

(Note that in spite of this apparent resolution to Dad's constipation, he (smile) is still not entirely happy with his bowel movements....even though he's continuing to have a regular BM almost every day and without the straining that he used to have. Maybe we'd have to be elderly ourselves to understand their frustration with their bowel habits.)
(2)
Report

missmpd2000 can you get your mom to drink other fluids? I started taking my mom caffeine free Diet Pepsi or Diet Coke. She really likes it and drinks it regularly, which I think also helps keep her regular. Any kind of fluid should work - water, tea, soda, fruit juices, milk. My mom keeps cold water in the fridge and drinks a bit of that, but she really likes the pop. I think she looks at it as a treat, which is great. Works for her and that's what I care about.
(1)
Report

You are far from alone with this problem. My poor mother has had years of constipation, with two episodes of intestinal obstruction leading to surgery. So, keeping her cleaned out is really important. We have tried just about everything and then switch from one thing to another. Recently she has had a really bad time of it for whatever reason. The doctor told me to use Mg Citrate in prune juice. After several days of that, with no results other than bloating and "a belly ache", I have resorted to a huge dose of MOM. My mother is not good at drinking. I find myself constantly trying different laxatives and stool softeners. She gets very upset at me for not helping her and I feel so badly that I can't help. When she does not poop, she does not eat, and at 95 pounds soaking wet, I can't afford for her to refuse to eat. So, I just give her whatever I want in the hopes that she will not become obstructed again. Good luck to you and to me too.
(1)
Report

PEOPLE!! I swear by this website: herbdoc.

Constipation is no joke. Dr. Richard Schulze is a holistic doctor - he's got an MD and he sells only herbs. I personally take Formula 1 for digestion and regular bowel movements. However, its got cayenne in it and that could be way too harsh for the elderly. There is a Formula 3 - which is the link above that kids use and it's easier for adults. It's worth a look. There was a time when I was so stoved up it was miserable when I was on vacation. I actually fed-exed the Formula 1 to my friends house and only after taking that was I able to "go". Again, use Formula 3 for adults - it's easier on their system as Formula 1 can be tough to digest. Make sure they have food when taking and you can call the company and ask questions. The customer reps are pretty knowledgeable. I 've used this product for years. It's truly amazing company with a lot of good products. Also, my mom uses Mirlax every morning that she got from her Geriatric doctor. It seems to work.
(0)
Report

I am an LPN and worked in a nursing home. When the Miralax came out it was a Godsend. There were some problems getting some demented patients to take it? I believe the 'REAL' secret is making sure it is desolved. I kept pouring a dose with water back and forth until I could see it was desolved. Still we need to get the patient or all is for Nill. Sometimes I would pour the desolved Miralax into their coffee or juice. Sometimes I would give it with their Meds as their water. (There is NO taste to it) It is for everyday and may take a couple of days to start working. Yes it draws water into the colon.
Nothing is worse than a empacted patient needing to be cleaned out by hand. So painful for them.
Sometimes we MUST be inventive with these issues.
(0)
Report

Try cool kinds of teas for added water drinking. Put a squeeze of orange, lime or apple into bubbly water. I tried hybiscus tea recently and it was lovely... even tho I don't like tea very much.

Also, kambucha at natural markets has stuff in it that might help as well when needing to drink more. Dilute everything a bit so there is more water and less flavoring.
(1)
Report

My 90 year old mother is always constipated. I recently took her to the ER for impacted bowels. They gave her an enema and then had to "dig" the rest of it out. She was in so much pain they gave her some morphine thru andIV. I took her home and later that night she got up to go to the bathroom and her legs just gave way, but I was behind her and kept her from falling. I just helped lower her to the floor. I feel like it was the morphine that caused this. Her legs and arms were still weak the next day. .Next time (and I know there will be one) I won't let them give her morphine.

She had been taking Milk of Mag, but the kidney doctor doesn't want her taking it any more. Prune juice makes her cramp really bad. Miralax also makes her stomach cramp all day like she has to poop even if she just did. When she was at the ER she was dehydrated and that is part of her problem. I encourage her to drink more water, that it will help with her bowel movements. She just gets mad at me and says "I know it". She is so stubborn and won't listen to me or the doctor.

I guess this is just an ongoing thing Good luck to all the other caregivers! After reading these postings I realize I'm not alone in dealing with this.
(0)
Report

I second the notion of Miralax. I keep my mom in lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and thank goodness, she doesn't have this issue. In the past when she wasn't eating as well or drinking enough fluid, our doctor (a geriatrician) recommended Miralax. My dad used that and it creates normal stools. You take it daily and it keeps things moving.

I've really laughed at some of the poop discussion on this thread (poop prognostication) and yes, caregiving makes poop talk funny. Glad we're laughing and not crying over this issue!
(1)
Report

Having your bowels impacted is a real issue and can cause death.

BM movements is a constant topic among the elderly. You could do a whole comedy skit on them giving a @#$%!

I have seen this combo produce a regular soft bowel movement in a 96 year-old for years now. Miralax in the morning. 1 Colace at breakfast and another Colace at night. Of course, consult your physician before giving anything. This 96 year-old has a quart of water per day plus liquid like Boost, milk and tea.

One thing that works with the elderly and demented is saying, "Here is your water that you need to have a nice "movement." Instead of asking them if they would like some water. Ditto with a shower. It's best to say something like, "It's Tuesday morning time for your shower." Often if you ask the elderly if they want to do something the answer will be, "NO!"

I know some nursing homes give the "bomb" when it's day 3 of no bowel movement. Warm prune juice with a dose of Milk of Mag. Stay very close to the toilet until bowels move or you may have a mess to clean up. Again, speak with your physician before doing anything.

Sometimes young doctors miss impacted bowel if you take a senior in about it.
This happened to someone I know. Please let the young doctor know if they do miss it because everyone can't know everything.
(1)
Report

1 2 3
This discussion has been closed for comment. Start a New Discussion.
Related
Questions