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My mom is 92 yrs. old. She has always suffered with heartburn, and has relied upon a brand name product for relief, but it contains aluminum, which I've read contributes as a toxin to ALZ. But at the core of the matter is that we have one of the main caregivers who is very stubborn, and just keeps feeding mom acid containing foods. What kind of a diet should be followed, and could pro-biotics help her?

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Good Morning Chimonger,

You definitely understood my question. My mother is already taking blood pressure, and her ALZ medications. I'm aware from research I have done how one destroys beneficial flora and enzymes. So particularly for this reason, I at least am looking for an alternative approach to help her. I was not aware that Acidoophilus vs. Bifidobacterium had opposite effects on the system. Mom is feeling better apparently this week. A big Thank You! Love & light! Margeaux
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Heartburn is so uncomfortable! Hope you got resolution.
Perhaps I misunderstood?
I thot Margeaux asked if there were other things to do about heartburn/reflux, whether probiotics or a special dietary might help, and mentioned a caregiver non-compliant with care guidelines.
I addressed those items; it's no quackery; ya'll got benefit of years of professional experience.
Free.
I wish you well!
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Monicajoy, Thank you for explaining about the acid proton inhibitors. I'm learning, and really being reminded of things I've read over the years, and had forgotten about with regards to healing the digestive tract. Margeaux
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Chimonger, you have much knowledge about the probiotics, I was not aware of.

Oh yes! Those small meals, this is exactly what has not been happening over there, it's been more like big ones, especially for a small elderly woman. Actually, most of the suggestions, which are what I've tried to encourage my sister to follow, and really have that caregiver follow also. Also, my mom does not really do enough walking. Most of the time she goes from the dining table, straight to the couch to watch tv, and ends up falling asleep there. So all of these ingredients add up to what she is feeling. Well Chimonger, I'm going to keep insisting, this is my role, as the visiting caregiver. Again thank you, it's very helpful and very appreciated! Love & light! Margeaux
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Bilmo, thanks very much for the suggestion about the Greek yougurt.
I'm going to buy some, and take it to mom, next time I go there. Margaux
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Patricia, thanks for mom's belated birthday wishes! Yes, part of all of this scenario at mom's household, is that she just lost her narcissistic sister, who'd also been living there w/mom and my sister. She and her health problems were very taxing on the family, and she just passed in Jan. So for some time, although mom was being well taken care of, the sister had front stage center. So now there are some readjustments we are going through, and now being able to focus on our mother.

I love the Mediterranean diet also. We try to follow it as much as possible; but husband does need his meat every now and again.

Thank you so much again, Lot's of love & light! Margeaux
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bilmo...you are alright...I don't mind you calling a quack, a quack. That is the least of my worries and I have heard and said much worse. Don't go anywhere...eat some yogurt.:)
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Probiotics might be helpful--but more importantly, those are helpful for overall health. Watch out though. It is important to have a clue about what various strains of probiotics do what...
Like: Acidophilus type is often used to stop diarrhea--it thickens stools.
Bifidobacterium strains can assist keeping stools UNconstipated [think: baby-poo].
There are many varietes of probiotics; it is by far best to use a mixture of many, instead of giving a single kind. A mixture is best for helping keep the bowles regular, to prevent "backup".
It's a good idea to have at least one BM per day, and a good mix of probiotics can help that--in that respect, making BM's keep rolling along, it helps to decrease reflux.
A bowel that moves along too slowly, no matter how soft the content, will send signals to either not eat more food, or, reflux what was eaten.

There are a number of other tricks to try to decrease reflux...
IF one is inclined to try them--if caretaker[s] will not do it, though, it won't work.
1. Sequential eating.
Start a meal by eating the simple-to-digest foods first, like fruits.
Next, more complex carbohydrates.
LAST is proteins, like meat, eggs, cheese.
This is tough when so many meals are all kinds of foods all mixed together. So, there needs to be more tricks...
2. More, but smaller, meals.
Putting snack-size "meal" in the stomach when one is hungry and ready to eat, means the stomach works faster a bit, to digest it.
Suggest dividing daily food portions into at least 5 "snack-size" meals.
3. Drink a glass of water about 30 minutes before eating.
This helps the body generate digestive juices, to prepare for digesting.
4. Be sure to chew foods well;
The stomach will refuse to handle poorly chewed foods, thus either sending them up, or rapidly dumping them down the other way, depending on the person.
5. Stay in an upright position while and after eating at least one hour.
6. Some folks have raised the head of the bed by putting the legs at the head of the bed, up on blocks. Others use stacks of pillows to elevate the upper torso.
7. Many chew simple papaya tablets or eat dried papaya, after a meal; this stuff helps digest the food---which indicates insufficient digestive juices, which means that taking Antacids makes the problem worse!
8 If it appears that using papaya after a meal is helpful, one might want to explore using other foods that help digestion, too, like pineapple.
9. Watch to see what meals have more reflux--is it dinner?
If so, perhaps the dinner meal is eaten too close to bedtime.
If lunch, then too close to nap time?
10. Has this elder been evaluated to see if they are sensitive or allergic to certain foods, such as gluten, or food additives?
It might be useful to try elminating suspect foods or additives, or at leaast observing what foods stay down well, vs. what ones reflux more often than not.

Oh--that caregiver who feeds your elder foods that make things worse??
THAT person may need to find another position!
IF a caregiver has been instructed about specific dietary needs,
yet goes against those needs,
especially in ways that make things worse for the elder,
then that caregiver is being abusive
[your use of the word "stubborn" is a very polite euphamism]
and in those circumstances, that caregiver needs removed from caring for your elder.
That kind of scenario is rather like a caregiver deliberately feeding sugary foods to a diabetic, and could be construed as contributing to premature demise.
It sounds like something you really need to evaluate and address, and soon.
If it is happening with food, what else might it be happening with?
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bilmo2012 - I am offended that you call my husbands doctor a QUACK. My husband has been tested for all kinds of things and I do agree that antacids are not good. He tries to eat what he is supposed to and there really isn't anything that is really ever going to stop heartburn. I have a good friend who has the same thing. She has used prescription stuff, along with over the counter stuff and nothing is going to work. She tries to eat everything and hopes nothing will bother her. We use Greek non-fat yogurt at our house. I will try to find the organic at the health food store.
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Margeaux- A belated Happy Birthday to Mom. Also, wanted to say at our house we eat more of a Mederterranen diet. Lots of fruits and vegetables ,grains. My husbands doctor approves of this and his words are "eat anything you want, it won't change a thing. Some things will bother you more than others." Of course, he wants us to stay away from fat and a lot of red meat. Hope all of this has helped and that you can get the caregiver re-oriented. We started slow and believe it or not we do not miss anything, feel better and by starting slow as everything just fell into place. It is better than taking everything away at one time. Just cut down on some and finally eliminate all of the things you should not eat.
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Yes, I totally agree with all of you who have suggested yogurt and aloe vera.
It is so soothing to the stomach. Thank you all, I really appreciate your suggestions,
oh, and my mom just turned 92 in April. Love and Light to everyone! Margeaux
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Mommag, my mom is not over weight at all. Thank you for all of your dietary suggestions. I don't live there, my sister does. She's overweight, and of course is at the helm for what really goes on there with mom, w/caregivers. But I'm there enough, relieving. My sister in part, doesn't have a good diet. Too many heavy fried, acidic foods. The caregiver, is clueless. My sister can't seem to get her to cooperate much on this front. My sister although is paying more attention in terms of my suggestions, to really cut out the acidic foods, and does make her more spice free, and many of foods you have mentioned. Anyway, we're currently monitoring this caregiver more, so much so that if she doesn't cooperate, she may be out of a job. Thanks again, Margeaux
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I read all labels so I know what is in a product. My husband uses the store brands or generic which his doctor says is all the same and he is not paying for a brand name is Omerprazole (Prilosec). It works for him and is much cheaper. Also, I take one probiotic acidophilus once a day and that helps me.
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I think probiotics is great to try, my husband drinks aloe vera juice (as seen on Dr. Oz) and it has helped his heartburn so much that he does not take prilosec when he uses the aloe vera
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Is your mom overweight? That often can cause heartburn and digestive problems. Is your mom in a nursing home or at home? Simple real foods that are not highly seasoned or processed would be a start. Oatmeal, cream of wheat, scrambled eggs, yogurt, bananas, applesauce, vanilla ensure, cooked veggies, rice, mashed potatoes, melons. Don't give her fatty meats and cheeses...stick to chicken and fish. My concern would be that your mother may not like it if you changed her diet. My mother is 89 with dementia and she has dwindled herself down to eating only scrambled eggs, bananas, yogurt, ensure, cookies, cupcakes, chocolate, mashed potatoes and fruit cocktail. If she doesn't like it, she will spit it out or just say it is poison and not even taste it. She has no stomach problems. Just giving up citrus or tomatoes could help...or just adding yogurt. Perhaps the caregiver has tried different foods and the ones that she gives your mother are the ones that your mother will eat. Unless you are the one preparing, serving the food and sitting with her while she eats it, it is hard to have control over what your mom eats. If you or someone could keep a log of what she eats, that would be a start in identifying what bothers her stomach.
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Digestive enzymes work very well at controling heartburn. As we age, we lose alot of those natural enzymes that break down our food which starts as we chew our food...our saliva starts the process. If you have a local health food store, you can symply go in and tell them about the heartburn and they will suggest to you which ones will work best. My mom has this problem, and just went on previced I think it was, and she now has a hole in her esophagus. These acid proton inhibitors stop ALL acid which is not good because you do need the acid in your stomach, so your body tries to produce even more, and you end up with more complications such as my mom. Whenever you can get something natural to your body heal itself, it's a good idea. Sometimes if the damage is too far gone, you may have to rely upon meds, because it's the only choice. A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar works well too. Just go on the internet and look up uses for apple cider vinegar and its usefulness as a heartburn remedy. Also check out digestive enzymes on the internet as well. It just might be what you are looking for. Good luck.
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I really do understand about not wanting more medications. Diet is very important, but often not enough. I have severe heartburn, and have tried every medication out there until I found one that worked. Zegerid has stopped the heartburn for me which was so severe it felt like a heart attack. And constant acids can erode the esophagus and cause cancer. Don't know if there is aluminum in Zegerid. Stress can cause stomach problems; so until I can unload all the stress, medication is a blessing. The side effects might be doing something else to my body which I regret, but the heartburn can become unbearable. I had to go to the emergency room as it hurt to breath. So, for now, I am a proponent for meds.
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Nancy, My mom already takes other meds. According to research, the intestinal flora in the digestive track can also be destroyed by taking over the counter products, aside from prescribed medications. Even if my mom is 92, I'd rather she not become reliant upon this aluminum containing product, Actually mom in many ways, still can remember people, read (slowly of course). Besides it is not really addressing the issue, which is diet, and restoring the gut function viaenzymes, and intestinal flora. We in our family at the very least want her hopefully functioning to the best of her ability, but hopefully also helping her heal her condition rather than just loading her body up w/more poison Margeaux
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My question is, at age 92 how much worse can her Alz get? I personally use Prilosec, but I have no idea if it has aluminum in it, only that it works.
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