Are probiotics beneficial for elderly with bowel and UTI issues?

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I just started probiotics on mom hoping it will help her bowel issues. Sometimes constipated and digs it out(yuck) or sometimes it just runs out of her with no control. It is also the worst smelling poop I have ever smelt - it is unbelievable.
Anyone tried these before with any luck.

Answers 1 to 10 of 31
I meant bowel. Darn spell check
Yes, I believe that they are, for any age. The question is that you become properly educated on the type and right amount to use. The other factor here with your mother would be, when is that last time she had a physical at her doctor. I would make sure that she had an exam first, as there could be a treatable reason for what is happening to her. Although on the other side of the coin, I realize that most doctors are not educated in this area. If she is on medications this could be a side effect. Is she keeping her food at the proper temperature before she uses it etc, etc Does she have any animals around. Are they getting their shots and worming appropriately? People sometimes forget that worms etc. can be transmitted if proper hygiene is not observed..A Naturopathic doctor could be helpful in learning what probiotics to use. Or if you are able to research this yourself on the internet, you will become more educated and aware of what works or does not work. Not all probiotics are the same. For UTI's I have seen cranberry pills work very well with the elderly. The problem is that Medicare will not cover this. So family members have to provide it.
Also what kind of fluid intake does she have?? Many of us, of any age, are guilty of not taking in adequate fluids. Especially in the elderly population, this becomes an issue, as many times they do not feel thirsty and have other complicating issues. Fiber many times is lacking as well in their diet. There are some things that can be used to increase this other than food, if they are not eating well or much. This is not a fun issue to deal with, but hopefully I have given you some things to explore that will be helpful.
They definitely help the elderly. My mother is 85 and was constantly going from the extremes with her digestive track. I recommended probiotics or, at a minimum yogurt, and it did wonders for her. It turned out that a small container of yogurt each day kept her very regular and comfortable. If your mother can eat yogurt, that that first. It may be enough. If it isn't, investigate the next least intrusive probiotics and continue in steps until you find the right combination.
Top Answer
Golfbhard, this is a daily concern here with my 90 year old Mom. I have to keep right on top of her schedule daily and its a balancing act depending on what she eats also, even if she has too much thick-it, different meds, diff foods, etc. Colace is great but isnt an option for us as she cannot swallow pills. If your Mom is constipated with small hard stools, it might be backed up all the way up the track that way. I have had my Mom in the ER for an unimpaction and learned my lesson the hard way. Here is what I do, and I hope it helps you or someone.
Every morning I giver her 3/4 teaspoon of miralax in 4 ozs of real coffee, she loves a real coffee treat. (with thick-it)(approved by her dr) She gets her pills 2x daily with prune pudding that I made and keep in the fridge. I buy frozen peaches and/or mixed fruits, thaw them, put them in the blender with a little sugar and puree them, then I freeze them into little containers. I feed her them as an Icee, as pudding, or as a drink depending on how thawed I have them. She drinks 20 oz a day of decaf coffee and tea, and if I even think she might be getting constipated I put in a childrens glycerine suppository. Sometimes she has a buldge around her anus as she forgets how to push out her stools, poor thing, I use a glove and vaseline to massage around the area to get it started some times. I keep her on a daily dose of amoxicillin to prevent UTI's after a long visit with her doctor, he agreed to do this and it works like a charm. Probiotics are good to prevent yeast infections I hear when on antiobiotics. We are preventing UTI's and Constipation but its not easy, its been good for 3 years now with a careful watch. Good Luck.
YES! They can take probiotics. The Home Care Nurse recommended acidophyllus for MIL when her bowls are messed up because of the UTI's. MIL was taking several different antibiotics for an infected toe (she's a diabetic) and her bowels were in a terrible uproar. Her doctors couldn't figure out what to do. I think they were just plain stupid, myself. I finally gave her 1/2 an antidiarrhea pill a day and another if she had a bad watery bowel movement and we also gave her acidophyllus and Culturelle every day. It took about two weeks or maybe it was three, but it gave her more firm, or at least not watery movements. I could get her to the potty before she messed up the bed and needed a bath herself. We keep a little bit of Pine Sol in the potty water to help control the odor and it helps a great deal. It doesn't eliminate it, but it keeps it from engulfing the room. Family Dollar sells a 48 oz. bottle of Pine Power for $2.00 and it works just as good as Pine Sol which is a lot more expensive.
Funny...Love the pine sol idea, thanks!
I take acidophilus every day and I get less severe colds and no yeast infections. I have thought of trying my mom on them, but will ask the doctor first. Great answers!
Probiotics/acidophilus are both useful in helping the digestive system. Sometimes it is hard for older people to manage fiber. You might want to look into a daily fiber therapy routine using a gentle fiber you can buy over the counter to regulate her bowels and be sure she gets a lot of fluid. This is vital to the digestive system. I live with Chrohn's disease! You need to tell the doctor about her problem. There might be a digestive disease.
Another thing that will help the odor, is to get a bottle of pure peppermint oil. A great site that I use is . Put a drop or two in the "potty" and it will help with the odor. I believe I heard Dr. Oz suggest carrying this with you, when out and about, and you are concerned about stool odor, when using public facilities. Just put a drop or two in the toilet bowl, and it will help contain the odor!
1gemintherough, I love the peppermint oil suggestion. I'm going to get it as soon as I get low on the Pine Power! It will be a lot easier to carry than a 48 oz bottle of anything else. Thanks for that idea.

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