Recently my 95-year-old mother had diarrhea which went on for hours and hours, despite a dose and a half of Imodium. At one point, while helping her to clean up, I observed a lack of sphincter control. Frazzled at this point, I sent a message to her doctor's nurse, asking for help. Later the nurse called and said to bring Mom in right away and they'd fit her in to see a physician's assistant (PA).
During our visit I mentioned that Mom sometimes goes through a lot of throat lozenges containing menthol during the day. I recalled hearing years ago a woman who said she got diarrhea from sucking on the medicated candies all day. The PA acknowledged this could be a factor because MENTHOL RELAXES THE SMOOTH MUSCLES.
On the way home, Mom and I stopped at the local health food store and bought some fruit candies which I immediately put in the kitchen drawer to replace the bag of lozenges. And the incontinence has NOT recurred.
This happened about a week ago and so far Mom has been moderate in her use of the candies. The favorite is a brand of individually wrapped hard fruit candies I found in the *ethnic* aisle at the grocery store -- Robinsons Fruit Sweets from England. Mom has dementia and sometimes will fill her pockets with the candies and carry them around all day, but doesn't actually eat that many. She tolerates sugar okay and I like to let her feel she still has control over some things.
I'm so relieved that we aren't dealing with incontinence – at least not yet -- that I wanted to share this experience in case it happens to anyone else. I still keep some menthol lozenges around in case my throat bothers me, but they are hidden away where Mom won't mistake them for *treats.* Because what we went through, believe me, was no treat.