Why do elderly people suffer from diarrhea so often?

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Both my mother and father have suffered severe bouts of diarrhea quite often. I am really tired of dealing with it, what do they need to change to stop this? I think it is dairy intolerance or something else food related, but they won't stop eating things with dairy. Please help!!

Answers 1 to 10 of 37
What does their doctor say?
My mother-in-law gets it sometimes out of the blue. She once said that when you get old that happens. I don't know. Maybe she's right.
They were given an immodium a day prescription. They say they are taking enough pills, so they dont take that one. Since that was their doctor that did that, I take that to mean it is normal for their age group. But it doesnt help my frustration or disgust about it. I feel this way because many plans have to be changed because of these bouts. I live with them so then I have to stay close to home so I can help them while they recover from the latest bout. They have kidney failure, diabetes, and high blood pressure, all of which have a very sensitive balance to each other. If one goes, they all start going out of control. No picnic for them, but as their primary care giver, I get very angry that I cant do what I need or want to do because they couldnt stop themselves from eating something they know may have that affect on them. Just very frustrating.
I've noticed the same thing. I sometimes think older people aren't as aware of the effects of diet. There didn't used to be as much focus on that as there is now. My mother thinks it's all hogwash and she should eat as she wishes which pretty much involves lots of snacking, lots of sugar, lots of things that a more contemporary person with IBS would avoid. It is frustrating - especially when she (we) ends up in ER or hospitalized for a severe bout. I think the diet we would like to see them eat just tastes bland to them. I wish I had a solution for you but want you to know you aren't alone in trying to maintain a healthier diet for their sensitive digestive systems. Have you tried probiotics at all? Don't know if it will help or not but we're giving it a try right now. If they won't eat yogart, there are capsules available.
Soverytired, that is exactly what I am dealing with. Thank you!! I might suggest probiotics at the next doctor visit. They wont eat yogurt, and they shouldnt anyway (dairy). But there are soy yogurts and they still wont eat them. Another pill is out of the question. Maybe the doctor will have ideas.
Top Answer
I'm sole caregiver for my 93 YO Mother. She is somewhat mobile but suffers from frequent diarrhea and can not move fast enough to get to the toilet. So she wears briefs. Sometimes several times a day she messes herself up. Cleaning her up wouldn't be too bad if she would let me help from the onset of the mess. Instead, she does not tell me and tries to clean herself up. Since her vision is so poor, she has stool all over the toilet, the grab bars, the toilet paper holder, her legs, etc.
I become so frustrated because I have to clean up her and the mess! I tell her repeatedly to let me help as soon as she goes, but she will not. Her trying to be independent is one thing but having to clean up stool every day is becoming unbearable, not to mention unhealthy!
She has had every kind of test to determine why she gets diarrhea, there is no conclusion. She takes 1/2 Imodium daily but still has frequent & runny BM's.
This problem has been placing a terrible strain on out relationship. I love my Mother and will do anything I can to keep her out of a nursing facility but I don't know how to get her stop trying to "clean herself up". Any suggestions?
My mom, 84, diabetic, afib, etc. has recurring diarrhea. Much of her problem comes from uterine cancer and the over radiation she got in the 80s. She's ok if she watches what she eats. I think with elders on so many meds it's almost impossible to tell what meds trigger diarrhea . When you read all the side effects it's ridiculous. Mom is still mentally alert, wears her depends and can cope but it's horrible agony for her. I remind her every day how bad the last bout was and to not eat the junk food dad brings into the house. Dad has dementia and he ain't gonna change nothing no way no how. (Ask me about my patented eldercare chokehold.....)
For my Dad it was being dairy intolerant... but my Mom would still serve him cottage cheese... yogurt... ice cream as she only thought it was just milk that was causing the problem. She still doesn't understand it is all connected, and Dad will keep right on eating whatever is served in front of him... [sigh].
My mom just got over a month long ordeal with diarrhea due to c.diff she acquired in the hospital. Have they been hospialized or taken antibiotics recently? If so you may want to have the dr. Check for c.diff infection. If not, there are 2 types of probiotics that may help. One is a yeast capsule by the name of florastor (walgreens). Then get another with lactobacilli. florastor csn be mixed in juice or food. Lactobacilli can be mixed in food or many brands come in gummy form now too dince they dont like pills.
if you know its due to lactose intolerance try buying the lactaid products. If you think they will balk disguise the lactaid milkin the regular milk container.

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