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Have used magnesium citrate, but last bloodwork showed high magnesium so Dr. said to stop. Went to GI Dr and he scratched his head b/c she suffers w/low sodium so bad she can't do normal laxatives or her sodium drops and it's an ER visit as heart goes into fibs, etc., Any suggestions helpful Do steel cut oats, apples in a.m. and high fiber waffles. Karo syrup in tea, more apples for lunch w/high fiber soup and whole wheat breads. Eats no refined cookies/cakes, etc. b/c by the time she eats all of her fiber too stuffed for desserts and junk food. Losing weight but difficulty eliminating. Thanks for input.

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Fiber without enough fluid may actually plug you up. Some insoluble fiber as well a soluble may make a difference too. Miralax, used as directed, has been a good option for some people and does not contain magnesium, which is important to avoid excess use of if you have kidney disease. And there is truth to the cartoon that a good cup of coffee may get you "moving" in the AM too - but make sure the caffiene can be tolerated medically if you go that route.
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My MIL take probiotics AND digestive enzymes (that is a giant leap forward for her) and STILL has constipation. She takes 5 prescription meds and every single one has the side effect of constipation. It is a 'lose, lose' situation.

I am one for the 'natural' approach but she has always used enemas and suppositories :0( She told me recently that she has done this for over 30 years and I wouldn't be surprised if it has been longer than that. So, when a person has spent their whole life eating the SAD (standard American diet) way, and they are now in their late 80's - seriously - there isn't much we can do to 'reason' with them or change their minds. I feel we have taken a giant step forward just by getting her to take probiotics, enzymes and vitamins.

She refuses to drink enough fluids because she doesn't want to run to the bathroom. She wants what she wants when she wants it. At this point, I pick my battles and give her what she wants in this department. She takes laxatives and stool softeners and uses Milk of Magnesia and suppositories. (I have hidden her enema equipment).
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I too would recommend staying away from anything the pharmaceutical companies have produced. Whole, natural foods are the best medicine. In older people who have been consuming the standard American diet, their intestinal flora is really messed up. Sugar, white flour, chemicals, etc. mess you up. Go organic if you can. I would try probiotics and probably digestive enzymes. Hope this helps.
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This may sound a little harsh to most but my Mom has always suffered with constipation, she has relied on 2 tbl spoons of Epson Salts dranked in warm water once or twice a week, and alternates with Castor oil. Yes CASTOR OIL, she swears by it! But also goes between constipation and diahrea.

I grew up taking Castor Oil 4 x's a yr, to cleanse before each Season. Now I only take it if a stomach virus attacks, it cleans up very well. But with of course check it out with the Dr. Some Dr's are or are for some of these home made remedys.

I swear by warm water, tea or coffee first thing in the A.M. What about the grenn leafy vegetable intake? Those work well for many, can she take fish oil maybe along with all of the other suggestions?

Bless her heart, it's a miserable feeling, I hope you find relief for her soonest!
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Have you tried phillips colon health.
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JaneB, I like your concoction. I take it myself. Plus I warm up the prune juice. My daughter would say I am the elder, but I am WITH IT. Also sometimes I take Konesyl with water.
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I know someone mentioned high fat but I find that sometimes adds to constipation due to lack of fiber. I know it seems like it would work as a lubricant . My mom has PD and suffers from this problem as a result of the PD and prob some other meds too. She bought this stuff from one of those Dr. Sinatra catalogs and she swears by it. It's called H2 Go. All it is is what's in Phillips Milk of Mag (magnesium) from my point of view but mom swears it's more organic and easier to absorb.. Mom believes in lots of organic/natural vitamins. I think most are a crock but then I"m a born cynic.
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Every day, my dad takes a few tablespoons of this "pudding" a dietician told me about: 1 cup all bran cereal, one cup applesauce, 1/2 cup plus a little more of prune juice. I can always tell if he skipped it because it works well and tastes sweet enough for the elder tastebud to enjoy.
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Warm water, 1st thing in the morning, will stimulate her bowels. Practice good food combining - and do not serve fruit with anything else - EVER. Apples are great, and make a very good mid-morning snack. Tasteless fiber products, mixed in liquid are great. At least 64 oz water a day, along with watery vegetables/fruits. If you can get her to drink more than 64 oz that would be even better. Prunes are a wonderful snack, but as with any fruit, not to be combined with any other food - other than more fruit. Try prunes and hot tea. I find my elderly ladies will drink two mugs of tea with no objection, but one glass of water is a battle. Get herbal tea. Even "Smooth Move" tea, which I found to work very, very, very well. By the way - I wouldn't try a lot of these at the same time. I once tried Smooth Move and prunes, and ended up a prisoner of the potty for hours. :-) I don't believe adding more drugs is the answer to this problem, as it is probably the drugs which helped cause it in the first place! Stay away from processed foods, white flour, sugar, etc. Whole grains, combined with vegetables, are good. Vegetables combined with easy to digest proteins are good. Fruit on an empty stomach. Water, water, water. Warm prune juice before bed would probably work well, but I would be super careful that it didn't work really well at 2 in the morning! Good luck!!
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Every single medication my MIL takes causes constipation. She takes 3 stool softeners and 2 Dulcalax every single night. Some days she does well with fluids - some days not. She gets tired of my 'reminders' and I get tired of reminding her.

She goes from constipated to diarrhea. Back and forth. It sure gets old.

One thing that really gets things moving for her is canteloupe. Hope some of these suggestions 'get things moving.' Pardon the pun :0)
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Have you tried apricots in any form? They seem to be very useful for my family.
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Is you mom taking antidepressant? I didn't know until an ER visit due to impacted bowel that antidepressants draw fluid from the bowel causing impaction. She had been taking them for 3 years and noone had mentioned this side effect and of course I didn't read the 3 pages of "caution" that comes with the meds. After clearing out the impaction, the dr put her on a daily stool softener and that has helped tremendously. She is now on one every other day.
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Also like oldcodger2 says..the docs have told us 64 ounces of fluid..water best..we usually mix with lemonade ...don't have to fight so hard to drink..also..docs have made sure we use Metamucil daily..
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My mom drinks about 3 ounces of warm prune juice every nigh..this has always helped her ..she has chronic conspt also. Course stress and nervousness get everything out of whack too
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Sadly, almost all medications elderly folks take have constipation as a side effect. My MIL must use stool softeners and laxatives every single day.

Push fluids. This is hard for older ones because their thirst mechanism just doesn't work well. But shoot for 64 oz - leaning heavily on water. My MIL likes some of the flavored teas and green tea. She likes cranberry juice - but watch the sugar if you re dealing with diabetes. We water it down 50/50. Goes further and it helps the water go down. Whole fruits are better, much better, than juice though. More fiber and less sugar. My MIL takes a good probiotic each morning also and enzymes for digestion. These help keep the colon in balance. If you can get her to be more active - that may help - but many seniors can't be active anymore. Hope you get some more suggestions and that something helps. OH - forgot - there is an herbal remedy called 'Smooth Move' Tea that works. Ask her doctor if it would be appropriate. It comes in different flavors. The chocolate isn't too bad.
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I will try more fat. She eats a lot of Promise but I will shoot for butter and more oils. Great suggestion.Thanks
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You certainly seem to be going about this the right way. My hat is off to you! This has got to be so hard for both you and your mother.

What about a higher fat content? Butter on the waffles, and a few strips of bacon? An egg fried in olive oil between slices of that whole wheat bread? Can she take a stool softener?

I hope some one comes along with something that worked wonders for them. Good luck to you!
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