Hi everyone, I’m Jen and new here. I have been the sole caregiver for my Grandma for 9 months now. She has always had bathroom issues as far back as I can remember and I can tell you where every restroom is in a 100 mile radius. If she doesn’t have diarrhea, she is constipated. When I say constipated that means she is panicking she can’t go after less than 24 hours. She takes a lot of Imodium, at least 1 a day and usually 3. Today I caught her trying to dig herself out, then she tore the cabinets apart looking for laxatives. I am so very tired and getting ready to go home and see my husband for a short visit for the first time since October. Should I somehow regulate the Imodium? I’m afraid she is going to have the respite caregiver go out and buy more of each. I’m lost I don’t know if this even makes sense. Thank you for any ideas.

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My mom was addicted to a prescription medication named Lomotil. For all intents, it shut down the gastrointestinal tract for 5 or 6 hours. It was an opiate. She took it just about every day for decades and when she was old, her bowels didn’t know what to do. She was so obsessed with her bowels, she could actually talk herself into diarrhea. It never got any better. 

Grandma needs to be off the artificial OTC stuff that makes her go and the stuff that stops her from going. Throw it all out. Use good diet to regulate her. The respite caregiver should be told that under no circumstances should she give Gma anything artificial for her bowels. Set up a diet with the help of a dietician for grandma.  Ask the doctor for placebos if you have to. 

You haven’t seen your husband for 10 months??? Wow.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to Ahmijoy

Do you know that Immodium contains some opiates and that soon it may be restricted. Talk to his doctor
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to MACinCT

Obsessions with bowel movements are common in the elderly. If your grandma is taking Imodium to counteract the action of a laxative or vice versa she's on a cycle that can mess up her regular bodily functions. Take it all away, see where she is then. Then you can add/subtract items in her diet to help her be regular.

If you're gone and your grandma sends the caregiver out to buy Imodium and/or a laxative there's nothing you can do about it. Don't put the caregiver in the position of defying your grandmother. Deal with it when you get back.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Eyerishlass

Exercise like walking might help, but what about her diet? That can make a difference, the amount of water she drinks, or if she has too much fiber, or not enough fiber etc. I hear pears has a lot more fiber than other fruits, even more than apples. Some drinks with sugar can make a difference. Foods like chocolate, bananas, apple sauce and some 100% pure juice can help or make things worse, everyone is different.

Has she been to a doctor to have things checked? It could be something more than just her diet.

If you're interested in trying more natural things you might want to consider seeing Clinical Nutritionst or a naturopathic doctor. A compounding pharmacy might be able to give you the name of someone in your area.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to RogerMOkie

maybe you should have her seen by her physician. her behavior doesn't sound normal, but ive read similar stories on this website.

even my mom seemed like she was addicted to laxatives. shes no longer allowed (by me) to use laxatives. and was told to use prune juice. (current age 88)

my mom is in assisted living, so she cant have laxatives in her room anyway. her meds are given to her by the med tech.

hold old is your grandma?
if you are tired of the back and forth (which can not be good for her health) have her seen by a dr.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to wally003

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