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She is diabetic with high blood pressure. She has extremely difficult having regular bowel movements. She has to take large amounts of laxatives to have a bowel movement often. She is constantly hungry, her weight is out of control. I need desperately to know what I can do to help her with her hunger feelings. She can eat a big meal and then doze in the chair wake up and say she is hungry.

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It is important to know if the patient snores or has breath pauses during sleep, because these can change the eating behaviour. Sleep disorders as sleep apnea are linked to dementia. Look for a sleep especialist in your area.
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Reply to DirceuNeto
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I have the exact same problem with my husband. All his clothes are getting tight on him. If I try to limit the food he will eat scoops of peanut butter from the jar. I actually hide food or he’s gone thru all the grocery’s in a few days. I feel bad because he’s truly hungry and forgets we ate.
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Reply to Katefalc
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Great advice already given to you. You may also consider childproofing the kitchen so that she can’t snack besides what you offer.
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Reply to Lizbitty
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don't give her large meals. Give her appropriate meals and have low call snacks scheduled like sugar free jello and whatever.
Give her something to drink, hot tea, coffee, soda, water...
let her help with cooking if she's able.
My Mom is always "hungry" she has no sense of time and if she leaves the table, she thinks it is time to eat.
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Reply to Cashew
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I suggest trying to have "snacks" around that are filling with more fiber and relatively low caloric counts. Fruit, both fresh and the cups targeted at children's lunches (my mom liked applesauce and peaches), some dry cereals (like cherioos), half sandwiches, baked potatoes, beans, oatmeal cookies, etc. Other than offering smaller portions of the higher caloric food, I would not try to restrict her eating, if possible; just direct her choices to something that doesn't send the blood sugar level too high. Watermelon is usually a good food because it is low in calories, tastes sweet, and contains a lot of water so it both helps with hydration and fills you up, particularly if you can add a protein like a hard boil egg or a couple of peanut butter and crackers to the snack. You might also try drinks with stevia for a sweetener; when you drink more you generally eat less.

It may be worth asking her doctor for a digital blood sugar monitor, one where you wear a patch like device and can see the blood sugar level without a needle poke. It may help you decide what food to offer and still keep the blood sugar in a normal range.
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Reply to TNtechie
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She is probably growing more and more addicted to food and using this as a source of entertainment.

Before you start her on any kind of caloric reduction, talk to her doctor about caloric goal ranges.

Crash dieting (even intermittent fasting) can be very dangerous. If it is determined by her doctor that she should eat less, wean her slowly so it is not a shock to her system. Make sure she is getting plenty of nutrition and make sure she us still enjoying her food.

Find plenty of distractions and other entertainment. Help her get some exercise.
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Reply to ACaringDaughter
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She probably forgot she ate. My 94 year old mother with dementia will finish her breakfast & 10 minutes later, ask what’s for breakfast? You have to remind her she just ate. Let her drink more water & or flavored seltzer …zero calories! Hugs 🤗
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Reply to CaregiverL
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I too am often constipated. I have experienced sudden intense “hunger” pangs in the morning and I have come to recognize them as the first sign that my bowels have “woke up”.
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Reply to GAinPA
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I too am often constipated. I have experienced sudden intense “hunger” pangs in the morning and I have come to recognize them as the first sign that my bowels have “woke up”.
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Reply to GAinPA
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A bidet is supposed to be used to wash the butt after pooping; however, with constipation, it also acts like an enema.
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Reply to karenchaya
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Buy and install a bidet on her toilet seat. That helps with constipation. Five small meals a day instead of 3 large ones will help. Also, healthy snacks throughout the day, along with lots of water. Why is she eating a big meal? Overloading on food in one meal makes us sleepy. Does she take insulin? When you consume a high carb meal, your blood sugar spikes up high and then about an hour or so later, it crashes to nearly low blood sugar. At that point, if you don't eat again, you can die. Keep glucose tablets for those times and test her blood sugar level. Discuss what to do with her endocrinologist.
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Reply to karenchaya
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Michelle2828 Sep 22, 2021
sorry Karen, but i don't understand how a bidet would help.....
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Many times hunger is mistaken for thirst. This is especially true for diabetics. Like the rest of us, chronic dehydration is very common.

Do you have a blood glucose monitor? She sounds hypoglycemic. She should be eating more protein and healthy fats and no processed food. Nothing prepackaged. Just whole, real food. No grains, no pasta, bread, or sweets.

Magnesium Glycinate really helps keep bowels moving.
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Reply to Alonenscared
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Hungry, bored or just disoriented from waking up.
This happens in people who do not suffer from dementia as well. It is almost as though there is a primeval response to waking from a sleep that says OK - first thing to do to survive is eat.
Very often the solution is either to distract the attention whilst the person wakes up fully - or to give a drink and say "dinner" or whatever "won't be long.
Perhaps the use of low calorie cup-a-soups would provide a solution. But wanting to eat as soon as we wake up can happen with any of us, it seems to just need the waking up process to complete to "disperse" the need.
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Reply to TaylorUK
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Have her thyroid levels checked. I went thru a period earlier this year when I was constantly hungry but losing weight. Turns out I have Graves’ disease, hyperthyroidism, where my metabolism was out of wack. It can go hyper or hypo. Doesn’t hurt to have it checked.

Also a couple of prunes a day or a cup of decaf coffee gets things moving for mr. Or any herbal tea with senna, a natural laxative.
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Reply to Frances73
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Fiber is your friend. She needs foods high in fiber: whole grains, crunchy veggies and the rough parts of fruits (skin, seeds... and not jus the juice). She would also do well to avoid processed food - most snack foods - anything salty, starchy or greasy. Fiber not only helps to have consistent soft bowel movements, it also helps you to feel full.

Water will help. Everybody needs about 2 liters of water/fluids per day - even folks taking diuretics for blood pressure or heart issues.

If you can get her out into the sunshine for some short strolls or to dance to her favorite music, that will literally help things to move along.

Some folks as they age need a little extra help to get things going. My husband prefers sugar free fiber gummies. I prefer psyllium capsules. I have also found that getting a little more magnesium (prunes or milk of magnesia) also help with muscles of digestion. A doctor can be consulted for other medications to help stimulate bowel movements (Linzess and others).
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Reply to Taarna
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answry Sep 18, 2021
You are absolutely right that you have to be careful with foods, juices, etc.
Food labels are a great big help. You can find two products and they both say low sodium (soups for example) or low sugar but still have to dig deep to see which has the lesser amount.

This morning dad is constantly asking for water and coffee. I'm drawing a line with the coffee but have been letting him have the water this morning back to back (smaller size cup) but that'll have to change later in the day.
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Shernodine: Imho she should be seen by her gastroenterologist.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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Try smaller meals more often, following a diabetic diet. Follow a routine that mom might get used to. Try to use foods that keep her fuller longer - an egg instead of cereal; maybe more healthier fats in her diet.

With dementia, she may forget she ate - or maybe her brain is affecting the part of her brain telling her she ate recently. If that seems to be the case - giving her more frequent but smaller meals/snacks may work better.

Best of luck.
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Reply to cweissp
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dementia can make people lose their appetite…or extremely hungry.

boredom can make all of us hungry too. we need happy things, to be kept busy with nice activities, and to look forward to things.

hug!!
also, dementia makes you crave for sugar, which makes you crave even more.

try to reduce sugar.
(i myself am not good at that. and i’m an athlete!).

i think basically, we all need to be kept busy with exciting activities. this can help also to stop thinking about food.

food is also a way to try to stop unhappy feelings.

hug!
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Reply to bundleofjoy
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My husband went through this too, because they forget they ate. It only lasted a little bit. I kept oranges, apples peaches and bananas and that helped a lot.
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Reply to JSunny
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bundleofjoy Sep 18, 2021
hugs!

some medicines can also increase appetite more than normal.

by the way, we also added a basket with fruits.
in our case also, the extreme hunger (lasted some weeks) eventually went away.

some people have to lock the kitchen/cupboards because the situation is so extreme: LO seeking food.
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Start giving her many small meals.
If breakfast is toast, cereal, juice and she has a snack of yogurt and fruit later before lunch break it so she has toast. then an hour later cereal, an hour later a piece of fruit then yogurt.
Lunch the same thing if she has a sandwich and soup give her a sandwich then an hour later soup.
Rather than laxatives would she eat foods that would act the same?
Fruits like prunes, prune juice. A blend of papaya and pineapple sometimes works.
Often it is not "hunger" it is boredom It also might be that she has forgotten that she ate.
Increase the fiber in the foods she does eat. They will help with the bowel movements but will make her feel fuller longer. (But she may still say she is hungry because eating is something to do and again she may have forgotten she ate)
when she says she is hungry give her a task to do that will take her m imnd off it for a bit, just say you will fix something but .."these towel need to be folded first" or "these socks need to be paired" or "I need to cut these coupons out of the paper" (or the recipes out of this magazine)
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Reply to Grandma1954
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answry Sep 17, 2021
Grandma1954 That’s what home health taught me – as many small meals and snacks that the person can handle. At first, I was doing the taught tradition of three large meals and snacks in between. So, as you said, if lunch is soup and a sandwich, I would do half for lunch and then the other half when he said he has not eaten or is hungry. If I’m doing a snack pack of crackers, I’ve started doing half unless they ask for the other half right away. Prune juice, coffee, and apple juice mornings only lol. Thinking of trying a fiber supplement that you put in your coffee.
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She could also be bored and eating is the only thing that comes to mind. Try distracting her with an activity. If that doesn't work give her snacks like celery and carrot sticks. A snack like this takes longer to eat than say chips or ice cream so she'll have something to do.
If she wakes up an hour after eating dinner and wants more tell her no and that she ate an hour ago.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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I don't have diabetes but I understand that insulin has the cruel side effect of causing one to feel hungry when one is not. She needs someone to help keep her diabetes under control or she will also start to have the other problems that come with it being out of control, like CKD (chronic kidney disease) which requires dialysis. Then quality of life takes a nose dive.

Does she live alone or with someone? Who is her medical PoA? Is someone currently checking her levels and dispensing her meds? More information would be very helpful for forum participants to give you better suggestions.
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Reply to Geaton777
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